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[Fieldwork] Working with BaYaka kids in Congo (3/7)

I’ve noticed that children’s food avoidances are handled very differently among the BaYaka. For example, children and adults are often afraid/grossed out by giant millipedes (think our fear of spiders). When caterpillar season comes around, children are also afraid of caterpillars, which move a lot like millipedes. Though small children are served dishes with caterpillars, parents often pick the caterpillars out for their kids. And yet, as the kids grow up, they come to love caterpillars! One of my tiny friends, who I’ve known since he was two, use to have me pick out caterpillars from his plate. This year, as a tough four-year-old, he not only collects caterpillars, but also cooks them all on his own–and with pride.

Caterpillars. We were on the path, walking back from the forest camp when I was told to stop. The young BaYaka boy leading the way said, “Do you see? The caterpillars are going to fall soon here.” I’m spinning around, looking up looking down. I’m sure he’s right, but how does he know!? And there they are. Thousands of little caterpillar pellet poops. That I never in a thousand years would’ve attributed any importance to without him. “We’ll return in a few days.” Both foragers and farmers consumed a ton of caterpillars during the caterpillar season this year. And yep, they’re delicious. #delicacy #congo #explore #taste the #fieldwork #caterpillar #chenie #congos #yuck #butforreal #yum #science #natgeo #research #danslajungle #evolearnlab #explorer #survivalist #huntergatherer #cuisine @she_explores @natgeo @insidenatgeo @sheinalew

A post shared by Dr. Sarah Pope (@sezdoesscience) on Sep 21, 2018 at 7:42am PDT


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