Jean-Pierre Hallet (1927 – 2004) was a Belgian ethnologist and naturalist, born in Africa, known for his work with the pygmies of the Ituri rainforest. He returned to the Belgian Congo as a government agronomist, organising the native people into agriculture. 'Kitabu' is Swahili for bible or book.
Congo Kitabu by Jean-Pierre Hallett (1965) is an autobiographical book about Hallet's travels through central Africa from 1948 to 1960. In it he documents interactions with multiple isolated cultures throughout the Belgian Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. His adventures included becoming an unwitting cannibal, learning to spear a lion with the Masai, having his lower arm blown off while trying to dynamite fish and driving 200 miles to a hospital, wrestling an attacking leopard, taming a lion and a rhino and herding two elephants across the Congo.
Pygmy Kitabu: A Revealing Account Of The Origin And Legends Of the African Pygmies by Jean-Pierre Hallett (1973). Hallet proposes that the Pygmies are in fact the people from which all other races are descended. He documents their way of life and explores their language and their rich store of myths and legends.
Animal Kitabu by Jean-Pierre Hallett (1967) is filled with intriguing facts, anecdotes and true stories that explain or debunk the many African animal myths, particularly those of the big cats and apes. Hallet raised multiple animals, including a lion and rhino, while living in Rwanda-Burundi, near the border of the Congo. He trained a lion and a rhino. During 1960, due to the increasing conflicts in the area, he was forced to take drastic measures on behalf of his animals when he escaped to Kenya. There he faced new challenges and enlisted the aid of sympathetic allies to help care for his animals.
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