A group of Pygmy musicians were temporarily lodged in a Republlic of Congo zoo while visiting Brazzaville for a music festival. Visitors to the zoo snapped photos as the 22 pygmies collected wood from the zoo forest and cooked their meals. From the Associated Press:
Congolese officials, who invited the band of Pygmy musicians to perform at the Festival of Pan-African Music, or Fespam, said their intention was to place them in a "familiar setting."
"It's not a case of discrimination," said Yvette Lebondzo, the director of arts and culture for the Republic of Congo. "We lodged them in the park near running water and a forest simply because that will remind them of their usual surroundings – which is the forest." Link
Spurred by protests from civil rights groups, the pygmies were moved this weekend to a local school. According to a Reuters article, "All the other musicians playing at the July 8-14 pan-African FESPAM festival were provided with hotel rooms." Link
Interestingly, this isn't the first time that tourists have come to a zoo to see real, live pygmies. Over at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman puts this latest bizarre episode in historical context. In 1906, the Bronx Zoo opened a new exhibit in the monkey house featuring a 22-year-old pygmy named Ota Benga. According to a National Public Radio profile of Benga last year, "it's estimated that 40,000 visitors a day came to see him." Link
to Cryptomundo, Link
to NPR profile
BB reader Chris Zable says, "My first question when I read the item about the pygmies lodged at the zoo instead of a hotel was, has anyone asked THEM what they want?" He found the answer in a BBC report:
"It's not good for men, women and children to all be in this one tent. We need some space," dancer and musician David Motambo told the BBC. "We can't live here where there are so many mosquitoes. Here in the city we can't stay in the forest." Link
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
#1. A-Audio Legacy Noise Cancelling Headphones with 3-Stage Technology The A-Audio Legacy Headphones are the Boing Boing Store’s best seller this month, and it’s easy to see why. With 40mm drivers, powerful circuitry, and memory foam padded circumaural ear cups, these are clearly super high-quality headphones. Plus, the patented 3-Stage Technology lets you toggle between passive […]
Vaping is getting more mainstream by the day, which means there’s been an influx of quality yet affordable vaporizers on the market. We’re particularly excited about the APX Wax Vaporizer Kit, which is an easy-to-use, high-quality vape that works with both dry herbs and waxy concentrates.If you’re a beginner trying to get into vaping, the APX […]
When you’ve had a long day and it’s time to unwind, there’s a lot you can do to relax: drink some tea, take a shower or even read a book. But there’s one thing that’s essential to a comfortable night’s rest—and that’s investing in some really good sheets. Enter Bamboo Bed Sheets. These quality sheets retail for $120, but […]