Who was Mutwa?
Mutwa was a native of African tropical rain forests. He was occupying the current
Itwari and Bwindi Forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and western
Uganda respectively. In the DRC he was known as locally as 'Mumbuti' (singular) and
Bambuti (plural), while in Uganda he was 'Mutwa' (singular) and Batwa (plural). He
was a nomadic hunter and gatherer. For that reason, I grew up when there was false
impression that 'batwa never died'. [the] Majority of them died when they were on
their nomadic movements. In most cases, Mutwa lived in solitude. Therefore when he
died no one else was there to witness the death or burial. Even if they were living in a
group, the number was too few to organise 'successful burial'. If he had a companion,
he would organise [an] improvised burial known as 'kukonderera'. It meant that he
would cut down branches and spread them all over the corpse/carcass. In addition
he had limited tools/implements which could enable him to dig a grave. The most
important tools he was proud of we spears, big knives and a special spear whose one
end was a chisel known to him as 'ekisoosho', which enabled him to cut into a big tree
to reach its hollow part which was a home for honey bees. The hollow part was known
to him as 'embigo'. Another cheap method of burial was leaving a corpse/carcass
against a rock in a cave. They believed that if an old man died and was buried into
the soil, their skill of keen sight of bees, known as 'kutaara', would meet a curse and die
out completely. They would lay the corpse to rest saying 'stand here facing up to keep
on viewing the different types of honey bees in their various directions'. I quote their
words 'Yemerera aha mum rutare rutature ugume utaare'. Litterally meaning 'stand
here in unleaking cave and on viewing bees. I got the above information from my late
father (Bahimyuza) who linked me to late Ndyabarausya (father to Kisuuguru -
currently living in Bubaare) who was his blood brother. On the other hand Batwa have
undergone some mutation following some sexual 'harassment' by non-Batwa
communities and pressure exerted on them to completely leave the forest. I have
called it harassment because they win them through cheap gifts like, waragi
[Ugandan Gin], Muramba, and small pieces of pork to mention but a few.