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The Batwa Speaking People


John Moono

The Batwa Speaking People of Central Africa are an African ethnic group that is among the marginalised and vulnerable ethnic groups in the whole of the African continent. The Batwa Speaking People live on the peripheral of the modern day Africa. The ethnic group is in danger of extincting and list as being among the most vulnerable and endangered ethnic groups. In Zambia, the Batwa Speaking People are found in mainly four locations that is the Lake Mweru Mwantipa and Lake Bangweulu in Luapula Province, Lukanga Swamps in Central Part of Zambia and the Kafue Flats islands in the Southern Province.
The Batwa Speaking People are interesting ethnic group with their origin still mystery. Batwa is the plural form of many people who hail from this ethnic group and a single person from this ethnic group is called a Mutwa.
The Batwa Speaking People are believed to have originated from heaven where they used to dance for God himself. It is believed that they danced vehemently that God got annoyed with them. As a way of punishing them, God cast them out of heaven to the face of the earth. Dancing has been a part of the lifestyle of the Batwa Speaking People. It forms part of how they transmit their culture from generation to generation.
The way of life of the Batwa Speaking People has always centred around hunting and gathering of wild fruits. They have always been good hunters of small animals and gathering wild fruits. Cassava remains their staple food and when the hunting season is not going well for them, they use cassava as a medium of exchange. The perculiar lifestyle of the Batwa Speaking People has seen them to be among the marginalised ethnic groups in Africa. They are discriminated against people the modern day Africa which is emerging from the shackles of colonialism. The failure by modern day Africa to have an identity to be identified with has seen the continent marginalise ethnic groups which still hold of to the cultural values of the yesteryears.
The Batwa are said to be loyalists to their Cultural beliefs and teachings. Chief among their traditional beliefs is that of marriage. Marriage to a non- Mutwa is highly forbidden. They believe in marriage among themselves to prevent the ethnic group from being corrupt. Marriage among the Batwa is arranged by the parents. The parents of a Mutwa would admire good qualities in a Mutwa girl and proceed to meet with the parents of the girl in question. They would proceed to discuss the dowry and the ‘give-away’ night. On the give away night the groom would give gifts to the family of the bride in form of beads, clothes and other necessary items that were discussed during the dowry negotiations.
The Batwa Speaking People of Central Africa have an interesting history about them and living on the peripheral of the modern day Africa remains a dark side of this unique African ethnic group.


Published by MyWritings

A Writer, A Diplomat in Waiting, Climate Change Advocate and a Football Administrator

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