Sharing elephant meat and the ontology of hunting among the baka hunter-gatherers in the Congo basin rainforest


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dc.contributor.author Yasuoka, Hirokazu
dc.date.accessioned 2021-04-14T04:39:45Z
dc.date.available 2021-04-14T04:39:45Z
dc.date.issued 2021-04-14
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10900/114205
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.15496/publikation-55580
dc.identifier.uri http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:21-dspace-1142054 de_DE
dc.description.abstract Among the Baka hunter-gatherers, the sharing of elephant meat is associated with a taboo that forbids the hunter who killed an elephant from eating its meat. Previous studies examined the ta- boo in relation to the paradox of egalitarians: the impossibility of dual equality, that is, on econom- ic and social grounds. The paradox arises from the gift-giving theory, which assumes feelings of indebtedness in the receiver of the gift. Howev- er, some researchers argue that sharing is neither a variation of gift-giving nor a reciprocal exchange. Taking this position, I explore the roots of the ta- boo in the Baka’s ontology of hunting. The taboo likely originated from the hunter’s indeterminate state between humans and spirits and the ambiv- alent character of spirits as bringers of both food and death. According to their ontology, the hunt- er’s act of eating meat would result in determining whether he is a human or a spirit, thus causing undesirable consequences anyway. The hunter, therefore, abstains from eating the meat and re- main in the indeterminate state. At the site of the elephant feast, the taboo creates a sharp contrast between the hunter with an empty stomach and others who have sated themselves with the meat. There, the hunter never sees himself as having giv- en the meat to the others, and the others never see the meat as having been given to them by the hunter. He is excluded from the community of sharing, without being identified as the giver of the meat. This way, practicing the taboo realizes zero-to-all division, which is in contrast to the re- ciprocal one-to-one giving. de_DE
dc.description.sponsorship The symposium and the volume "Human-elephant interactions: from past to present" were funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. de_DE
dc.language.iso en de_DE
dc.publisher Universität Tübingen de_DE
dc.relation.ispartofseries Tuebingen Paleoanthropology Book Series – Contributions in Paleoanthropology;1
dc.subject.other egalitarian de_DE
dc.subject.other food transfer de_DE
dc.subject.other reciprocity de_DE
dc.subject.other taboo de_DE
dc.subject.other zero-to-all division de_DE
dc.title Sharing elephant meat and the ontology of hunting among the baka hunter-gatherers in the Congo basin rainforest
 de_DE
dc.type Buch (einzelnes Kapitel) de_DE
utue.publikation.fakultaet Tuebingen Paleoanthropology Book Series – Contributions in Paleoanthropology Band 1: Human-elephant interactions: from past to present de_DE
utue.publikation.source Tuebingen Paleoanthropology Book Series – Contributions in Paleoanthropology Band 1: Human-elephant interactions: from past to present de_DE
utue.publikation.noppn yes de_DE

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