The Batwa Community in Uganda | Batwa Pygmies History
The Batwa (formerly known by the pejorative term, pygmies) are believed to have lived in these forests for some 40,000 years. They collected wild fruits and plants, game meat, and wild honey from their surroundings. Since becoming a national park. These activities are now forbidden.
One of their most famous “camps” was the Garama Cave, located in the park. Because the cave remained hidden from people outside the forest. It was once thought to be the hideout of an entire Batwa “kingdom”. Rumors of strange rituals and hidden treasure abounded.
There is no early evidence that the Batwa ever hunted gorillas. Gorilla encounters were rare. But when they did happen, it was a bad omen, and legend has it that all tasks had to be suspended until the next day.
Today the Batwa are a very small part of the surrounding community and are among the poorest of the Park’s neighbors. Most do not own and often work as sharecroppers. Yet, they still possess one of the best understandings of the forest and its rich pharmacopeia.