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CENTRAL AFRICAN HUNTER-GATHERER RESEARCH TRADITIONS - page 13 / 43

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theoretical contributions (e.g., wild yam hypothesis) and I (Hewlett) am better known for my topical contributions (i.e., allomaternal care).

Bailey wanted to be a primatologist. After completing an undergraduate degree in history at Harvard College he traveled to Colombia to be a resident biologist and conduct research with squirrel monkeys.  In 1976, as he was ready to start his graduate training in biological anthropology at Harvard, Irven DeVore a primatologist and co-director (with Richard Lee) of the well-known Kalahari project, provided him the opportunity to go to Africa to observe various other primate ecology research sites.  He visited several sites, but at the Dja Reserve in Cameroon he hired two Baka men to take him into the forest to observe monkeys. He was impressed with the Baka way of life and decided that studying monkeys to understand human behaviour was less effective than studying human behaviour directly. DeVore was delighted with Bailey’s shift to humans because he wanted to work with forest foragers when he was a graduate student but Sherwood Washburn, his advisor, convinced him to work with baboons. Bailey took courses in biological anthropology and conducted a survey of Congo Basin foragers in 1978 and selected the Efe for study because he felt they were the most remote and unacculturated forest forager ethnic group. He started his research in the early 1980s with his wife and anthropology graduate student, Nadine Peacock. Bailey focused on men’s subsistence and time allocation, as well as Efé and Lese growth, while Peacock conducted similar research with Efe women (Bailey 1991; Bailey and Peacock 1988; Peacock 1985). Bailey’s graduate training took place at a time when neo-evolutionary theories (e.g., inclusive fitness theory, parental investment theory) were emerging, often coming from Harvard faculty (e.g., Robert Trivers).

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