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CENTRAL AFRICAN HUNTER-GATHERER RESEARCH TRADITIONS - page 9 / 43

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part of Bahuchet’s military service, Thomas was able to recruit Bahuchet for ethnolinguistic studies in the Central African Republic for two years.  After two years in the field he attended the first (1978) Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS) in Paris, France, organized by Maurice Godelier. Bahuchet took seminars on ecology and human sciences from Godelier, a Marxist and materialist anthropologist, and while attending the CHAGS conference was greatly influenced by Richard Lee who was working with the !Kung (Bahuchet, personal communication).

Bahuchet went on to receive his PhD (Docteur d’État) at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and took a position in the lab of Jacqueline M.C. Thomas who continues to work with Bahuchet on a 10 volume Aka Pygmy encyclopedia. Today, Bahuchet is Director of Human, Nature and Society studies at the place he started his career, the National Museum of Natural History.

Consequently, Bahuchet is best known for fine-grained ethnography of Aka ethnoecology (1985) and his historical linguistic studies of the Baka and Aka (1992). He also used his ecological and ethnolinguistic perspectives in a variety of other topics: Aka settlement and spatial mobility (1972, 1992b), ecological constraints on Aka subsistence (1978, 1988; Bahuchet et al. 1991) and the history of Aka-farmer relations (Bahuchet and Guillaume 1982). He has mentored and influenced several other Congo Basin forager researchers, including Motte’s ethnobotanical research on Aka medicinal plants (Motte 1980, 1982; Motte-Florac et al. 1993), Dounias’ research on Baka wild yams (1993, 1996, 2001), and Joiris’ study of forager-farmer relations in Cameroon (2003).

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