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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Food Sharing among the Pygmies of Central Africa
Author:Bahuchet, Serge
Periodical:African Study Monographs
Geographic terms:Cameroon
Central African Republic
Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://jambo.africa.kyoto-u.ac.jp/kiroku/asm_normal/abstracts/pdf/ASM%20%20Vol.11%20No.1%201990/Serge%20BAHUCHET.pdf
Abstract:This paper describes the sharing and circulation of food among the Aka Pygmies of the Central African Republic (northwest Congo Basin), compared with other groups, the Baka and the Gyeli of Cameroon, and the Mbuti of eastern Zaire. All four groups practise food sharing in three phases: 1) dividing the meat among the hunters; 2) sharing by each hunter of his part with his kin; 3) distributing cooked food by every household. The owner of the weapon that killed the animal is the 'owner' of the meat. It is his responsibility to share out the meat. Food sharing among African Pygmies is a way of pooling risk, which has two complementary functions: a supplying function (corresponding to food supply uncertainty), and a social function (corresponding to group cooperation and cohesion). However, in the Pygmy's concept, food sharing cannot be isolated from other types of exchange. It is only one part of a larger system including the circulation of goods (mainly iron tools) and the acquisition of spouses. Food sharing is a function in the wider system of exchange and cooperation that perpetuates society. App., bibliogr., notes.