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Title:Honey and holidays: the interactions mediated by honey between Efe hunter-gatherers and Lese farmers in the Ituri forest
Author:Terashima, HideakiISNI
Periodical:African Study Monographs: Supplementary Issue
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:ethnic relations
Bali (Cameroon)
External link:http://repository.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2433/68389/1/ASM_S_25_123.pdf
Abstract:In the Ituri forest of the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) there is a 'honey season' every year, usually around July and August. During this time, Efe hunter-gatherers move deep into the forest to seek honey. Neighbouring Balese farmers obtain honey usually through exchange with the Efe. Some farmers, however, visit the Efe honey camp in the forest and spend several weeks or months enjoying the honey collected by the Efe. Balese farmers who go into the forest say it is their 'holidays'. The honey season provides them with a refuge from tensions and conflicts in the village. The author describes the behaviour of Efe hunter-gatherers and Balese farmers during the Ituri forest honey season and analyses the aspects of their interactions mediated by honey. The dichotomy of the forest and the village has been used stereotypically to characterize the way of life of the Efe hunter-gatherers and the Balese farmers. However, rather than being confined to either the forest or the village, the Efe and the Balese have maintained a symbiotic relationship for generations, reflected amongst others in a system of formal and informal partnerships. Bibliogr., sum.