Once you’ve killed the monkey, you need to carry it back to camp. Slit the tail, near the end, and poke the head through the slit, so the tail makes a handy strap.


Here’s a detail:



  1. #1 Charles Sullivan
    February 2, 2011

    Is the man’s hair naturally red, or did he dye it?

  2. #2 Jason
    February 3, 2011

    I’m curious about the arrow. It does not appear to be the simple, home-made non-recovered type used for monkey hunting as described in your last post on the subject.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    February 3, 2011

    Charles: That’s his real hair. Often, among folks in this area, reddish hair is a sign of prolonged protein deficiency, but this individual seemed pretty healthy.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    February 3, 2011

    Jason: Well spotted!

    An Efe man always carries “regular” arrows exactly like this, one or two arrows in the same “bunch” in the hand as the bow. It is symbolic and practical. The poison tipped monkey arrows are normally kept in a quiver untill you are about to go after the monkeys, then a handful are kept at the ready as this arrow is.

    So even when monkey hunting with the disposable arrows, one would have metal-tipped arrows (probably in the quiver during the actual shoot-the-monkey phase.) The man’s arrows are always with him, maybe set on the ground or hung up somewhere in a quiver briefly, but never stored away. Even when monkey hunting, one can easily run into something else to shoot at.

    Of course, that’s not his arrow. A man would never carry his own arrow. That would be absurd.

  5. #5 Clara B. Jones
    February 3, 2011

    This is a terrific photo displaying a very clever method for transporting a monkey from the hunt. I wonder how many other traditional societies use this method to carry prey with tails?

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    February 3, 2011

    Clara, I don’t know of any other than Central African Pygmies, but it would not be strange to find it somewhere in the Amazon.

  7. #7 feralboy12
    February 3, 2011

    I carry my monkey on my back. And no, he can’t be killed.

  8. #8 Clara B. Jones
    February 11, 2011

    Dr. Laden: Good point…thanks. clara jones