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The idea behind the creation of the Tradition was with the goal of increasing the Batwa’s earnings through means of employment while at the same time; reduce pressures to forest resources. Buhoma community Rest camp’s Batwa Tradition is a guided hiking/ walking tour (1 ½ – 2 hours) established to provide its visitors a better understanding of the Batwa’s early way of life. It is also an important means of keeping Batwa customs alive in the minds of the Batwa children. It is meant to be enjoyed without distortion or abuse of the Batwa culture. Visitors have the opportunity to experience the Batwa’s way of life. Visitors will be introduced to a Mutwa GUIDE (Pygmy) who will explain various Batwa traditions at each stop.
The Batwa’s first dwelling consisted of caves and buttressed roots of fig and mahogany trees but after leaving the forest they learned to construct temporary huts to live in Because of the government decision to protect the natural environment Batwa were rehabilitated and several NGO”S built corrugated iron roofted houses for them some Batwa however, refused usin g them stating the houses were noisy when it rained and that the noise disturbs their ears.
Batwa clothing was made from bark cloth and animal pelts but upon leaving the forest, factory made apparel g began to be utilized. When deciding to marry. Batwa males paid for their brides by way of flying squirrels and honey from stingless bees. Today’s bride price corresponds to an individuals wealth which can be two to three goats.
Station 1-3. The beginning of Batwa Tradition commences with the Mutwa guide discussing the various types of plants and insects that the Batwa utilized for a variety of reasons such as;
At Station 4, Here visitors learn how the Batwa buried deceased family members using the buttresses of fig trees. There will also be a demonstration on the removal of a wasp nest to illustrate the medicinal benefits of its materials in order to treat various types of burns.
At Station 5, Raphia palm threads are revealed to on lookers with a discussion on their many uses such as the homemade wires created and utilized in animal traps
At Station 6, a demonstration on the use of Fire and collocation pots illustrates to viewers the traditional methods used to hunt and collect honey.
At station 7, Visitors are being welcomed into a traditional homestead by the eldest man of the house along with his singing family. The different shapes and names (Omuririmbo, Akafuha, and Kyamutwara bwashesha) of each structure art this station are all very unique in their uses and meaning. The structures in trees were for the safety of the children while adults went off in search for food.
Tips For walkers;
The Batwa Trail
The Batwa Trail experience is conducted in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, where the group of indigenous Batwa race, used to reside. This nature walk tour introduces visitors to this African tribe’s
life style. Visitors will learn about the Batwa’s cultural heritage during this cultural encounter experience. The funds from this tour are part of a give back program that supports the indigenous people’s cultural heritage by helping them purchase new land, provide education and books.