Inter-community dynamics and changing settlement patterns

*Program design guideline. Excerpt from S. Bauchet report: "...all Pygmies have been closely associated with groups of agriculturalists for several centuries. For a long time, these relationships remained balanced, but they are a potential source of conflict and inequality in a context of social and economic crisis such as most equatorial countries are living through at present. It is absolutely essential to include these ancient relationships between Pygmies and agriculturalists in any development project aimed at Pygmies. To omit such a factor would necessarily lead to failure and serious disruption for those same people the project aims at helping...Breaking up these relationships as a pre-requirement to these projects may not be advisable, though many seem to think so. It would be much more appropriate to study projects that would include the duet "PygmÊes -Grands Noirs", i.e. hunter-gatherer Pygmies and agriculturalists...Everywhere, (Pygmies) now tend to spend longer periods each year in a fixed settlement (often for up to 6 months), in villages near the roads. Being sedentary half of the year does not necessarily go together with the adoption of agriculture as the main food providing activity. On the contrary, the attraction of forest activities (hunting and gathering) is still the prime factor inducing mobility, and agriculture never provides more than supplements...Groups of Pygmies continue to rely on their exchanges with agriculturists rather than develop their own fields..."

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