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The Birds as Indicators of the Invisible World: Ethno-Ornithology of the Mbuti Hunter-Gatherers
Abstract/OtherAbstract :
The relationship of the birds with Mbuti hunter-gatherers is described and analyzed. A total of 115 types of birds were observed in the Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. Vernacular names, practical uses, food and other behavioral restrictions, and folk belief concerning these birds were recorded. While the birds occupy almost a negligible position in the diet and subsistence activities of the Mbuti, they have important meanings in the rituals, folk belief and other aspects of the Mbuti spiritual life. Particularly interesting is the role of birds as the mediators between human society and the invisible world. The birds are believed to convey information on otherwise unaccountable causes of illness, unpredictable distribution of animals and their behavior in the forest, unexpected failure of hunting, sudden visit of a guest, and other events which the Mbuti feel require some kind of explanation.
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Publisher :  The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University     Type :  Departmental Bulletin Paper     Format :  application/pdf    
Date Detail :
2008-11-25, 2008-11-25, 1998-03
Subject :
Ituri Forest, Ethno-ornithology, Nomenclature, Practical use, Food avoidance, Folk berief, 389.4
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Languages :  en    
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