Airdate: Jul 11, 2018
Scientist: Tom Miller
Become What You Hunt
An immersive visit with the Mangbetu people of Central Africa. This archival program is part of our 30th anniversary celebration.
Become What You HuntMangbetu music Celebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here's a program from our archives.We're listening to music that's traditionally performed by the Mangbetu people of Central Africa, during a hunt. The Mangbetu have a special relationship with the animals that they hunt for food. Before they catch anything, they learn to respect it. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Ambience, hunters imitating animalsMiller: The sounds we hear are hunters imitating the cries of the animals that they wish to catch on the hunt.Tom Miller is with the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Anthropology. Hunters traditionally in many societies try to take on the qualities of the animals that they stalk. Certain hunters specialize in catching particular animals and they have very particular knowledge and skills relating to that animal. Miller: Hunters carefully studied the habits of animals and they have a wealth of detailed knowledge about the behavior and qualities of these animals. The skin or teeth of a powerful predator might be incorporated as a magical charm, to give one power over one's enemies, into an object such as a battle trumpet or a weapon. So the people see themselves in harmony with animals and plants in their environment, and that these qualities are something that can be transferred between the different beings.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.