WEEK 12 Week 12: Central Africa Know the Sarno, Kisliuk, and Feld readings. Know the handouts (on blackboard). • Musical examples: On the course website/world music cultures/Pygmy. Know the following musical examples: geedal, notched flute, men’s elephant hunting song, boyobi ceremony pts. 1 and 2, Field recording-hindewhu, Herbie Hancock’s Watermelon Man, Madonna’s Sanctuary. General Introduction to “Pygmies” • Central Africa (region) includes republics of Congo, Gabon, Central Africa (Centrafique), and Chad (these four countries at one time formed the country of French Equatorial Africa). The region also includes the western parts of Uganda, Zaire, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, and northern Angola • Focus on “pygmy” or forest peoples of Central Africa, divided into four smaller groups by dialect distinctions: Ba-Binga, Ba-Ngombe, BaMbuti, and Ba,Benzele • Total of about 200,000 people • Historically hunter-gatherers living in forest regions, similar cultural and socio-political organization among all groups • Generally egalitarian, loose political structure • Forest shapes religious belief and musical practices—close ties between natural world and spirituality “The Forest People”—Our Images • The “pygmy” long fascinated the West, represented as childlike, chimp-like • Live in garden of Eden, noble savages, people without conflict • Supported 19th century ideas of evolution and social Darwinism • First Central African “hunter” brought to USA was Ota Benga, brought here in 1904 for the World’s Fair in St. Louis. Put on display • Showed filed teeth for a nickel a smile (was kept in a cage in the Bronx zoo with chimpanzees), eventually committed suicide In the Past • Forest people lived balanced life with forest environment • Sheltered in dome shaped huts made from saplings and leaves • Small family units, facilitated movement according to food availability • Egalitarian relationships between people, men and women, adults and children In the Present •
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- Spring '12
- Music, Human voice, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Central Africa, Sarno, Mbuti