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The Pygmy village of Bundibugyo
Enjoying a coke with the Pygmy King in Bundibugyo, Uganda
On the border of Uganda and The Democratic Republic of Congo there lies a small Pygmy tribe near the town of Bundibugyo. This man is their king. The Pygmy tribe are hunter-gatherers by background and have long lived in the Ituri forest. I first met with a Pygmy tribe as a 16 year old in Zaire (Congo) when a missionary woman by the name of Margaret Clapper took my on an expedition into the jungle armed with a hand wound record player and some supplies. That summer the mother of a Pygmy baby died in childbirth and we cared for the little one by the warmth of the stove until she grew strong. She was returned to her tribe when she was around 2. We called her Kimberly. They called her Uniki.
Boy with a Machete outside of a Pygmy Hut
Little Boy with Machete in the Pygmy Village
I again met up with a Pygmy tribe on this trip to Bundibugyo where we provided medical care and teaching. This group lives on the edge of the forest with access to the town from the main road. They have little in the way of possessions but are quite resourceful. They learn at a young age to utilize tools such as machetes and bows and arrows. I still have a Pygmy bow from my trip covered with Colobus Monkey tail and arrows with leaf feathers.
Grandma's Hut and Cooking Fire
The grandmother of the King cooks on this simple stone lined fire pit. She feeds the fire with sticks. Her grandchild is with her and there is a close-up of the two of them in the photo below.
The Pygmy King's Grandmother with a Child
Inside Grandma's Hut
Inside the hut is a simple stick bed, a plastic cup, a fire pit with a cooking pot and a few items of clothing. Little else is used for day to day living.
Pygmy Mothers with Children, Note the Meat on a Stick
Pygmy Mothers and Children
Many mothers with their children can be seen in the village. During the day most of the men are off hunting in the woods. They roast the meat which they shoot with their bow and arrows, You can see some of the meat skewered and ready to cook. Because of the influence of the town and tourist visits some of the adults wear traditional clothing. The children are generally naked and the older women do not usually worry about covering their breasts. The children play and learn surival skills at a very young age.
Pygmy Child on Yellow Jerry Can with Yellow Lollipops
This child has chosen a cut out Jerry Can as a place to play and eat her 2 lollipops.
Pygmy Mother's and Children
The members of the village are listening to a message by one of the native speakers from Zana Presbyterian Church in Lubowa, Uganda. They are a generally attentive group and particularly enjoyed a visual illustration that was used.
Pygmy Child Receiving Gift from Samaritan's Purse
Samaritan's Purse was distributing Christmas gifts to children in Uganda and graciously allowed us to distribute some to the Pygmy village. This photo is of one of the children receiving their shoe box full of gifts. I must say that a number of 20 year olds lined up to receive a box as well. It is rare to receive such gifts and they were quite excited to open them and see what was inside. The King of the Pygmys received one as well.
I hope that you enjoyed your unique visit to the Pygmy village of Bundibugyo. Lenzy