Ituri Forest Pygmies | Who Rules the Forest? National Geographic Magazine: Medicine Man Bantu Fake Pygmy in Salate | DR Congo

Medicine Man Bantu Fake Pygmy in Salate in nKumbi | DR Congo

From my journal:

There is one special ceremonial skirt that each boy will wear as he dances alone thru the town… they fit the lone Bantu to the skirt first, carefully tying the grass into bundles—measuring the length with a long blade of grass and then cutting each bundle with a machete.  They are very serious about this and six of them constantly confer about the length.

Then the chief with the bright red fleece hat with ear flaps (Potolico’s brother) moves his chair to a remote corner and a Pygmy father brings the stack of small whips they made this morning.  Red Ear Flaps chief motions over the first boy and starts whipping him around the legs and ankles—the boy is in tears as both the Pygmy and chief go thru the stack of 30-40 whips sometimes faking and then throwing the whip aside and sometimes beating the boys mercilessly.

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