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Encyclopedia > Pygmies
Baka dancers in the East Province of Cameroon
Baka dancers in the East Province of Cameroon
Batwa dancers in Uganda
Batwa dancers in Uganda

Pygmies (singular: Pygmy) refers to various peoples of central Africa whose adults have an average height of 150 centimetres (4 feet 11 inches) or shorter. Pygmies share the same genetic traits as the Baka people from Burdini. Pygmies as well as the Baka physical attributes are passed down through generations by binding of the hands and feet at a young age. The Baka on the other hand recieve there horn like features one centimeter above each temple from generations of scalpal mutilation that has effected their genetic makeup.[1] The term is also sometimes applied to the so-called Negrito peoples of Asia,[2] and occasionally indiscriminately to individuals of unusually short stature.[2] Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 853 pixel, file size: 263 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Batwa dancers at Buhoma in Uganda. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (1280 × 853 pixel, file size: 263 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Batwa dancers at Buhoma in Uganda. ... Ati woman Negrito refers a dwindling ethnic group which is now restricted to parts of Southeast Asia. ... Stature is a fictional character, a superheroine in the Marvel Comics universe. ...


Members of so-called Pygmy groups often consider the term derogatory, instead preferring to be called by the name of their ethnic groups.[3] Nevertheless, the term is widely used as no other term has emerged to replace "Pygmy".[4]

Contents

Etymology

Main article: Pygmy (mythology)

The term pygmy derives from Greek Pygmaioi and Latin Pygmaei (sing. Pygmaeus) which literally was a measure of length corresponding to the distance between the elbow and knuckles, used to refer to diminutive people. In Greek mythology the word describes a tribe of dwarfs, first described by Homer, and reputed to live in Ethiopia.[5] A pygmy fighting his nemeses the cranes. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... This article is about the mythical creature. ... For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ...


African Pygmies

Origins

A commonly held view is that the Pygmies are the direct descendents of the Late Stone Age hunter-gatherer peoples of the central African rainforest, who were partially absorbed or displaced by later immigration of agricultural peoples, and adopted their Central Sudanic, Adamawa-Ubangian, and Bantu languages. This view has no archaeological support, and ambiguous support from genetics and linguistics. [6] [7] [7][8] There is some common botanical and honey-collecting vocabulary between the Aka and Baka, who are both western Pygmy populations but speak quite different languages. This has been taken by some as the remnants of an indigenous (western) Pygmy language.[citation needed] Obsidian projectile point The Stone Age is a period of history that encompasses the first widespread use of technology in human evolution and the spread of humanity from the savannas of East Africa to the rest of the world. ... In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... The African Rainforest is a large expanse of equatorial rainforestness at the center of the African continent. ... Central Sudanic is a grouping of about thirty languages of the Nilo-Saharan language family. ... The Adamawa-Ubangi languages are spoken in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, southern Central African Republic, by a total of about 12 million people. ... Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu vs. ... The Aka are a wandering African pygmy people, with large heads and slender necks, who live by hunting. ... The Baka, also known as Bebayaka, Bebayaga, Bibaya, or Babinga, are an ethnic group inhabiting the southeastern rain forests of Cameroon, northern Congo (Brazzaville), northern Gabon, and southwestern Central African Republic. ...


Genetically, the eastern Mbuti pygmies are extremely divergent from other human populations, as well as being the shortest of the Pygmy populations, suggesting they are an ancient indigenous lineage. Their closest relatives appear to be the Hadzabe, who live in the savannas east of the forest and were quite short in stature before heavy recent intermarriage with their taller neighbors. Other Pygmy groups which have been genetically tested are not very distinct from their non-Pygmy neighbors, suggesting either that their indigenous ancestry has been diluted through interbreeding with neighboring agricultural populations, or that they have a different ancestry than the Mbuti. Indeed, the genetic mutations responsible for the short stature of the eastern and western Pygmies are different and unrelated, supporting the view of some scientists that the Pygmies, or at least some Pygmies, are the descendants of the initial waves of Bantu and Adamawa-Ubangi speakers who took up living in the deep forest.[citation needed] The Mbuti people, or Bambuti as they are collectively called, are one of several indigenous hunter-gatherer groups in the Congo region of Africa. ... The Hadzabe are an ethnic and linguistic group based in central Tanzania. ...


There are a number of southern "Twa" populations in Angola and neighboring countries, living in swamps and deserts far from the forest. They are little studied, and it is not known if they are indigenous to the area or more recent migrants from the forest. The Twa, also known as Batwa, are a pygmy people who were the oldest recorded inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of central Africa. ...


Groups

Distribution of Pygmies according to Cavalli-Sforza
Distribution of Pygmies according to Cavalli-Sforza

Pygmies live in several ethnic groups in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia.[3] Most pygmy communities are hunter-gatherers, living partially but not exclusively on the wild products of their environment. They trade with neighbouring farmers to acquire cultivated foods and other material items.[3] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 566 pixelsFull resolution (1026 × 726 pixel, file size: 239 KB, MIME type: image/png) maps of distribution of African Pygmies from http://www. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 566 pixelsFull resolution (1026 × 726 pixel, file size: 239 KB, MIME type: image/png) maps of distribution of African Pygmies from http://www. ... Categories: People stubs | 1922 births | Italian people | Population geneticists ... In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ...


There are several Pygmy groups, including:

  • Aka (Central African Republic, Republic of Congo)
  • Baka (Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of Congo)
  • Bakola (Cameroon)
  • BabenzelĂ©
  • Babongo (Gabon, Republic of Congo)
  • Binga
  • Gyelli (Cameroon)
  • Bambuti (Democratic Republic of the Congo), including the EfĂ©
  • Tikar (Cameroon)
  • Tswa
  • Twa or Batwa (Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda)
  • Wochua
  • Mbenzele (Central African Republic)

The Aka are a wandering African pygmy people, with large heads and slender necks, who live by hunting. ... The Baka, also known as Bebayaka, Bebayaga, Bibaya, or Babinga, are an ethnic group inhabiting the southeastern rain forests of Cameroon, northern Congo (Brazzaville), northern Gabon, and southwestern Central African Republic. ... The Mbuti people, or Bambuti as they are collectively called, are one of several indigenous hunter-gatherer groups in the Congo region of Africa. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Tikar are a people of Cameroon. ... Tswa, or XiTswa (index [tsc]) is a South-Eastern Bantu language in Southern Mozambique. ... The Twa, also known as Batwa, are a pygmy people who were the oldest recorded inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of central Africa. ... The Wochua were/are a pygmy people of Africa, living in the forests of the Mabode district, south of the Welle. ...

Asian pygmies (Negritos)

Some "Negrito" peoples of Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and the Andaman Islands are often called "pygmies". Although these groups, which include the Batak and the Aeta of the Philippines, the Andamanese of the Andaman Islands, and the Semang of the Malay Peninsula, share common physical features with African pygmy populations, they are not closely related. Studies suggest that their ancestors arrived during migrations from Africa to Southeast Asia and Oceania as much as 60,000 years ago, making them by far the earliest inhabitants of their lands.[9][10] Ati woman Negrito refers a dwindling ethnic group which is now restricted to parts of Southeast Asia. ... Andaman Islands The Andaman Islands are a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal, and are part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India. ... The Batak are one of about 70 indigenous peoples of the Philippines. ... The Aeta are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of the Philippines. ... Comparative map showing the distributions of the various Andamanese peoples in the Andaman Islands- early 1800s versus present-day (2004). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Malay Peninsula (Malay: Semenanjung Tanah Melayu) is a major peninsula located in Southeast Asia. ...


The name "Negrito" comes from the Spanish or Portuguese "little black" and was given by early explorers who assumed the Andamanese they encountered were from Africa. This assumption was discarded when anthropologists noted that apart from dark skin and curly hair, they had little in common with any African population, including the African pygmies.[11]


References

  1. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica: Pygmy
  2. ^ a b The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.
  3. ^ a b c Forest peoples in the central African rain forest: focus on the pygmies
  4. ^ Hewlett, Barry S. "Cultural diversity among African pygmies." In: Cultural Diversity Among Twentieth-Century Foragers. Susan Kent, ed. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  5. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  6. ^ R. Blench and M. Dendo. Genetics and linguistics in sub-Saharan Africa, Cambridge-Bergen, June 24, 2004.
  7. ^ a b Klieman, Kairn A. The Pygmies Were Our Compass: Bantu and BaTwa in the History of West Central Africa, Early Times to c. 1900, Heinemann, 2003.
  8. ^ Cavalli-Sforza, Luigi Luca, ed. African Pygmies. Orlando, Fla.: Academic Press, 1986
  9. ^ Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; et al (21 January 2003). "Genetic Affinities of the Andaman Islanders, a Vanishing Human Population". Current Biology 13, Number 2: 86-93(8). 
  10. ^ Survival International, 2002, Siberia to Sarawak: Tribal Peoples in Asia
  11. ^ Liu, James J.Y. The Chinese Knight Errant. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967 (ISBN 0-2264-8688-5)

See also

In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... The Pygmies are a broad group of people who live in Central Africa, especially in Congo, Central African Republic and Cameroon. ...

External links

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Pygmy Hippopotamus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (310 words)
The Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) is a large mammal native to the forests and swamps of western Africa (the species name, meaning "of Liberia", reflects this).
The Pygmy Hippo is half as tall as the Hippopotamus and weighs 1/10 as much as a small member of the larger hippo species.
The fossil record suggests that the Pygmy Hippo is closer in form and possibly behavior to the common ancestor.
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