ARE TREES JUST ANOTHER COMMODITY, HARVESTED BECAUSE THEY ARE FREE, FOR MAN TO MAKE MONEY. HAS MAN MADE A MONEY-TREE THAT IS DEAD?
WHEN DID MAN STOP THINKING ABOUT HIS ACTIONS, AND BLINDLY START TO DESTROY THE LIFE THAT SUSTAINS HIM?
CAN MAN WAKE UP AND TURN THIS SITUATION AROUND?
WHAT WOULD IT COST TO GROW A TREE?
I have peeped inside this document for a clue to where it all started to go wrong.FOREST HUNTER-GATHERERS AND THEIR WORLD
(Thesis by Jerome Lewis, 2002)
Jerome went into the heartland of Africa, to the Congo, into the Ndoki Forest
to meet the Pigmy Mbendjele
tribe and learn from them.
He took his wife, an alternative medical practitioner, and their 5-year-old son.
The first thing he did was learn their language and a protocol to live with them and understand their ways and form a working relationship with them.
They already had a mixed language: their own - of ancient origin - and French and American English learned from foreign timber traders and big-game hunters. Hence there were words that they had adopted to describe things that were previously not in their reality - like, peanuts and guns.
Since the early 1930s, studies done by anthropologists, linguists and ethno-ecologists all agreed that the native people in the Yaka area were in serious decline. The earliest observers were Christian missionaries but their studies were insubstantial and biased, although they did report that the Pigmies were against shedding blood while they themselves were sometimes hunted by outside groups who practiced cannibalism.
As a small group of ethnic Pygmies had survived to the C20th, the modern method of study is more complete; even though the timber trade and logging invasions were rife in other parts of the world by this time, these observations of the Pigmies gives us an insight into what has been irreparably lost.
Although some studies categorically state that Pymies do not have any concept of ancestors, ghosts or spirits and do not believe in life after death, Lewis was told by one tribesman that,"...there are many, many spirits in the forest; they are not the ancestors; the sorcerers die in their own way but ordinary people die it is nothing and leave for always - they leave joyfully; Komba (God) keeps their spirits and they can fly; many people's spirits are out in the open and at dawn the go back into the forest; they give (living) people great happiness, just great happiness, only joy."
They consider the ancestral spirits troublesome, but the forest spirits, the people spirits - the grandfathers, grandmothers, people-of-before come to help the children-who-come-after to impart knowledge of the forests and their wisdom and advice and guidance in times of crisis and help in rituals, because they 'love them so much'
. Komsa, the High God, lives in the sky, the Moon is a super-natural being, ancestors participate in healing medicine and sometimes animals can take on a human appearance.
Essentially the people in this area can be seen as these groups - the Bantu (fisher/farmers); the Yaka (forest hunter/gatherers); white colonial officials and representatives of overseas companies. And the periods of distinction are - prehistory; Period of Bantu expansion; Atlantic colonialism, trade and post-independence era.
This whole article is such fascinating reading I find it hard to extract a few sentences to encapsulate the problem - it is vast. The Ndoki Forest
of the Congo heartland is called the last place on Earth, or the last great wilderness. The above quote by a 50 year-old elder demonstrates how the ab-original people don't just live in the forest, the forest and the people are one organism, each part of the other. As the elder said, the forest spirits are the people spirits and they die happy and visit the living because they so love them. In most parts of the world, people have lost this important connection to forests, or to their own Trees on their own land. Trees offer a home for the living spirits of Man.
Every person, animal, bird, insect, plant, flower, fruit, nut, leaf, root, Tree, is in a symbiotic perfection and even one small clearing made to extract a small number of Trees, or 'important Trees' for certain uses, with a narrow road to bring them out by truck, is like a fatal wound in this living organism. Both the life-blood of the forest is leaked out and infestation, infection and injury seeps in. Even this last great forest is criss-crossed with slashes, fatal wounds, for the extraction of its Trees.
The United Forest Management Organisation has government auctions to sell concessions to technological and industrial productive international institutions. Read the Document:http://www.radicalanthropologygroup.org/old/pub_lewisthesisfull.pdfSAD, BUT TRUE VIDEO