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Biographical Notes

Music anthropologist and writer, Luis Devin studied cultural anthropology at the University of Torino (Italy), graduating with a thesis on the Baka Pygmies of Cameroon. He then earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology, with a thesis on Baka musical instruments. He also got two diplomas in Composition and Choral Music & Choir Conducting at the "Giuseppe Verdi" Conservatory of Music, Turin.

He has been conducting anthropological and ethnomusicological fieldwork in Central Africa since 1998, first as a member of the Italian Ethnological Mission in Equatorial Africa and later as a part of his Ph.D., studying in particular the music and rituals of the Baka and other pygmy groups of the Western Congo Basin (BaKola, Bedzan, BaKoya, etc.). During an expedition in the rainforest of Cameroon, he took part into the male initiation rite that marks the transition to adulthood of the young Baka boys, a secret rite conducted by the Spirit of the Forest and by elderly members of the group. After a week of rituals he was accepted in a Baka patrilinear clan.

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* In the photo: Baka Pygmy arched harp (rainforest of Cameroon).

** The page background is inspired by abstract patterns painted on bark clothes by Mbuti women, in the Ituri rainforest (Mbuti Pygmies of the Northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo). The decorations of the barks, which may refer to the reality of rainforest environment and Pygmy camps without offering a direct representation of them, are carried out with various natural pigments, using flexible sticks, liana cords, small stamps, or simply the fingertips dipped into the color.
Luis Devin - (African Pygmies)       Page URL:       Photos, texts and audio recordings by Luis Devin.
The time in the tropical rainforests of the Western Congo Basin, where the Baka and the other Pygmy peoples live, is 02:11.
Every minute, at least 25 hectares (250.000 m²) of forest are destroyed around the world (source: WWF).