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CENTRAL AFRICAN HUNTER-GATHERER RESEARCH TRADITIONS - page 11 / 43

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(his love of outdoors) and “its own ecologically-oriented methodology” rather than theories and methods from the West (2005).  Ichikawa characterizes Japanese research as “fearless” because it is not bound by theory and it can easily shift focus and topics.

Ichikawa is known for his rich and detailed descriptions of Mbuti subsistence and settlement (1978, 1982, 1983, 1987), impact of a cash economy on Mbuti culture (1991), Mbuti ethno-ornithology (1998), and his Ituri forest ethnobotanical research (Terashima and Ichikawa 2003).  By comparison to the French or British and consistent with his training by a primatologist, Ichikawa utilized more observational (e.g., participating in net hunts) and quantitative methods (e.g., measuring nets, counting how many game are caught per day). Ichikawa (2004b) considers his “ecology in a broad sense” as holistic because he is interested in integrating cultural ecology, historical ecology, and political ecology into his research.

Terashima is also a prominent contributor to Congo Basin forager research (first author on over 12 journal articles or book chapters). He conducted extensive field research on Efe forest plant knowledge and social aspects of their economic exchange with neighbouring Lese farmers (Terashima 1986; Terashima et al. 1988). He also investigated why Efe girls sometimes choose to marry Lese farmers (1987), and the many interactions between Efe and Lese that revolve around honey (1998).  

Because of political instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1980s, Japanese researchers left the Ituri and initiated projects further to the west with Aka and Baka foragers.  Takeuchi published ecological studies (1994, 1995) of hunting activities and dietary avoidance among the Aka of northeastern Congo.  Kitanishi’s research among the Aka of the same

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