Pygmy child with edible caterpillars
1. Child with freshly
picked edible caterpillars.
Go to the page: Food preparation
African Pygmies   > Baka Pygmies   > Economy

Food Gathering

in the African Rainforest

(Baka Pygmies of Cameroon,
Gabon and Congo)
Photos, texts and audio recordings
by Luis Devin
.Luis Devin - Ai confini del gusto.
Soundscape: tropical rainforest sounds (Central Africa).
Termite gathering of the Baka Pygmies, by piercing and smoking the termite nest
2. Termite gathering: young Baka boy
piercing a big termite nest with a spear,
after having smoked it with burnt twigs.
Food gathering in the rainforest is one of the most important activities for the survival of the group. The products gathered (wild yam and fruit, mushrooms, etc.) are basically vegetables, but in some seasons of the year it is also possible to find small animals, such as termites and caterpillars.

Carried in baskets and panniers, the products come to the camp, where they are shared by the families according to principles of reciprocity and mutual assistance. Here the food is eaten at once or within a few days from the gathering, for it cannot be preserved for a long time.
Pygmies gathering on forest trees
3. Fruit gathering
on forest trees.
Go to the page: The Central African
Pygmy boy with freshly picked termite larvae
4. Boy with termite larvae
gathered on large leaves
of Marantaceae plants.
Go to the page: Baka men
Pygmy woman with rain forest products
5. Women returning
from the gathering
of mushrooms, seeds
and other forest products.
Go to the page: Baka women
Eggs of African rainforest crocodile, picked by the Baka Pygmies
6. Woman with
crocodile eggs.
Go to the page: Hunting with traps
Go to the page: Parental care
Pygmy child with wild tubers and a crab
7. Child with wild tubers and a crab.
Go to the page: Baka children
Go to the page: Rainforest camps and leaf huts
The author:
Music anthropologist and writer, he has carried out field research in central Africa, where he lived with the Baka Pygmies and other forest peoples, whose music, rituals and survival strategies he has been studying for more than a decade.

Baka Pygmy food gathering, with photos and ethnographic notes (Baka Pygmies of Cameroon, Gabon and Congo).

Photos, texts and audio recordings by Luis Devin.
Page URL:

Photos, videos and sounds are available for licensing, both for multimedia use and paper publications. For the terms and conditions, contact the author from the Contact page.

The time in the tropical rainforests of the Western Congo Basin, where the Baka Pygmy people live, is 20:16. Every minute, at least 25 hectares (250.000 m²) of forest are destroyed around the world (source: WWF).

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Copyright © 1998-2024 Luis Devin. All rights reserved.