African Tribes: The Efé

Figure 1.-- Here is a group of Efé children in the Congo. The Efé are a hunter-gatherer Pygmies people living in the rainforest of the Congo. DNA analysis suggests that the Pygmies are one of the oldest living human populations.

The Efé are one of the pygmy people of central Africa. There are Pygmy people in the tropical rain forests of Central Africa that inhabit an area stretching roughly from Cameroon east across the Congo into Zaire. The pygmies are principally known for their small stature. Adults are only about 3-4 feet in height. The Pygmy peoples are earliest surviving inhabitants of the Congo Basin dominated by Zaire. DNA analysis suggests that the Pygmies are one of the oldest living human populations. Anthropologists believe that Pygmies have lived in the Ituri Forest for over 4,000 years. The Pygmies there call themselves Mbuti. The Mbuti includes several tribes, including the Efé, the Aka, and the Bayaka. Pygmies tend to be are lighter skinned than their Negroid neighbors. We are not sure why this is the case. Pygmies are a gentle, peaceful people who have retreated into the less productive areas of the rain forest by the more dvanced Bantu people. They are forest dwellers existing on a hunter-gtger life style. Some may practice primitive agriculture, planting fields in the middle of the forest, but cobinuing to hunt and gather. The more isolated groups continue to lead aifestyle little changed over several millenia. The Efé live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


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Created: 8:07 PM 1/16/2013
Last updated: 8:07 PM 1/16/2013