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Colin Turnbull lived among the Pygmies as their friend for three years. He writes about their hunting parties, their nomadic camps, their quarrels and love affairs, their music and their ceremonies. His is a magnificent account of an earthly paradise and of a legendary and utterly delightful people.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780712659574
ISBN-10: 0712659579
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 135mm x 19mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 6-Jan-1994
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


US Kirkus Review » The BaMbuti,?? or the Pygmies of the Ituri?? Forest, thought to be among the oldest inhabitants of Africa, are presented with all the human warmth and observational skill expected from an anthropologist. Mr. Turnbull shows that he not only loves his work, but these forest people as well, supplying the necessary background for the reader to appreciate fully the deeper philosophy of this racially distinct group, while creating an exciting and delightful account of how they live today. With an intimacy gained solely from living with them as a friend, traveling with them from village to forest, joining their hunting groups, participating in their festivals as one of them, he conveys their imperfections and modern problems along with the endearing qualities which the BaMbuti?? evidence in abundance. Stereotyped and false concepts of the Pygmy are quickly dispelled, and the small but powerful people emerge as f??llow men, singular in their ability to live happily with neither fear nor evil, yet with a lasting moral and physical strength. The far reaching concepts of this study are valuable in the field of general human understanding as well as in understanding these people in particular. Even more than informative, this study is fascinating due to the author's ability to tell a good story well. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Colin M. Turnbull

Colin Turnbull is now retired, having held a number of teaching posts at American universities. But he received his university education and anthropological training at Oxford, which confirmed his already strongly humanistic feelings. For him field work was the most important part of his career, and although 'the field' was mainly in East and Central Africa, it was also India and Tibet, and (more recently) Polynesia, where he lived for three years. In the United States he was actively engaged in academic research into the prison system, and did much work on 'death row' in a number of states, as a result of which he emerged more strongly opposed than ever to capital punishment, on both academic and moral grounds. The same kind of concern for humanity shows in much of his writing. He was ordained in India as a full Buddhist monk by the Dalai Lama in1992, although his first contact with Tibetan Buddhism was as far back as 1949. His publications include Lonely African, The Mountain People, Tibet (with Thubten Norbu), and The Human cycle. He divides his time between the monastery of which he is a member in Dharmasala, and the United States.

Books By Author Colin M. Turnbull

Forest People by Colin M. Turnbull

The Forest People

Paperback, October 2015
Mountain People by Colin M. Turnbull

Mountain People

Paperback, January 1987
Tibet by Colin M. Turnbull


Paperback, April 1970