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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Food Sharing Among the Aka Hunter-Gatherers in Northeastern Congo
Author:Kitanishi, Koichi
Periodical:African Study Monographs: Supplementary Issue
Geographic term:Congo (Republic of)
subsistence economy
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:This paper describes and analyses food sharing among the Aka hunter-gatherers in northeastern Congo, based on quantitative data collected during long-term field research in the first half of the 1990s in the vicinity of Linganga-Makaou village, the uppermost village on the Motaba River of Dongou District, Likouala Region. It examines the social connotation of the 'possession' of food among the Aka, in particular as revealed through analysis of the actual food sharing process. Among the Aka, 'ownership' does not entail an exclusive right over food but indicates a responsibility to share it with others. The concept of 'ownership' produces the 'giver' and the 'receiver', thus connecting food sharing with the social relationships in Aka society. The paper further describes the informal nature of food sharing, with special focus on the relationship between food sharing and changes in camp size and composition. The choice of who receives food is not determined by formal social relationships, such as kinship, but by face-to-face relationships created in the co-residential group. Only the first distribution of meat from hunting is governed by predetermined rules. However, the amount of meat distributed in this way is insignificant. App., bibliogr., notes, sum.