Wambuti (Pygmy) Recordings from NE Congo

Kuimba
Lyrics, Music and Performance, the Wambuti from Lolwa, Congo

Story

We hiked out a mile or so from the village of Lolwa to where we had been told that we’d find a group of the Wambuti (Forest People). We found them dog tired at the end of a day of work in a Villager’s garden in the scorching sun. (The Wambuti are shade dwellers.) As the forest is cut back it seems the Wambuti’s fortunes are cut back with it. They are demanded upon for hard labor with very little return. Eight percent of the proceeds of the sale of this CD goes to a fund for the Wambuti. That still doesn’t replace the cut back forest… In spite of their being so tired that day they sang for us and agreed to let us record it. As you can hear, they sang and played their instruments beautifully. (Kris says it sounds to him like their lament.) I always think to myself when listening to the Wambuti, “Our ancestors too were Indigenous people. Perhaps even the same ancestors as theirs…”

All of the proceeds from sales of this song goes to the Okapi Conservation Project which helps the Wambuti (Pygmies) by protecting and preserving the Ituri forest where they live.

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Lolwa Wambuti - Salimu! Heshimu!

Kuimba
Lyrics, Music and Performance, the Wambuti from Itendey, Congo

Story

The Wambuti or Forest People, have lived in the Ituri since time immemorial. When they and their habitat are left undisturbed they wander in search of whatever their basic necessities might be, singing as they go. They own nothing and yet they are some of the happiest people. Their lifestyle is such that they never upset the natural balance of the forest which accounts for their having survived there these many thousands of years. From accounts of two early European visitors to Africa we learn that the Wambuti, before the coming of Europeans, included in their oral tradition the story of the Garden of Eden; however, to the Wambuti, humanity’s expulsion from the Garden did not occurr as a tragedy. In The Hero With An African Face contemporary author Clyde W. Ford writes, “…the elegant reason given for the Mbuti’s joyous attitude toward God’s removal from his creation is that with this separation human consciousness has the necessary distance to behold the beautific vision everywhere — much as we might back away from a masterpiece of art to appreciate fully the radiance it unleashes.” For the Wambuti (as for possibly all African tribes) singing and dancing is part of everyday life. This is a song they sang for us early one morning when we visited them. It’s a song which is usually performed as preparation for the hunt of a very large animal, like say, an Elephant. This is a clip from the twelve minute recording.

All of the proceeds from sales of this song goes to the Okapi Conservation Project which helps the Wambuti (Pygmies) by protecting and preserving the Ituri forest where they live.

salimuheshimucdcoverartworkb.jpg

Itendey Wambuti - Salimu! Heshimu!

Kuimba
Lyrics and Music by the Wambuti (Pygmies) who live near Itendey village in northern Congo, Africa.

Story

This song is not available for sale at this time.

An anthropologist whom we visited in Kenya recently told us that many anthropologists now surmise that the human race sprang from a single forbear — a black Pygmy woman who lived in Africa. We would be greatly complimented were this to be true because we hold a great deal of respect for these good-natured little people who have survived in the rainforest for thousands of years without upsetting its natural balance. We’ve inserted a portion here of a song some of them sang for us one morning in the Ituri (ee too´ ree) Forest near my parent’s home. The words of the song are in Kilesi (kee leh´ see), a language which, unfortunately, we do not speak.

All of the proceeds from sales of this song goes to the Okapi Conservation Project which helps the Wambuti (Pygmies) by protecting and preserving the Ituri forest where they live.


Kuimba
Lyrics and Music by the Wambuti (Pygmies) who live near Itendey village in northern Congo, Africa.

Story

This song is not available for sale at this time.

This was a 12 minute piece of music! This clip and the one before are just snapshots of this song about hunting an elephant. The elder man got up and danced the dance they do before hunting such an animal. Hunting elephants is not common with the Wambuti but those who try are brave.

An anthropologist whom we visited in Kenya recently told us that many anthropologists now surmise that the human race sprang from a single forbear — a black Pygmy woman who lived in Africa. We would be greatly complimented were this to be true because we hold a great deal of respect for these good-natured little people who have survived in the rainforest for thousands of years without upsetting its natural balance. We’ve inserted a portion here of a song some of them sang for us one morning in the Ituri (ee too´ ree) Forest near my parent’s home. The words of the song are in Kilesi (kee leh´ see), a language which, unfortunately, we do not speak.

All of the proceeds from sales of this song goes to the Okapi Conservation Project which helps the Wambuti (Pygmies) by protecting and preserving the Ituri forest where they live.


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Everyone enjoyed the rest of your music and singing and seeing everyone up dancing is a sight I'll always remember. Wishing you all the very best,                       Jesse Pringle, Go Go Grannies Co-coordinator, British Columbia

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