Living Cultures

The Baaka Opera

2009Ep151 mins

The Baaka Pygmies are like elves. They live in the forest, hidden under the cover of leaves. They hunt using nets and they gather wild honey at dizzying heights. No one knows the great African equatorial rainforest better than they do.

They sing polyphonic songs with a unique musical texture that has fascinated the greatest musicians. These songs express their beliefs in the spirits of the forest. By singing, the pygmies transmit to their children an extraordinary life lesson. In this film, we follow American ethnomusicologist Louis Sarno who has been recording the melodies and rhythms of the Central African Baaka for more than twenty years.

Video Language: English