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Title: Why Efe Girls Marry Farmers?: Socio-ecological Backgrounds of Inter-ethnic Marriage in the Ituri Forest of Central Africa
Authors: TERASHIMA, Hideaki
Issue Date: Mar-1987
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 6
Start page: 65
End page: 83
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.
DOI: 10.14989/68343
Appears in Collections:6 (A Comparative Study of Human Ecology around the Woodland in Central Africa (II))

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