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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Aka and Baka: Food Sharing Among Two Central Africa Hunter-Gatherer Groups
Author:Kitanishi, Koichi
Periodical:Senri Ethnological Studies
Geographic terms:Cameroon
Congo (Republic of)
dual economy
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:Today, there are no 'pure' hunter-gatherers who depend solely on wild resources anywhere in the world. Rather, the economies of present-day hunter-gatherers are affected by a wide range of external influences, not the least being the impact of commercial relations with adjacent non-foraging societies. Although some researchers report on the negative influence such exogenous relations have on the economic integration of hunting communities, others see hunter-gatherer exchange relations with non-hunting neighbours as being much more complex. This paper compares the food sharing systems of two Central African Pygmy hunter-gatherer societies, the Aka of the Republic of Congo and the Baka of southeastern Cameroon, where field research was carried out in 1991-1995. Although the Aka and the Baka share the same origin, their present economic and social situations show divergent patterns of development. Whereas the Aka seldom have direct contact with the commercial economy of their non-Pygmy neighbours, the Baka are strongly involved in a variety of economic exchanges with non-Pygmy peoples. Although contact with commercial economic activity has brought about some change in their respective systems of sharing, this change has led neither to the destruction of food sharing, nor to the creation of a new system. Bibliogr., notes, ref.