An Efe (Pygmy) man making poison arrows for use in killing monkeys.
The arrows are thin darts of wood, often made of palm. Large marantacae leaves serve as a bowl and as a ladle. The poison includes a large number of ingredients, and the specific recipes vary a great deal (and are often guarded). This concoction included the juice pounded from a vine that contains strychnine. About seven arrows are fired at a monkey, up in the trees, per strike (on average) and it takes about two strikes to bring down a monkey. Several dozen arrows are made at once, and when they are used they are not recovered (they rarely fall all the way back to the ground). They are fletched with a fragment of a leaf passed through a slit cut near the base with metal arrow or small knife. It is not uncommon for the archer to run along the ground shooting up into the trees as the monkeys move quickly across canopy leaping from branch to branch. For certain species of monkeys, the dominant male will make a stand and be th most likely killed. Also, females with infants are fairly vulnerable. Often, the monkey is wounded enough to die some time over the next day or so. When it does so, it falls to the ground and quickly starts to rot. The Efe’s dogs can then easily find the dead monkey from the smell. Monkey mean is very tough, lean, and has a strong taste.