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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pygmic tours
Author:Frankland, StanISNI
Periodical:African Study Monographs: Supplementary Issue
Geographic terms:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Abstract:Tourism, both directly and as a metaphor for change, has been present in the lives of Africa's eastern Mbuti, Twa and Sua pygmies for a longer period of time than anthropology. This is a fact which most anthropologists to the Ituri have chosen to ignore. Instead, an ethnography has grown that focuses primarily on the pygmies' relationship with the ecosystem in which they live, giving rise to the myth of the 'forest people', i.e. the authentic pygmy, and its counterpart, the anti-myth of the vagabond, the pygmy reduced to a state of dependency, and extinction. The world beyond the rainforest has been excluded from an understanding of pygmies' lives. By detailing the extent of pygmic tourism in four different locations in and around the Ituri - the area around Kivu and the Virunga volcanoes, the Epulu area of the Ituri forest, along the roadside through the Ituri, and the Semuliki forest -, the present author shows how this exclusionary practice has led to only a partial understanding of Africa's pygmies. Thus the Sua of Uganda, the prime example of vagabondage, have chosen not to shrink into the depths of the forest, or slide into extinction, but rather to expand their sociopolitical horizons and actively deal with a world of multiple levels through the navigational skill of reflective ethnicity. Bibliogr., note, sum.