People Of the African Rain forest

There are many different ways people in the Rain forest satisfy their basic needs while living there. One of them is shelter. Many groups make the small huts they sleep in by cutting down trees, bending them, and weaving them into a dome-shaped frame.

The many ethnic groups of the African rain forests were lumped together under the name Pygmies by the early white explorers.People of the rain forests are mostly hunter-gatherers, foraging for food instead of growing their own crops. Examples of hunter-gatherers arethe Efe and Ituri who are found in the rain forestsof Zaire. The Efe do their trading with neighboring farmers and tribes. They trade garden tools, andtin pots, for meat, fruit, and vegetables. Tortoises, birds eggs, termites, snails, and caterpillars were other foods that would be collected. Once there was less and less to eat, the tribe would move on.

Children of the Efe tribe have lots of responsibility. Boys will learn to hunt at a young age. Young girls will learn how to fish and gather food, and learn all of the poisonous plants so that they dont eat them.

Other ethinc groups of the African Rain forest are the Baka which is the largest, the BaLese , the BaNgwana , and the Mbuti.

The male's main job is to hunt and bring back food while the females gather firewood andcarry water from a nearby stream. In the evenings everyone gathers together and play instruments and dances around an open fire until late at night.

The Mbuti and the Efe live deep within the tropical forest. They spend part of the year in villages near the edge of the forest to interact with the farming tribes such as the Bantu.

Members of the Efe tribe are very _good archers. They roam the forest searching for food. The ethnic groups of the African rain forest are very short. A grown up woman is the average size of a nine year old. About 45. And the size of a full grown man is about 48

Deforestation is a big threat to the people of the African Rain forest. Their habitat is disappearing faster than it is growing back. Some of the problems are slash and burn, which is when people cut wood or grass and burn it. This is also bad for the environment because it pollutes the atmosphere.Other problems facing the rain forest are cattle ranching, farming, timpber cutting, fuel wood gathering, and resettlement programs.Scientist estimate that these cause 48 species from the rain forest to become extinct everyday!

The population near rain forests are growing very large, very fast. This adds pressure to exploit the remaining rain forests. Also, from all the farming that has bean going on, the soil has been over used, and it is no longer good for farming. This is because all the nutrients in the soil has been used too much already.

The rate of deforestation is amazing. About ninety acres of rain forest, or seventy football fields, vanish every minute. Also, in one year, all of the little bits of destroyed rain forest adds up to an area the size of the state of Nebraska. It is hard to imagine that all this damage could happen in so little time. Imagine how much damage has been caused since 1950, thats when deforestation began in earnest.

Deforestation can lead to many bad things. Some off them are dry cracked plains, the loss of MANY species, soil erosion, effects to climate every where, exploited trees and plant life, and this could change our ways of living forever.

Many things come from the rain forest that you might not have known do. Some of them are lumber, some honey's, medicine, some meats (including McDonald's meat) fire wood, timber, latex, camphor, dyes, resins, oils, lubricants, rice ,yams, sugar cane, pineapples, bananas, some drugs, coffee, palm hearts, nuts, chocolate, straws, rubber, and all kinds offoods.

Some of the most abundant products are lumber, medicines, coffee, chocolate, and bananas. One of the medicines which comes from the rain forest is made from a plant grown on Madagascar called The Periwinkle. It helps to fight the disease Leukemia. Scientists believe that they might even find a cure for AIDS from the products which come from the rain forest.

Some of the things that you and I could do to help save the rain forest is to help fight for harder laws against slash and burn, cattle ranching, timber cutting, shifting cultivations, fuel wood gathering, and resettlement programs. To make the rain forest unavailable to the public so that the plants and animals can become more prosperous, and make stronger laws against smuggling animals out of it. We could boycott more products which came from the rain forest as well.

Written by Marjorie, David, Julia, and Cyrus


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