Essay on Colin M. Turnbull’s Book the Forest People Analysis

919 WordsSep 5, 20124 Pages
In Colin M. Turnbull’s book The Forest People there were many examples of theoretical approaches that he describes that the Pygmies use to maintain there social order. One of the elements that I noticed the most was interpretive or symbolic anthropology. In this book, Turnbull showed that in Pygmy society your social status and economic well-being are heavily dependent on the acceptance and respect you receive from other members of the community. Turnbull used interpretive/ symbolic anthropology to try to uncover and interpret the deep emotional and psychological structure of their society. Turnbull went under the experience of being a member of this specific culture and made that experience available to the reader. In chapter five, The…show more content…
Turnbull is not actually along on the hunt, and he becomes aware of trouble as the hunters begin to drift back into camp. The men are angry and silent, while the women complain loudly, swearing at each other, their husbands, and most of all, at Cephu. One of the men, Kenge, begins to complain about Cephu in a loud voice. "Cephu is an impotent old fool. No, he isn’t, he is an impotent old animal--we have treated him like a man long enough; now we should treat him like an animal. Animal!"(104) The rest of the hunters, including Cephu, arrive and Cephu goes to his own camp, on the edge of the larger camp. One hunter calls out that Cephu has disgraced them all and that they should break camp and abandon the hunt. Another announces that he wants everyone to come to the kumamolimo(a kind of council) at once, even Cephu. Cephu is called over: "Animal there! Animal there! Come at once, you, you animal!"(105) Disrespectively, the youngsters are laughing loudly, and when Cephu arrives, everyone ignores him; not even one of the youths will surrender him a place to sit. He is told: "Animals lie on the ground."(105) Soon after Manyalibo gives a lengthy statement about the common good and Cephu's many faults. Cephu tries to defend himself, but is shouted down. Ekianga says he hopes Cephu will fall on his spear and kill himself like the animal he is. Who but an animal would steal meat from the others? Cries of rage from everybody and Cephu bursts into tears. He claims he had lost

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