Ituri Forest Pygmies | Who Rules the Forest? National Geographic Magazine: Pygmies Learn to Fish

Pygmy boys learn fishing and other skills at their hunting camp in the Ituri Forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Boys go through the circumcision ceremony called nKumbi accompanied the adults to the camp.  There is a strict regiment of learning survival skills to hunt and to recognize all there is to know about the forest. They are whipped every morning to make them tough, and then they sent off into the forest to hunt or fish. The boys pull a small hook out of their skirts and get a vine and a stick—they know where to dig for worms.  They catch five or six 2inch long fish and eat them raw for lunch.

It took everything I had to follow these fast little guys.  My biggest problem was when I finally stopped to photograph, my glasses completely fogged.  A lot of photographs like this one are shot on the run, just pointing the camera in the general direction.


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