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Images of Denigration: Structuring Inequality between Foragers and Farmers in the Ituri Forest, Zaire

Roy Richard Grinker
American Ethnologist
Vol. 17, No. 1 (Feb., 1990), pp. 111-130
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/645255
Page Count: 20
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Images of Denigration: Structuring Inequality between Foragers and Farmers in the Ituri Forest, Zaire
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Abstract

Research on forager/farmer interactions has focused largely on relations of material exchange, thereby excluding symbolic and social structural aspects of those interactions. Lese representations of Lese (farmer)/Efe (hunter-gatherer) cultural differences shape the symbolic incorporation of Efe trading partners into Lese village life. Since the Lese frequently characterize the Efe as female, gender appears to be a principal idiom through which the Lese represent those differences. Gender is a metaphor for relationships of inequality between village insiders and outsiders. The metaphor creates an analogic equivalence between Lese men's wives and the Efe, as village outsiders, and refers to their structural similarities in relation to the Lese villages. [forager/farmer interactions, Africa, Efe Pygmies, Lese, inequality, gender]

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