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Congo Rep. Pygmies Sing on New UNESCO CD - 2003-09-01

Pygmies from deep in the forests of central Africa are singing of the hardships and joys of forest life in a new music CD.

The disc, produced with funding from the United Nations cultural body UNESCO, includes 10 tracks by the pygmy band Ndima from the Congo Republic, one of several nations in central Africa where tribes of pygmies cling to their traditional way of life.

The group uses traditional instruments such as animal horns, stretched jungle creepers, wooden hide drums and pipes made from bamboo and tree trunks. They sing about the difficulties of day-to-day life in the bush, but also about the joy of hunting and fishing and their desire to preserve their ancient way of life.

Pygmies often face discrimination and have seen their habitat dwindle as logging companies push deep into the equatorial jungles in search of valuable hardwoods.