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Bakas'Mode of Co-Presence



The characteristics of hunter-gatherer societies have been discussed previously within the framework of social structure or in relation to various "-isms, " such as egalitarianism. Eschewing this relatively rigid structure, this report focuses on the fluid daily social interaction of the Baka Pygmies of southeastern Cameroon. First, their spatially diffusive conversation in the forest camp or roadside village is described. Then the relative calmness, and high degree of resonance, of their interactions are discussed, based on the results of analysis using the time-sampling method and video image analysis. It is conjectured that living under such "multi-connected" conditions may cause them to face an "explosion of processing effort, " in responding to the tangled interactional relationships that characterize their community. The sophisticated resonance observed in these interactions is thought to be an ethno-method for diminishing the impact of such complexity. This viewpoint is discussed in relation to hunter-gatherers' socio-ecological way of life

Topics: Baka Pygmies, Cameroon, Hunter-Gatherers, Parallel distributed interaction, 389.4
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Year: 2003
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