Top > African Study Monographs > ASM Supplementary Issue Back Number > No.6 (1987)
A Comparative Study of Human Ecology around the Woodland in Central Africa (II)

Edited by Makoto KAKEYA


pp. 1-13

Agricultural Change and Its Mechanism in the Bemba Villages of Northeastern Zambia

Makoto KAKEYA
Yuko SUGIYAMA

(Reseach Affiliates of I.A.S.)
The Institute for African Studies, University of Zambia
The University of Tsukuba, Japan

ABSTRACT
   The agricultural movement in the Bemba villages, which are located in the southwestern part of the Mpika District of Zambia, is examined. Villagers have begun to cultivate the permanent fields (called faamu in Bemba) of hybrid maize for a cash crop, using chemical fertilizer, while at the same time retaining their traditional way of cultivation, the citemene system. Faamu cultivation began to boom after 1982. To understand this phenomenon, the process of opening the faamu field was described, and the statistical trend of maize production since 1980 was analysed. Finally the mechanisms involved in the acceptance of increased faamu cultivation at the village level were revealed, focusing on the "leveling mechanism," which sometimes both deters and promote changes.

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pp. 15-32

Maintaining a Life of Subsistence in the Bemba Village of Northeastern Zambia

Yuko SUGIYAMA
(Reseach Affiliates of I.A.S.)
The Institute for African Studies, University of Zambia
The University of Tsukuba, Japan

ABSTRACT
   The Bemba people, who are living in the woodland area of northeastern Zambia, have developed a unique slash-and-burn cultivation system, called citemene system. It is now censured as the cause of deforestation and the Bemba people are faced with agricultural modernization. There are some villages where people have been maintaining a life of subsistence based on citemene, while other villages have introduced modern agriculture. This paper aims to provide a clear picture of the "traditional" life of subsistence and its structure in a Bemba village. Their subsistence strategies are classified into two-ways: self-sufficient strategies and cash-getting strategies. Although cash economy has deeply penetrated, several factors work to maintain the life of subsistence. Cash-getting activities remain on a small scale basis because of the limitation of finger millet, which is the main source of cash. Unstable marriage bonds cause produce widows. Thus it is common that the widow's household and the household with a husband co-exist in one village. Difference in the household composition results in different output of subsistence activities, which may produce social disparity. However, "leveling mechanisms" based on the social principle of sharing woks to balance the differences, which assures the subsistence life of a community as a whole.

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pp. 33-63

Fishing Life in the Bangweulu Swamps (2): An Analysis of Catch and Seasonal Emigration of the Fishermen in Zambia.

Ichiro IMAI
(Reseach Affiliates of I.A.S.)
The Institute for African Studies, University of Zambia
Hirosaki University, Japan

ABSTRACT
   The aim of this paper is to describe and characterize the swamp fishing in the Bangweulu Swamps, Zambia. The fish catch by the several fishing methods are analysed after these methods are outlined. As a result of the analysis, it is indicated that each production unit chooses a fishing method to catch a particular group of fish, such as Mormyridae or Cichlidae fish.
   The types of fishing activity among the fishermen are divided into three classes in terms of their fishing seasons and methods. These types of fishing differ from each other as to how far their villages are from the swamps and what time schedules of agriculture are made according to the limits of the season or the period of fishing in the swamps. By analysing these types alloted to different ethnic groups, it is clarified how the swamp area is actually utilized by the several ethnic groups from different areas.
   Most of the fishermen in the Bangweulu Swamps are the part-time fishermen who are also engaged in cultivation to a considerable extent. It is discussed why these essentially agriculturalists carry on fishing for themselves without making symbiotic relationships with other fishing specialists. They can get a good cash income by selling the catch, and this urges them on with fishing. The fish meat is also appealing to them, for they do not have many domestic animals, nor can so many animals be hunted around their home villages. Thus, it is concluded that both of the subsistence activities, cultivation and fishing, are essential to the life of the swamp fishermen in the Bangweulu Swamps.

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pp. 65-83

Why Efe Girls Marry Farmers?: Socio-ecological Backgrounds of Inter-ethnic Marriage in the Ituri Forest of Central Africa

Hideaki TERASHIMA
Associé de recherche du C.R.S.N.,
République du Zaïre
Fukui University, Japan

ABSTRACT
   1. The degree and the trend of inter-ethnic marriage between the Balese farmers and the Efe pygmy hunter-gatherers of the Ituri forest of central Africa are described and analyzed. At least in some part of the forest, a very high rate of one-way type intermarriage has been taking place for the past few generations.   2. It is pointed out that there is absorption of the Efe women into the village as a background to the intermarriage. The absorption, by which an Efe women changes her status to one suitable for a villager's wife, is ascried to the efe-maia muto-maia relationship which forms the core of the symbiotic relationship between the Balese and the Efe.   3. The dependence of the Pygmies on the farm food produced by the farmers is discussed in the light of recent ecological studies. The economic importance of the farm food and the symbiotic system through which the pygmies obtain their everyday staple diet also described.   4. Thus the efe-maia muto-maia relationship plays a dual role. One is to enable the Efe women to be absorbed into the village and available for the Balese men, and the other to sustain the Efe's subsistence.   5. On the level of individual economic exchanges, the farm food and the Efe women are not related directly. However, from the viewpoint of the total socio-ecological system, the farm food produced by the Balese and the Efe women are exchanged.   6. The imbalance of economic exchanges between them which has been often pointed out so far, would become more understandable only by broadening our scope of the symbiotic model to such an extent as to include the Efe women's labor and reproductive value.

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pp. 85-96

The Evening Conversation of the Efe Pygmy Men and Its Social Implication: A Men's Display to Women

Masato SAWADA
Associé de recherche du C.R.S.N.,
République du Zaïre
Kyoto University, Japan

ABSTRACT
   The evening conversations of the Efe Pygmy are described and analysed. The conversation process is divided into calm phases (c-phases) and excited phases (e-phases). While in c-phase, calm and ordinary speech is heard, in e-phase, loud and rapid speech is heard. In c-phase, adult women sometimes participate in the conversation. However, in e-phase, they do not and only adult men speak. In e-phase, adult men mutually support one another's assertions, and rarely contradict each other. It is shown that in e-phase, the pragmatic variables e.g., loudness, rapidity of speech, function to make women remain silent and to draw the attention of women to the men's conversation. It is suggested that the e-phase is a collective display towards women by the men in which they demonstrate their mutual supporting relationship.

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pp. 97-121

Food Restrictions of the Mbuti Pygmies, Eastern Zaire

Mitsuo ICHIKAWA
Associé de recherche du C.R.S.N.,
République du Zaïre
Kyoto University, Japan

ABSTRACT
   While the Mbuti Pygmies utilize more than 300 animal and plant species as their food, only 60% are eaten freely by anybody without restriction. Of the remaining 40% avoided by the Mbuti for various reasons, more than 85% are the animals (including a few plants) which, called kweri in general, are conditionally restricted. These animals are thought to be dangerous, because the Mbuti think they may cause diseases or other disorders to the person who eats them, to his or her small child, or even to the unborn baby. All the Mbuti are not affected by the kweri. Newborns, infants, and those in the initiation period are thought to be specially susceptible. The general tendency is that the restriction for these animals is relaxed as one grows old. The diseases caused by kweri, their prevention and cure, and the characteristics of these "dangerous" animals are described and analysed. It is suggested that the food restriction provides us with a clue to an understanding of the Mbuti's concepts of diseases and eating food.

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