By combining past and current knowledge regarding both evolutionary and cultural aspects, we have shown how the category “Pygmy” can be misleading when used to describe culturally, morphologically and biologically heterogeneous populations. However, when appropriately used, this same term can be successfully considered to address numerous questions of fundamental importance for the understanding of human evolution in Central Africa. Caution invoked here is not a secondary aspect: It is imperative that biological anthropologists do not omit to precisely define what they mean by Pygmy. As Serge Bahuchet convincingly explains, we should never forget that while “Pygmies” do not exist as a single homogeneous cultural group: Populations such as the Aka, Asua, Baka, Bongo, Efe, Kola, Koya, Sua, Twa etc. exist as communities of people having rich, complex and diverse cultures who are in contact with several neighbouring ethnic groups with equally rich, complex and diverse cultures. If such proviso does apply to all human populations, we note that “biological anthropologists” often tend to use misleading terminologies, as some past investigations of Central African Pygmy and Non-Pygmy populations have shown. Let us think about how many messages and inspirations these groups could give to us if we deconstructed more systematically the western prism by which we perceive them, and if we tried to embrace and correct more openly our lack of understanding of the complexity of the Central African pluriethnic context.
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