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Modern manners

Jeremy Clarke discovers how to get on the wrong side of a tribe of pygmies

By Jeremy Clarke   May 1998

When our party of tourists finally arrived at the pygmy village, the headman split us into two groups, strictly according to gender. The women were to stay behind to help prepare the evening meal; the men were enlisted in a hunting expedition. Derisive snorts from some of the pygmy women, who had frankly appraised us-hands on hips -as we marched into their camp, indicated that some of us were not exactly what they would call men.

We of the all-male hunting option trooped through the deep cathedral silence of the rainforest in single file: a motley crew of six nude,…

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