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Pygmies at US World's Fair in 1904, not 1907?Edit

The "Systematic discrimination" section of this article mentions that pygmies were displayed at a World's Fair in the United States in 1907. It has a citation (a website), but I don't think it's correct. The US World's Fair in 1907 seems to have been the Jamestown_Exposition, and there's nothing in there or elsewhere online about the exhibition of African pygmies. I think this is probably a mistaken reference to the 1904 World's Fair, where Ota Benga and other Africans were displayed in an exhibition. Ota Benga was also later displayed in the Bronx Zoo in 1906, which is also alluded to in that section. So I suggest updating the section to instead mention the very well-documented 1904 World's Fair, and have a wikilinked reference to the Ota Benga article. --2404:130:0:1000:2D8D:6456:24FC:8A10 (talk) 05:17, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

Wikiproject Traditional MedicineEdit

Wikiproject traditional medicine needs your help getting started. Currently there is no page for traditional Pgymy medicine, nor are medicines mentioned on the pygmy peoples page; such a page would be an excellent place to mention the alleged anti addictive properties of Ibogaine, or any of the other alleged properties of organisms and minerals traditionally used in Pygmy medicine. The projects goal is to create a pharmacopoeia that oover's the traditional medicines of all civilizations, to educate the world on the multi cultural anthropology of medicine. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CensoredScribe (talkcontribs) 00:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)


So are pygmies in the same league of intelligence as the rest of humanity? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:50, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Tough question. Surprised it hasn't caused a racial flamewar with major trolling yet. REST OF HUMANITY, YOU ASK? Humanity doesn't exactly have the same league of intelligence across the board, fyi, although the nature vs. nurture aspect of it is nowhere near conclusive. Asians appear to have the highest IQs but a very narrow dispersion (more 100-120s), Europeans ("white", "caucasians") have a lower average but significantly wider dispersion (more 140s, but also more 60s), and blacks, native americans, and hispanics have the lowest averages AS TESTED (which doesn't really show anything whatsoever, since Africa and South America have the most dismal education systems and the worst childhood nutrition on the planet; hence, it is unclear what IQ ranges they would show with quality nutrition and decent early education).

So, you cannot really compare anyone to the 'rest of humanity', since there aren't reliable data on what intelligence said humanity has. The only two things we DO know about intelligence are that a) good nutrition and decent basic education boost average IQ a lot, b) conformist and guilt societies achieve higher averages but narrower spreads than more independent-minded individualistic societies, which get a more-Nobel-laureates-but-also-more-utter-idiots tradeoff. Aadieu (talk) 18:27, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Excellent answer from Aadieu; I only add that IQ-tests are also critisized as they tend to overevaluate a narrow defintion of 'intelligence' and that malnutrition can even affect the offspring generations later via epigenetics. That means that after a famine of an ancestor even the great-grandchildren could still be slightly impaired. Combine that with 'ethnogeographic' theories like those of Jared Diamond and the effects of colonialism and still on-going hidden neocolonialism and you can see that it's really quite senseless to measure 'intelligence' on such an unfair basis. Alexander Illi (talk) 23:38, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Not to mention that the racist reasoning "they're not as intelligent as us, they don't deserve to be respected and treated well" is quite odious. Even if they were somehow innately (on an absolute genetical basis) less intelligent, that would make them effectively disabled and the racist additionally ableist. Civilised people don't mistreat disabled people just because they can. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:15, 4 June 2015 (UTC)

Citation, but not usefulEdit

A commonly held view [citation needed] is that African Pygmies are the direct descendents of the Late Stone Age hunter-gatherer peoples of the central African rainforest...

Here's your citation, but it doesn't exactly perform the role the original author wanted the citation to perform. (talk) 19:49, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


Someone erased the portion about African pygmies with the word "weird." I restored it to the previous version. (talk) 22:13, 7 January 2008 (UTC)


Under Origins, what is "honey-related"? --Gadget850 ( Ed) 18:34, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Related to honey or the collecting of honey: presumably species of honey-producing bees, types of honey, places honey is found, how it is collected. kwami 15:05, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Sounds like Day of the Drones. I think you clarified it now. --Gadget850 ( Ed) 15:58, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


Should someone mention this in the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Platinum inc (talkcontribs) 17:21, 16 October 2007 (UTC)


This section seems o be self contradictory: "...they are related to Africans..." and "...more closely related to the surrounding Asian population...". I think it's trying to say there's a distinction from Africans, but it's unclear, and the section is a stub anyway. Leushenko (talk) 19:47, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps the phrasing was not clear. The article says they migrated from Africa about 60,000 years ago, making them perhaps some of the earlist emigrants from Africa to settle Asia, and hence further genetically to current Africans than other Asians - who arrived from Africa later. --Ezeu (talk) 20:00, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Australian "Pygmies"Edit

The claim that Australian pygmy's are not a relict of a previous wave of migration is supported by a link which is polemic in nature. There is legitimate scientific evidence that they may be a relict from a previous wave of migration and that debate should be acknowledged. (talk) 21:14, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

They were not "driven to extinction in the 1960s". The article referred to does not say this. It claims that the concept of the Australian "pygmies", usually called "negritos", was abandoned for political reasons. There are Australian "negritos" still living, although many have interbred with other tribes and with whites. They were certainly not driven to extinction, and this claim should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

but they were... it would be revisionistic to not say so. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:08, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

better map pleaseEdit

current map has very nice detail, but you can't see the political geopgraphy or the context in terms of rest of African continent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:56, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Why would you need to? kwami (talk) 23:57, 10 April 2009 (UTC) put information in context? Seriously, that you would not even understand this, just underscores how bad the typical Wikipedian is as an editor. (talk) 12:34, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
It is in context. It's under the section heading 'African pygmies'. I think any normal reader would understand from that that the map is of Africa. kwami (talk) 07:57, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Provenance of imageEdit

I'm a bit concerned about the provenance of the image used on this page. It's listed as being from a 1921 cyclopedia, but is supposed to be of Professor K. G. Murphy, who wasn't born until 1908 - which would have made him at best 13 when the image was taken. He clearly isn't 13 in that image.

Professor Murphy was active in the Congo during the 1930s, and his style of dress in the image is in keeping with that period. I suspect the image has been mis-dated - in which case it may still be in copyright. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:59, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Pygmies of South AmericaEdit

The article briefly mentions pygmies in Brazil and Bolivia, but says nothing more about them. Can anybody add anything? —MiguelMunoz (talk) 07:46, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

In the case of Bolivia, it's an error in the source article in Time magazine, there are no known ethnicities in Bolivia measuring under 5 ft tall on average. But it's kind hard to prove a negative, so it will probably stay on there for about twenty years. Isn't wikipedia great?


Forest People?Edit

I read elsewhere (I don't have a reference) that pygmies around the world tend to be forest people. Is this true and does anyone have a reference? If so, it would be worthwhile to say so in the article. That may be the factor that produces convergent evolution.—MiguelMunoz (talk) 07:51, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that's a common theory, at least for Africa. kwami (talk) 07:55, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Also isolation on islands could lead to reduced body size (e.g. the Andamanese, possibly Aeta...; also compare: extinct dwarf-forms of mammoths and elephants and many other animals have been found on diverse islands)
Plenty speculation possible, also the other way round, e.g.: - since they were smaller than the others, they could possibly have been driven off into the forests, mountaineous, recluded areas
Alex Illi (talk) 22:51, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Homo sapiens?Edit

Are these people of the Homo sapiens species, or do they belong to a different species of the genus Homo, like Homo floresiensis? (talk) 08:26, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

All humans are the same subspecies, H. sapiens sapiens. Genetic studies show African pygmies don't even have a single origin. kwami (talk) 10:18, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

The person who first asked the question don't seem to understand the species concept. All humans alive today belong to the same species (Homo sapiens). To me Pygmies are just a population of very short humans. They look like any Africans except being shorter on average than they neibours. They may also have lighter and more yellowish skin. The physical differences between present-day humans are very small compared to the differences between the human species living at different times. Homo floresiensis was not comparable to modern Pygmies. Members of this species where about 2/3 as tall as present Pygmy peoples. More important, the anatomy of their heads where quite unlike any humans during historic times. The heads of Homo floresiensis was most similar to those of Homo erectus which is thought to have evolved into them.

2010-12-15 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

OF COURSE Homo sapiens, many fertile babies have been born from relationships between 'pygmies' and other human beings.
Alexander Illi (talk) 23:23, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
That means nothing. Dogs and wolves produce successful offspring, but are considered separate species. Chihuahuas and Great Danes, to my knowledge, do not create successful offspring, despite being the same species. Having a single genetic origin, (as referenced above) also wouldn't determine it, as modern h Sapiens itself contains genetic admixture from other species, eg, Neanderthals and Denisovans, and yet humans are considered a species. Ultimately, Pymgmies are considered human because they can think and feel and love and suffer, just like everyone else. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:50, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
At the risk of being pedantic, species other than humans can "think and feel and love and suffer". (Which in no way lends any credence to the ridiculous idea that Pygmies aren't human.) The lead paragraph of Human summarizes the unique defining characteristics of the species, I think. Rivertorch (talk) 17:03, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Recent mergeEdit

I just merged in a large block of text from an inappropriately titled article that was up for deletion, as it seemed reasonably well sourced. It would be best if an interested editor merged and distributed the text more skillfully.—Kww(talk) 15:20, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Life ExpectancyEdit

According to this:

Pygmies have exceptionally short life expectancy. (16-24 years on average, though I assume this varies between pygmy groups). The article suggests that this might explain their small size. I thought it worth mentioning that they die so young, even if the theory is controversial, but I have no idea how to go about including this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:14, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, I guess that's about the average life expectancy of all groups living under harsh natural conditions (tropical rainforests, deserts, small islands etc.) without much civilisation (meaning outward-material-technical standard) protecting them, due mainly to extremely high infant mortality rates. From the site :
"The often childlike Andamanese faces lead most observers to underestimate their age, sometimes grossly so. The Andamanese themselves have never had and still do not have any sense of the passing of time, do not count years and are indifferent to their own age. Males are reported to mature at 15, attain full growth at 18, marry at 26 and live to an old age at around 55 to 65. Of the Onges in the 1950s it has been reported that none reached an age above 60, that they were old by 45 and that most died before age 50. The menopause of the women sets in at age 38. Estimates on the average life expectancy vary greatly, starting at 22 and peaking in the mid-thirties. Women married a few years younger than the men but lived longer. The child-bearing years lasted from 16 to 35 and children were not generally weaned before age 3 or 4." Alexander Illi (talk) 23:17, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Note Life expectancy#Life expectancy vs. life span. There's nothing unusual about a life expectancy at birth of 16–24 in a pre-modern society. The figure doesn't indicate a typical life-span.
By the way, the observation about the "childlike faces" in the above quote makes me wonder if the short stature of pygmy peoples could not be interpreted as neoteny. It certainly doesn't mean that early humans were necessarily that short. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 06:53, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
The statistical claim does seem to be generally accepted by researchers - here's a research report that refers to other documents, but doesn't give clickable links in the reference list: (PNAS: open access pdf); and it suggests that factors such as food shortages, forest diseases and other dangers might contribute to the low life expectancy. The content of this Wikipedia article indicates another obvious factor for short life expectancy: death by European colonialism up to mid-XXth century and by local racism/torture/genocide through to the first few decades of the XXIst century (i.e. now 19:26, 22 January 2018 (UTC)). Boud (talk) 19:26, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Systematic discrimination -- Needs Work!Edit

Right now it's a huge wall of text that scares off the reader. It needs paragraph breaks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:38, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Also contains factual errors: "Belgium colonial authorities captured and exported Pygmy children to zoos throughout Europe, including the world's fair in the United States in 1907." That's a neat trick considering there was no Belgian Congo in 1907. Not saying it didn't happen at all, however, it was most certainly not "Belgium colonial authorities" as Congo was still a free state at that time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:08, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

forget the belgian congo, how about the idea that the US world's fair was...a ZOO IN EUROPE!
who knew?! (talk) 20:34, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

What is the name of the Ethiopian pygmy tribe?Edit

What is the name of the Ethiopian pygmy tribe? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Duozopt (talkcontribs) 14:04, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

All I can find so far is in scare quotes: "the 'Sogenannten' Ethiopian Pygmoids". Addressed in Cavalli-Sforza (1986), but I don't have access. — kwami (talk) 19:25, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

"Sogenannten" is not a tribe name. It means "so-called." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:34, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes. Thus the scare quotes. — kwami (talk) 16:59, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Too wide a definition?Edit

Is not the definition of Pygmy peoples a little too wide? To me all dark-skinned, short peoples don't appear to form a natural group. I would only use the word Pygmy about those indigenous to Africa. These look like Black Africans except being much shorter on average. The may also have lighter, more yellowish skins. The short, dark-skinned peoples of South-East Asia I would call Negritos. (If it sounds too much like Negro the Malay term orang asli may be preferred.) They may look a bit African but their head shape is usually more similar to other East Asians. They are not quite as short as African Pygmies either. However, the most important difference is that the ancestors of the Negritos have lived in Asia for tenmillenia. Most likely they are direct descendants of the first anatomically modern humans in South-East Asia. It is also worth noting that the majority of South-East Asians today mostly descend from southern China and especially Taiwan. This island was the home of the Proto-Austronesians.

The “Pygmies” in New Guinea, Australia and South America are even less related to the African Pygmies. They are probably only tribes – or groups of tribes – which are shorter than their neighbours. If so they are just unusually short Papuans, Aborigines or Native Americans. To call these Pygmies would at best be at best misleading and at worst racist. Pleas note that races as genetically homogeneous, sharply bordered groups does not exist. What exist are genetically heterogeneous populations which gradually blend into each other. Refusing to accept variation within populations is racist to me. So is classifying a group of people as a biologically separate entity based on just a couple of traits. Empirical evidence simply don't support such ideas.

2010-11-13 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

I agree. This definition is too wide. The sources that talk about Pygmy people refer to African groups. --Maulucioni (talk) 15:01, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Olde Photographe: "European Explorer" hugging and showing off the pygmiesEdit

First of all I'ld throw out the picture of "Professor K. G. Murphy" putting pressure on these pygmies, as they obviously don't like it (body language). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:31, 13 May 2011 (UTC) oops, unsigned...Alex Illi (talk) 22:39, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Pygmy ReligionEdit

What are the religious beliefs of Pygmies?--Splashen (talk) 05:03, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

Baka religion is animist, they worship a forest spirit known as Jengi. (See also [1]) --Maulucioni (talk) 15:06, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Note that some pygmy tribes are claimed to (gasp) have not had any religious beliefs at all. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 07:23, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request 20 July 2011Edit


I saw an article today in the journal, Science Daily, which is entitled, "Ancestors of African Pygmies and Neighboring Farmers Separated Around 60,000 Years Ago." The article can be found here: I just thought that the information contained in the article might be a nice addition to your page and certainly a good reference source.

Thank you! (talk) 05:30, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

  Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. Jnorton7558 (talk) 03:35, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

External links (update needed?) Reference to original film.Edit

The external link: Undated footage of Pygmy tribe constructing a vine bridge is a clip from African Pigmy Thrills (Castle Films): -- which includes this in the description: Footage from this subject is available for licensing from -- An ad for the original is ostensibly dated: Castle Films African Pygmy Thrills Movie (1942). Note however, the '42 ad includes "...FAMOUS CASTLE ADVENTURE MOVIES YOU CAN OWN!", implying ("famous") that it had been previously released (other sources date it as c.1930). Perhaps a more accurate attribution is in order? Note also that the original title is African Pigmy [sic] Thrills! The following is probably a better source: ~Eric F (talk) 22:27, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 11 April 2012Edit

OK, so the whole article needs re-working and citations added and stuff. Particularly the "Systematic discrimination" needs a lot of work. The website at does not appear to be a wonderful source, lacking in-line references. Yet it is used for three or four references.

So, my main request is to add one of those "please help fix this article up" templates at the top of the page. (talk) 18:06, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

  Not done for now: The {{Cleanup}} template is probably what you're referring to. However, that template is usually most productively used when there's ongoing discussion about improvements to the article. Drive-by tagging is usually not too helpful to get things cleaned up. If you have specific ideas for how the article can be improved, feel free to re-enable the requested edit template and list them! Thanks!   — Jess· Δ 01:27, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

WHY DON'T YOU ASK THE REAL PEOPLE CONCERNED DIRECTLY? --> / They could provide a much clearer picture than any of us "outsiders" and would be glad to assist. (please add also the link to the orig. wiki references) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:11, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Cameroon and demographics of Cameroon articlesEdit

I have made one small effort (2 details, one link) to improve the former but the latter needs even more help from an editor working on this article.

G. Robert Shiplett 20:41, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Major ethic groups?Edit

see Africa/Relationship with other Africans/Slavery, it refers to Pygmies as 2% of the DRCs population and also a 'major ethnic group.' — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:58, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

They're culturally important, though not numerically so. Better wording is needed. — kwami (talk) 01:06, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Edit Request: Identify Pygmies As HumansEdit

Please change the first sentence, "Pygmy is a term used for various ethnic groups worldwide whose average height is unusually short; anthropologists define pygmy as any group whose adult men grow to less than 150 cm (59 inches) in average height," to "Pygmy is a term used for various human ethnic groups worldwide whose average height is unusually short; anthropologists define pygmy as any group whose adult men grow to less than 150 cm (59 inches) in average height" (without the emphasis). It needs to be clarified early on that pygmies are of the same species, indeed the same sub species, as other people, due to some popular misconception (of which some of the consequences are delineated later in the article). (talk) 11:04, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

ethnic groups is implied as only humans have ethnic groups.--Inayity (talk) 11:37, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure that's true. (talk) 02:40, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure that in saying, in effect, "BTW, they're not monkeys", the cure wouldn't be worse than the disease. — kwami (talk) 01:24, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I've considered this as well. That's why I proposed the mere insertion of the word "human" rather than a full separate sentence explaining that despite some popular misconception, pygmies are humans.
At this point it might be better to educate on this than be afraid of drawing attention to it. (talk) 02:40, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
  Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Discussion on the point can continue without the edit request being left open. My two cents: there is one extant human species, which has no subspecies, and I don't see a pressing need to specify in the lede that pygmy people are humans—a fact that should be obvious to anyone with sufficient intelligence and education to read the article. Granted, there might be a few readers whose minds are so poisoned by prejudice that they don't think pygmies are humans, but I find it hard to believe that even the most careful wording on our part will enlighten them. Rivertorch (talk) 10:52, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
This is a good discussion, so I'm re-opening the edit request. Wikipedia is supposed to be a reference source, the purpose of which is to educate people who may avail themselves of it. You should read the article in full; pygmies are targeted for ethnic cleansing because there is much popular perception that they are not human. Also, look at the talk page and archives of it; readers have asked if pygmies are homo sapiens several times before there. Finally, the human species does have a subspecies: Homo sapiens sapiens. (talk) 11:34, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Of course you're right. I should have said that there's one extant human subspecies of which no further taxonomical refinement is possible. Thanks for the correction! Fwiw, I have read the article in full and was already aware of the misperception. Let's see what others think. Rivertorch (talk) 18:35, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. And if I end up being alone on this, then by all means please do close the request. (talk) 01:10, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
It is as if you were speaking about some Ethiopian tribes, and someone asked if, because of their being so tall, they are or not human beings. It is a lot of ignorance.--Maulucioni (talk) 18:45, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but ignorance that exists nonetheless. (talk) 22:44, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I've marked the edit request as answered. This is an ongoing content discussion and is outwidth the 'uncontroversial changes' of the edit request system. If the IP would still like to get further input into their suggested changes, then WP:3O is the next option. Pol430 talk to me 23:00, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

There's a good conversation still going on here, so I'm going to reopen the request. If it stays dead for a couple of of days it can be closed. (talk) 22:46, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Consensus seems to be skewing against your proposed change, but very well. My two-cents: I agree with Inayity and kwami that the addition of 'human' is unnecessary because it is implied in the existing sentence -- in my opinion. Moreover, I find the proposed wording patronizing, as a reader of the article and if I were a pygmy, I should think I would find such a caveat borderline racist, or insulting at best. Pol430 talk to me 19:23, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
  Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Once you have established a consensus, feel free to reopen the request. Reopening the request again before a consensus has been established would be disruptive. Thanks you. -Nathan Johnson (talk) 17:02, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree that the edit suggested wasn't appropriate but I have a different suggestion. In the article pygmy is used as a noun, as in "African pygmies live in several ethnic groups", and an adjective, as in "pygmy peoples". It is also, I think, being used as a noun meaning "pygmy group", as in "the Pygmy have always been viewed". Why not change "Pygmy is a term used for various ethnic groups worldwide" to "Pygmy is a term used for people from various ethnic groups worldwide"? Thincat (talk) 17:52, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Because we don't say that within an ethnicity, some people are pygmies and others aren't. But the existing sentence doesn't make sense either. — kwami (talk) 21:31, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I did some general copy editing improvements, such as the confusion between people and ethnicity, that may have addressed your concerns. — kwami (talk) 21:49, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. Just reading it, that is a lot more satisfactory. Unfortunately I have no knowledge of the subject so I cannot comment critically. Thincat (talk) 22:08, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

  Question: So can the edit semi protected template be marked as answered? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 03:44, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

The third time's the charm. Rivertorch (talk) 06:36, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
It's been a couple of days since anyone has discussed the issue, so I'm fine if it's closed at this point. (talk) 06:33, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
  Partly done: Per discussion Vacation9 23:23, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Pointless reverting does not helpEdit

"The best-known pygmy peoples are the Aka, Efé and Mbuti of Central Africa" The sentence is a problem. What does it mean? Clearly a problem fix it and stop pointless reverting. The lead should discuss the pygmy people and who go by that name. It is not only the Aka and Efe that are the best known? Known to who? Is it a [citation needed] NO!. As far as I know the Baka are the ones you always see on TV. either way the sentence can be improved to be more functional. "best known" very strange to challenge this Pygmie people The correct configuration is to say the term is commonly applied to people of C Africa, and then give some examples. Hence the word "Such As list". Only collaboration develops a page. --Inayity (talk) 08:47, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

"Citation needed" isn't used because you don't understand the sentence. There are clarification tags for that, though one is hardly needed here. Your suggestion is may be an improvement, but it has nothing to do with citations. — kwami (talk) 09:20, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
First thing respect other peoples contributions. use the talk page first -I am not a fly by Ip editor. I made an improvement You reverted it. It comes across as arrogant and disrespectful to my contributions. Clearly you do not have to revert everything as it is a minor issue easily fixed (which I am trying to do). you could have just discussed it and then made a plan. The fact is needed as it is not clear who is making this profound statement. I fully understand the sentence and what it is trying to say, so discuss the improvements. I have searched up and down for the first usage of the term (as applied to C Africa, and it is not an obvious fact). So yes the Citation is needed on Large BIG statements. --Inayity (talk) 09:23, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
To ensure that all Wikipedia content is verifiable, anyone may question an un-cited claim by inserting a [citation needed], [citation needed], or [citation needed] tag.If someone tagged your contributions with "Citation needed" and you disagree, discuss the matter on the article's discussion page(wiki rules).
You said you tagged it because you didn't understand it, which is not what the tag is for. — kwami (talk) 10:10, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Edit Request: change "forest habitat" to forest homeland.Edit

because in a section on systematic discrimination (that covers how they were abducted and put in zoos, no less!), "habitat" implies animal too strongly for comfort. Angel (talk) 07:50, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

  Done. Rivertorch (talk) 15:16, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 July 2014Edit

Simple grammar change:

2nd sentence: "Other anthropologists do not agree to group peoples based on stature as height is neither an accurate reflection of culture nor genetics."
Change to: "Other anthropologists do not agree that to group peoples based on physical stature is an accurate reflection of culture or genetics"
OR "Other anthropologists have expressed that to group peoples based on physical stature is neither an accurate reflection of culture nor genetics

Bungeloe (talk) 22:41, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

  Done - Arjayay (talk) 07:59, 9 July 2014 (UTC)


I have removed the following text from the Slavery section (which was retitled Slavery/Coustum) as being unreferenced POV-pushing:

The relationship between pygmies and their master bantu cannot be defined as a slavery. Sociologicaly speaking, bantu people and pygmy are citizens of the same country who have a relation that is defined by the types of service that they provide to each other. Pygmies work in the forest where they get their ressources for living on a daily basis. Because there is not a maket in bantu towns, the only person who buy their products is a muntu who is close to them. The pygmies go hunting, fishing, and looking products in the forest in order to sell to the bantu. Bantu people also go to the forest to get what they need for living, but pygmy is more often in the forest than bantu. Nobody forces pygmies to go to the forest or work for them. It is their own will, their syle of living, "Forest is mother and father" for bantu and pygmies people. There are not companies to produce food, clothing, money, water, etc. Everything is gotten in the forest. So the relationship of pygmies and bantu is based on services that they share. But pygmies are not forced never to serve bantu as a slave does for his master. There are some regulations in their relationship due to their coustum. For example, bantu cannot have sex with pygmies. It is a shame. Why? This is a policy that has established to regulated their cultural environment. This policy is plural, and it is understood by both parties. It views by foreign people as a discrimination.

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Genetics for ethnic groups RfCEdit

For editors interested, there's an RfC currently being held: Should sections on genetics be removed from pages on ethnic groups?. As this will almost certainly result in the removal of the "Genetic evidence for origins" section from this article, I'd encourage any contributors to voice their opinions there. --Katangais (talk) 20:04, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

physical change?Edit

the article makes clear that large percentages have been killed off, but is there also some percentage that have taller offspring now that they are living in cities and eating more varied diets?

if the condition is at root a vitamin D deficiency or somesuch, wouldn't they grow to "standard" height in 2-3 generations?

other races seem to be growing an inch or two per generation; is there some comparable number -- "5-6 inches", say -- for modern pygmies? (talk) 04:10, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

yeah, article doesn't give ONE PEEP about whether it's a "temporary" or "permanent" condition. how much is nature (DNA of pygmy forebears) vs how much is nuture (environment during maturation for the lone indiv in question)? (talk) 05:32, 18 June 2016 (UTC)


The article refers to someone named "Seshardi". It should be "Seshadri". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grammar police and thieves (talkcontribs) 01:52, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

I'd just fix it, but the AU paper cited in the reference gives two different spellings, "Seshadri" and "Sheshadri". It looks as if it is "-adri", at any rate, but with one 'h' or two? Googling is no help. (Apparently both spellings are valid, and it's hard to tell what person is the one we're after.) Perhaps the relevant individual will see this someday and contact OTRS. In the meantime, I'm loath to leave it as is but am reluctant to change it to something that may also be wrong. RivertorchFIREWATER 06:44, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Page move of this article to Pygmy declined - please discussEdit

Hi all,
I have declined a request that this page be moved to Pygmy. My rationale for this was simply that had not been discussed on the article talk page, and so did not meet the "it is holding up a page move that is non-controversial or consensual, for instance reversing a redirect, or removing a disambiguation page that only points to a single link" WP:G6 criterion.
Pete AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 08:29, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

I would not favour a move to Pygmy given the pejorative connotations of that term ("used figuratively to denote intellectual inferiority" according to the Concise Oxford). Awien (talk) 17:22, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

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Add a List of Famous Pygmy PeopleEdit

Add a List of Famous Pygmy People. Jidanni (talk) 16:47, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

If you know of notable ones (i.e., those who have Wikipedia articles), why not add them yourself? RivertorchFIREWATER 03:47, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Australian Pygmies againEdit

This is very confusing; how is it that these people were supposedly documented in the mid 20th century but also supposedly didn't actually exist? The current revision is not very helpful. It says "The belief that there were pygmy people in northern Queensland.... This theory has become known as the Barrinean hypothesis and the Trihybrid Model of migration...." It appears to be saying that Birdsell's Trihybrid Model is a theory about the existence of pygmies in Queensland! It then cites various authorities against this model, which is all tangential to the article. Only one citation seems to actually address whether the aboriginal people of that part of Queensland were distinctively short, the article "Who we should recognise as First Australians in the constitution?", in which there is a single relevant sentence which cites "The Extinction of Rigour: A Comment on 'The Extinction of the Australian Pygmies' by Keith Windschuttle and Tim Gillin". I don't have access to that article - what does it actually say? It would also be nice to know what Tinsdale and Birdsell originally said rather than a second-hand account in a popular article.

The current revision quotes McAllister's book as saying "Barrinean people are not an outpost of Pygmonia". This needs some context - what the heck does Pygmonia mean? I could only find a blurb for the book, which says "A recent chapter in the history wars has returned a colonial-era mystery to the limelight- the existence of several tribes of Pygmy Aboriginal peoples in the Cairns and Yarrabah Peninsula regions in Queensland. Despite a general belief in their extinction, their descendants still live around Cairns, as archaeologist Peter McAllister found on a recent research trip". This makes it sound like he thinks they *were* 'pygmies'. Megalophias (talk) 03:03, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

If there were pygmy people in northern Queensland "From the 1940s until the 1960s" as Windschuttle and Gillin assert in their famous article, what is the historical, biological and linguistic origin of these people? Windschuttle and Gillin predominantly draw on the ethnographic observations of Birdsell. Birdsell bases these observations on a theory of migration which he developed known as Trihybrid Model to explain the three waves of migration to the Australian continent with. Therefore Birdsell's Trihybrid Model is indeed a theory about the existence of pygmies in Queensland. All of the archaeological, linguistic and anthropological evidence does not support this theory. Therefore what was posited to have been pygmy people in northern Queensland from the 1940s until the 1960s were not actually in any biological sense pygmy people because there is no evidence of pygmy people ever being an indigenous people of Australia. The article The Extinction of Rigour: A Comment on 'The Extinction of the Australian Pygmies' by Keith Windschuttle and Tim Gillin by leading Australian archaeologists Michael Westaway and Peter Hiscock systematically go through the ethnographic and biological analysis of Windschuttle and Gillin. A few specific extracts:
  • One of the primary criteria for obtaining pygmy status in the modern world is short stature. Windschuttle and Gillin do not define what they mean by a pygmy and, in the absence of a specific definition, the classical anthropological definition proposed by E Schmidt in 1905, must apply by default. Schmidt defined pygmies as populations for whom average male stature is 150cm or less and average female stature 140cm or less. Windschuttle and Gillin would indeed seem to be aware of this definition as they go to the trouble of claiming that most of the adult males around Kuranda and Cairns measured by Birdsell stood between 140 and 150 centimetres tall. This is a poor reading of the biological data collected by Birdsell. The average stature reported by Birdsell for males is in fact 155cm in Cairns and 159cm at Kuranda. Stature for females is not reported. These people were rather short, but in the absence of an extended justification they are too tall to be classified as pygmies. (pages 142-143)
  • Windschuttle and Gillin follow Birdsell in claiming that evidence from the archaeological record supports the existence of a founding Negrito population. They argue that the gracile skeletal remains from Lake Mungo in the Willandra Lakes were most likely those of the smaller, more slender Negritos. However, biological anthropologists, including Birdsell, have failed to identify any diagnostically Negrito characteristics in the human fossil record from Lake Mungo or, indeed, any other part of Australia. It certainly does not appear that these individuals were small in stature, which is the only means of identifying a pygmy population in human palaeontology. (page 143)
  • The initial study of Queensland crania by Larnach and Macintosh, who observed the frequency of anatomical traits of either metrical or nonmetric definition, formally demonstrated that the 12 Cairns rainforest crania available to their study could not be coherently distinguished from other Queensland crania. The crania certainly did not indicate that there was any ‘Oceanic Negrito’ component in their cranial form.12 Subsequent craniological research in Queensland incorporating metric data has been consistent with the results of Macintosh and Larnach. There are subtle differences between different geographical regions in Queensland, the most distinct being amongst the Aboriginal people of the Keppel Islands who were semiisolated by 14 km of sea and underwent slight microevolutionary change. Slight variation in skeletal form is expected in indigenous populations spread over large areas of distance and geography. (page 144)
  • The trihybrid model developed by Birdsell had its origins in the once commonly held view that there had been ‘pure races’ who had migrated across the globe including to Australia, and that the variation in today’s populations is due to admixture. Birdsell claimed that the first ‘race’ to inhabit Australia was of Oceanic Negrito stock, the descendents of whom could be seen in Tasmania and the rainforest areas at Kuranda and Cairns at the time of European contact. This model does not correspond with any of the information from the human fossil record. As we have explained there are no fossil skeletons of pygmies and the earliest skeletons yet found were tall people. (page 146)
  • Windschuttle and Gillin have engaged in a fanciful and ultimately superficial discussion of Australia’s past. Instead of developing a solid understanding of the evidence and analytical techniques that archaeologists and biological anthropologists have employed to describe the history of human occupation in Australia they have concentrated on interpretations that are decades out of date and have resorted to the bizarre conspiracy theory that ‘the fact that the Australian pygmies have been so thoroughly expunged from public memory suggests an indecent concurrence between scholarly and political interests’.20 The reason that pygmies are not discussed in models of human colonisation of Australia is that a separate group of pygmies never existed here. This is not a political statement but a scientific one, based on the absence of any biological data available for a pygmy population living in Australia, the skeletal evidence for population continuity throughout Australian prehistory and the archaeological evidence for cultural adjustment to climatic change rather than cultural replacements. It is essential in science that testable hypotheses stand the rigour of peer review. The trihybrid model does not correspond with the available data and therefore has been replaced by those models that convincingly address and accurately incorporate the archaeological and biological data.(pages 146-147)
  • Also, I would recommend reading McAllister's book, rather than a blurb likely written by the publishing company, in which he concurs that there is no evidence that the Barrinean people are descendants of pygmy people.
  • There should now be an onus of proof to counter the wealth of analysis provided to explain the origins of pygmy people in northern Queensland aside from drawing on the non-peer reviewed and inherently politicised article by Windschuttle and Gillin.Jacarandacounsel (talk) 03:60, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
You don't need to know anyone's biological, linguistic, and historical origin for them to exist! This is what I am objecting to, the whole section is going on about Birdsell's theory about why there are short-statured people in the Australian rainforest and saying very little about the actual people themselves.
So, they were rather short, but not short enough to count as pygmies by the usual standard. Presumably they were shorter on average than neighbouring Aboriginal people? This seems straightforward enough, why not put it in the article so we actually know what the basis of the whole Negrito claim was in the first place?
I do not have McAllister's book, nor is there so much as a Google Books preview available. No one should have to read the book in order to understand what the quote you put in actually means, otherwise what's the point of including it at all? I did find a paper, McAllister et al (2013), "The Australian Barrineans and Their Relationship to Southeast Asian Negritos: An Investigation using Mitochondrial Genomics", which finds they are related to other Aboriginal people and not any closer to Negritos. They say: "Tindale and Birdsell (1940), after taking anthropometric measurements and oral history from some 600–700 people at two FNQ missions, Yarrabah and Mona Mona, confirmed that the “pygmy” Aboriginal people there were indeed marked by much shorter stature than other Aboriginal people and by features such as lighter (though still black) skin and “frizzly” [sic] hair.... [Craniometric and blood group] evidence has led most researchers to abandon Birdsell and Tindale’s Barrinean classification in favor of a shared Aboriginal Australian origin for the FNQ and Tasmanian rainforest populations and an adaptive explanation of their morphology...." They do not dispute Birdsell and Tindale's findings about their stature, and seem to think their morphology needs an explanation. Does he contradict this in his book? Megalophias (talk) 05:01, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
So you concur that there is no archaeological, linguistic or anthropological evidence to confirm that there ever were pygmy people in northern Queensland but rather there has been Aboriginal people with some morphological commonalities with pygmy people. There is, however, an ongoing obligation to explain the origins of pygmy people in Australia since a group of peoples cannot magically appear in the rainforests of northern Queensland for a specific period of time. Birdsell both provides a description of the people he observes (which Windschuttle and Gillin primarily reply on) as well as the theory explaining their existence. Also the Mcallister et al outline that their "results confirm that FNQ and Tasmanian mtDNA haplogroups cluster with those of other Australian Aboriginal populations and are only very distantly related to Southeast Asian negrito haplogroups." So again, the Aboriginal peoples of northern Queensland are not a unique group of pygmy people nor are they even closely descended from pygmy people of Southeast Asian. Ultimately, there is no evidence to show that the Aboriginal peoples of northern Queensland are or were pygmy people.Jacarandacounsel (talk) 09:02, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
The definition of 'pygmy people' given at the beginning of this page is any group below a certain adult height; it includes a variety of unrelated populations. Negritos are no more related to African pygmies than anyone else is, nor are eastern and western Congolese Pygmies closely related to each other. If these Cairns rainforest people were to be included in the broad grouping of 'pygmy peoples' it would not imply that they are related to any other such group nor of separate origin from other Aboriginal Australians. The only reason *not* to include them as pygmy people is that they aren't short enough - and that is the only reason that isn't in the article! I guess I can add this myself, please correct as needed. Megalophias (talk) 17:29, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
Return to "Pygmy peoples" page.