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Dense Wild Yam Patches Established by Hunter-Gatherer Camps: Beyond the Wild Yam Question, Toward the Historical Ecology of Rainforests.

Yasuoka H - Hum Ecol Interdiscip J (2013)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS UMR5175, Montpellier, 34293 France ; Hosei University, Tokyo, 102-8160 Japan.

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During fieldwork with the Baka in southeastern Cameroon, I (2006a; 2009a) recorded all of the harvests during long-term and large-scale hunting-and-gathering camps (molongo in the Baka language) in the dry and early rainy season, i.e., the period during which the forest was thought to be barren (Hart and Hart ), and found that the forest provided a plentiful food supply, 65 % of which (on a calorie basis) was made up of wild yams, and in particular annual species... In 2012, a Baka informant told me that he had passed by molongo campsites where around 100 people had consumed numerous yams in 2002 and 2005 (Yasuoka, ) and found dense distributions of wild yams that had regenerated from the inedible parts of tubers discarded during cooking... The distributions of wild yams were investigated at two long-term molongo campsites (Mongungu and Jalope camps) I had studied in the dry seasons of 2002 and 2005 (Yasuoka, )... The density of D. praehensilis in the outside plots of Mongungu exceeded 110 stems/ha, but this was only because many yams were scattered on the periphery of the camp (Fig.  3)... In addition to these structured surveys, areas within 20 m from the quadrats at both sites were also searched, but neither D. praehensilis nor D. semperflorens was found... Although the Baka do not have any clear intention to create yam patches in this way, they understand that patches will develop after a molongo camp has been abandoned... Generally, the Baka change campsites every two months (Yasuoka ), so a 6-month-long molongo includes three long-term camps and the subsequent generation of three yam patches... If the patches can be used repeatedly for 32 years on average, the stocks from 96 patches are always available for the Baka to carry out 6-month-long molongo every year... Therefore, we need to determine whether ecological succession progresses to the point that photosynthesis becomes difficult for annual yams due to competing plants and resulting reduction in available light... On this basis, it is possible to move beyond the dichotomy between pure hunter-gatherer subsistence and a dependence on agriculture... As noted above, studies in southeastern Cameroon have indicated that sufficient wild yams were available for hunter-gatherer subsistence throughout the year (Sato, ; Yasuoka, ; Sato et al. ), and the results presented here conclusively show that the activities hunter-gatherers themselves generate this sufficiency... Yam patches in southeastern Cameroon can also diminish if the Baka cease using them... There are two significant factors that decrease the frequency of molongo... The molongo of the Baka presents a challenge in understanding and preserving the inscribed histories of interactions between the people and forest resources of the African rainforests... This challenge must be addressed to improve existing forest conservation schemes, which have significant and often negative effects on the lives of forest peoples.

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Routes and camps of the molongo from Feb. 17 to Apr. 27, 2002 (Yasuoka 2006a)
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Fig2: Routes and camps of the molongo from Feb. 17 to Apr. 27, 2002 (Yasuoka 2006a)

Mentions: The distributions of wild yams were investigated at two long-term molongo campsites (Mongungu and Jalope camps) I had studied in the dry seasons of 2002 and 2005 (Yasuoka 2006a, 2009a). The total period of occupation was 73 nights, of which 43 nights were spent at Mongungu camp, located 40 km from the village. The diet at this camp consisted solely of wild products, of which 60 % (on a calorie basis) consisted of the two annual yams (Yasuoka 2006a, 2009a). The same was true for the Jalope camp in 2005 (Fig. 2). Compared to farming camps, annual yam consumption in molongo camps is considerable (Table 2) and provides more calories than the typical village diet (Yasuoka 2009a, 2012).Fig. 2


Dense Wild Yam Patches Established by Hunter-Gatherer Camps: Beyond the Wild Yam Question, Toward the Historical Ecology of Rainforests.

Yasuoka H - Hum Ecol Interdiscip J (2013)

Routes and camps of the molongo from Feb. 17 to Apr. 27, 2002 (Yasuoka 2006a)
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3672516&req=5

Fig2: Routes and camps of the molongo from Feb. 17 to Apr. 27, 2002 (Yasuoka 2006a)
Mentions: The distributions of wild yams were investigated at two long-term molongo campsites (Mongungu and Jalope camps) I had studied in the dry seasons of 2002 and 2005 (Yasuoka 2006a, 2009a). The total period of occupation was 73 nights, of which 43 nights were spent at Mongungu camp, located 40 km from the village. The diet at this camp consisted solely of wild products, of which 60 % (on a calorie basis) consisted of the two annual yams (Yasuoka 2006a, 2009a). The same was true for the Jalope camp in 2005 (Fig. 2). Compared to farming camps, annual yam consumption in molongo camps is considerable (Table 2) and provides more calories than the typical village diet (Yasuoka 2009a, 2012).Fig. 2

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS UMR5175, Montpellier, 34293 France ; Hosei University, Tokyo, 102-8160 Japan.

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

During fieldwork with the Baka in southeastern Cameroon, I (2006a; 2009a) recorded all of the harvests during long-term and large-scale hunting-and-gathering camps (molongo in the Baka language) in the dry and early rainy season, i.e., the period during which the forest was thought to be barren (Hart and Hart ), and found that the forest provided a plentiful food supply, 65 % of which (on a calorie basis) was made up of wild yams, and in particular annual species... In 2012, a Baka informant told me that he had passed by molongo campsites where around 100 people had consumed numerous yams in 2002 and 2005 (Yasuoka, ) and found dense distributions of wild yams that had regenerated from the inedible parts of tubers discarded during cooking... The distributions of wild yams were investigated at two long-term molongo campsites (Mongungu and Jalope camps) I had studied in the dry seasons of 2002 and 2005 (Yasuoka, )... The density of D. praehensilis in the outside plots of Mongungu exceeded 110 stems/ha, but this was only because many yams were scattered on the periphery of the camp (Fig.  3)... In addition to these structured surveys, areas within 20 m from the quadrats at both sites were also searched, but neither D. praehensilis nor D. semperflorens was found... Although the Baka do not have any clear intention to create yam patches in this way, they understand that patches will develop after a molongo camp has been abandoned... Generally, the Baka change campsites every two months (Yasuoka ), so a 6-month-long molongo includes three long-term camps and the subsequent generation of three yam patches... If the patches can be used repeatedly for 32 years on average, the stocks from 96 patches are always available for the Baka to carry out 6-month-long molongo every year... Therefore, we need to determine whether ecological succession progresses to the point that photosynthesis becomes difficult for annual yams due to competing plants and resulting reduction in available light... On this basis, it is possible to move beyond the dichotomy between pure hunter-gatherer subsistence and a dependence on agriculture... As noted above, studies in southeastern Cameroon have indicated that sufficient wild yams were available for hunter-gatherer subsistence throughout the year (Sato, ; Yasuoka, ; Sato et al. ), and the results presented here conclusively show that the activities hunter-gatherers themselves generate this sufficiency... Yam patches in southeastern Cameroon can also diminish if the Baka cease using them... There are two significant factors that decrease the frequency of molongo... The molongo of the Baka presents a challenge in understanding and preserving the inscribed histories of interactions between the people and forest resources of the African rainforests... This challenge must be addressed to improve existing forest conservation schemes, which have significant and often negative effects on the lives of forest peoples.

No MeSH data available.