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CENTRAL AFRICAN HUNTER-GATHERER RESEARCH TRADITIONS - page 26 / 43

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African anthropologists have conducted forest forager research. Jean-Félix Loung (1967) was one of the first African anthropologists to conduct research with forest foragers and Godefroy Ngima Mawoung (2006) is the most recent to publish. African anthropologists’ research with forest foragers often takes place in the context of development, e.g., establishing parks or building an oil pipeline, so their work shows up in reports rather than academic publications.

Future research

Given our knowledge of the literature and our particular biases (Hewlett as described above and Fancher as an ethnoarchaeologist) this section identifies areas of future research.  First, qualitative and quantitative research is urgently needed on forest forager land tenure and utilization. Forest forager lands are being appropriated and exploited by conservation groups, lumber, gold and diamond companies, farmers and others migrating to the forest from urban areas or fleeing areas with warfare. A paucity of data exist on how forest foragers view land use, ownership and the significance and meanings of their lands. Without this research, others will exploit forest foragers and their lands and economic, political and social marginalization will dramatically increase.

Second, several topics are seldom covered in existing studies. Oral histories, demography and forest forager views on a wide range of issues are poorly represented in the literature. We have a few good studies of the impact of colonization on forest forager groups (Giles-Vernick 2002, Bahuchet and Guillaume 1982, Vansina 1990), but the majority of the research is based on archival work and we know relatively little about the oral histories of forest foragers.

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