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Title: Variation and Composition Principles of the Residence Group (Band) of the Mbuti Pygmies -beyond a typical/atypical dichotomy
Authors: TERASHIMA, Hideaki
Issue Date: Mar-1985
Publisher: The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 4
Start page: 103
End page: 120
Abstract: 1) Two models concerning the residence group (or band) of the Mbuti Pygmies, a territorial model and a patrilocal model, which have been presented so far to explain the general patterns of the Mbuti socio-residential arrangements, are criticised, since both of them take little account of the complicated backgrounds of Mbuti subsistence, and thus have too narrow a view of the variation of the Mbuti's residence group. 2) The variation of the residence group is analysed referring to its socio-economic background, and it is concluded that the small- or large-sized groups that have been regarded atypical so far become worth consideration when we take a wider view of the Mbuti's subsistence, and to fail to do so would be to greatly oversimplify our observations of their life-style. 3) The composition structure of the residence group which intrinsically contains flexibility is analysed. Three social relations, i.e. ácu, bódé and ádi (patrilateral kinship, affinal relation, and matrilateral kinship, respectively), connect the members of the residence group with one another and thus make up the residence group which is characterized by cooperation and generalized reciprocity among the members. Although the ácu is most dominant relationship, other two categories play no little part, entitling the Mbuti to stay with their affines or maternal kindred freely. This gives definite flexibility to the composition of the Mbuti's residence group. 4) The seeming applicability of the patrilocal band model is discussed. It is suggested that the symbiotic relationship between the Mbuti and the neighboring farmers is one of the effective causes of the tendency of patrilineal and partilocal grouping of the Mbuti.
DOI: 10.14989/68324
Appears in Collections:4 (A Comparative Study of Human Ecology around the Woodland in Central Africa)

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