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Pygmy groups are scattered throughout equatorial Africa from Cameroonin the west to Zambia in the southeast In Zaire there are threemain groups of Pygmies the Tswa in the west the Twa between LakeKivu and Lake Tanganyika and the Mbuti also referred to as Bambutior BaMbuti of the Ituri Forest According to Schebesta the authorof the earliest reliable reports only the Mbuti are true Pygmiesie under 150 cm in height and relatively unmixed with neighboringpeoples The other groups are referred to as Pygmoids being highlyintermixed with other peoples both physically and culturally Turnbull1965A 159-B The following summary refers only to the Mbuti PgymiesThe Mbuti are located at lat 0 degrees-3 degrees N and long 26 degrees-30degrees E Their territory is a primary rain forest The Mbuti haveconventionally been divided into three groups which are distinctfrom each other linguistically economically and geographicallyEach of the three groups speaks a different language which correspondsto the language spoken by neighboring villagers practices differenthunting techniques and is territorially distinct The Aka speak theMangbetu language Sudanic family hunt primarily with spears andlive in the north These spear-hunters have not been extensively studiedThe Efe speak the Lese language Sudanic family are archers andare located in the east The Efe were studied by Schebesta The Suaspeak the Bira language Bantu branch of the Benue-Congo familyhunt with nets and live to the south They were studied by PutnamThe most profound difference between the three groups the linguisticdifference is according to Turnbull of recent origin and is purelyaccidental Turnbull 1965B 22-23 Furthermore in spite of thefact that the three languages are very different there are enoughsimilarities in intonation to make it possible for Pygmies to recognizeAll of the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest recognize themselves by theterm Mbuti and the only political identity they have is in oppositionto the village cultivators The Mbuti as a whole are clearly distinctfrom these village neighbors both racially and culturally and Turnbullsays the economic differences between the three Mbuti groups
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