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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Encounters with the dead among the Efe and the Balese in the Ituri forest: mores and ethnic identity shown by the dead
Author:Sawada, Masato
Year:1998
Periodical:African Study Monographs: Supplementary Issue
Issue:25
Pages:85-104
Language:English
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:cosmology
ancestor worship
Pygmies
Bali (Cameroon)
Link:http://repository.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2433/68391/1/ASM_S_25_85.pdf
Abstract:The Efe Pygmies, a subgroup of the Mbuti, and their neighbours, Balese farmers, have retained their traditional way of life because of the dead. The Efe and the Balese often encounter the dead, both when awake and in their dreams. The dead dwell deep in the forest, and continue their traditional way of life. They occupy an important position in the supernatural world of the Efe and the Balese. The dead sometimes teach new knowledge and technology to the living and tell them to keep their traditional way of life in spite of continuing social change. The Efe and Balese are reluctant to adopt the Westernized life and ideology which local missionaries want to introduce. After death, the Efe and the Balese live in the forest, so they have no intention of exhausting the forest's resources. It would seem, therefore, that their cosmology, including the next life in the forest, will better protect the forest than the conservation projects imposed by outsiders. The article is based on fieldwork conducted around Adiri village in the Ituri forest, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), at various intervals over a ten-year period from 1985 to 1995. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.
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