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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The relationships among plants, animals, and man in the African tropical rain forest
Author:Terashima, HideakiISNI
Periodical:African Study Monographs: Supplementary Issue
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Abstract:Based on an ethnobotanical survey conducted between the late 1970s and 1990 in the Ituri forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) among four local groups of Ituri pygmies - two Mbuti groups (Mawambo and Teturi) and two Efe groups (Andiri and Nduye) - the author describes and analyses the interrelationship among man, plants and animals. Plants contribute greatly to various practical human needs such as food, medicine, material culture and ritual. Plants are characterized by continuity or eternity. They present themselves as the symbol of the forest and nature, and provide man with feelings of reliability and certainty. Plants have no individuality, unlike animals, which interact actively and ambivalently with man. Animal meat is highly prized as food but is often connected with taboos and restrictions. Animals also cause various diseases. Animals are characterized by an ontological duality. They are like man and they differ from him. However, compared with the hierarchical relationship between man and nature in the cosmology of Western Europeans or the wide gap between animals (including man) and plants in Buddhism, the cosmology of African forest peoples appears to be characterized by horizontal networking. App. (diseases related to animals), bibliogr., sum.