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Title: SHARING HUNGER AND SHARING FOOD: STAPLE FOOD PROCUREMENT IN LONG-TERM FISHING EXPEDITIONS OF BAKWELE HORTICULTURALISTS IN SOUTHEASTERN CAMEROON
Authors: OISHI, Takanori
Keywords: Forest-dwelling farmers
Fishing expedition
Hunger for carbohydrates
Bakwele
Cameroon
Issue Date: Mar-2014
Publisher: The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 47
Start page: 59
End page: 72
Abstract: Forest-dwelling farmers of the Congo Basin are not always sedentary. Apart from the tradition of enhancing catch effort near sedentary villages, forest farmers have developed a tradition of long-distance expeditions for faunal exploitation. This paper focuses on forest farmers' carbohydrate procurement strategies in response to shortages of agricultural foods during such nomadic phases, with special reference to sharing and exchange between them and hunter-gatherers; it also examines the impacts of the periodic cycle of food abundance and scarcity on people's health and social relationships. Bakwele horticulturalists conduct long-term fishing expeditions to reduce the "hunger for animal protein." However, long-term forest expeditions also make participants suffer from the "hunger for staple foods." Direct observations were made, to clarify the strategies of staple food procurement, on a fishing expedition from January to March 2007. Thoughout the period child participants increased their body weight, which suggests a positive role of fishing expeditions in the improvement of children's nutritional status. When agricultural foods brought from the sedentary village had been consumed, participants employed various means of exchange and sharing to deal with the shortage of carbohydrates. The Bakwele exploited wild yams, a food they avoid eating in villages, on such occasions. Forest foods were exploited and shared beyond normal sociocultural boundaries at fishing camps. In Bakwele long-term fishing camps, shared hunger brought about cooperation rather than conflict between different households and ethnic groups.
DOI: 10.14989/185101
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/185101
Appears in Collections:47(Bio-social Adaptations of the Baka Hunter-gatherers in African Rainforest)

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