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Photographer's Note

The 'Batwa' are the indigenous pygmie tribe that live in the hills on the boarder of Uganda, Rwanda and The Congo.

I was staying on Lake Bunyonyi when a guide asked me if I wanted to go and see the market held twice weekly on the other side of the lake. Of course I said yes - something I cursed when I found that it involved a six hour round-trip paddle in a dugout canoe (backbreaking!).

The Batwa come to market to find work. They are by tradition and inclination forest dwellers - they have never cultivated the land like othertribes in the area. They take any job going carrying produce or goods for the other tirbes. They need to eat - since the hunting is poor this is one of their only sources of income.

After a short time with them I felt a great sense of fear for the Batwa's future. Their traditional life is gone - they are wholely unprepared for the modern world (I ws told only one Batwa, a girl, had ever completed school - right now the Ugandan government are building a school for them but getting them to go will be a struggle).

The Batwa won't live in 'modern homes' with corrugated iron roofs - they don't like the sound of the rain striking the sheets of metal. They prefer the reed roofs. When a few were taken to the nearest town, some 12km away, they were shocked by electricity and light-bulbs ('fire in glass' to them).

I think this a beautiful face.

mimi, alford, mauricet, thrudur84 has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by tom gething (khawaaja) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 37 W: 0 N: 247] (1039)
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