The Framework of Central African Hunter-Gatherers and Neighbouring Societies
This article presents a synthesis of available information about the framework of relations between Pygmy peoples and neighbouring local communities called "villagers" or "farmers." From an epistemological point of view, the literature is more detailed about the origin of that relationship than about the analysis of its framework. From an ethnographic viewpoint, a comparison of the two most researched case studies in different cultural settings provides evidence of the existence of a similar
... nce of a similar relational interethnic model in the Congo River basin. This model involves both aspects of the "ideology of solidarity," sustained by links of pseudo-kinship, and of the "ideology of domination," political-economic dominance over the Pygmy peoples by the "villagers." The relationship also appears fluid in that it allows a multiplicity of partnerships. The interethnic relational model suits an environment of mobility and of acephalous political organization. The author argues that the model is not specific to hunter-gatherer societies, nor to Pygmy communities in general, but rather to Pygmy groups in regular contact with villager communities characterised by mobility and non-hierarchical political organization.