Period: 8 January - 31 March 2003. Country: Cameroon
(1) Examination of Sustainability of Hunting by the Baka, in Tropical Rainforest of Cameroon
YASUOKA Hirokazu  (Division of African Area Studies)
Key Words: Tropical Rainforest, Hunter-Gatherer, Natural Resource, Money Economy

Baka men gather honey

Baka women make huts
(2) The objective of this research is to carry out a historical examination of the hunting activities of the Baka, one of the major groups of "pygmy" hunter-gatherers in the Congo Basin.
          Hunting and gathering is still their most important subsistence activity although every household has its own farm nowadays. Subsistence is the oldest theme in studies on hunter-gatherer, but in the past it was difficult to clarify the actual sites of hunting or historical changes in land use, because of the difficulty of obtaining geographical positions in tropical forests.
          Today, however, we can obtain geographical information and analysis more easily, using remote sensing and GIS. Consequently I try to link both new and traditional methods of anthropology in this study, in order to be able to examine the details as well as overall picture.

(3) I conducted my research in Zoulabot-Ancien village and Ndongo village in the East Province of Cameroon, from January 8 to March 31, 2003.
          The Baka enter into the forests for extended hunting and gathering expeditions (molongo), especially in the dry season. I was initially planning to go together with them, but they did not conduct a "molongo" this year.
          Consequently, I planned another research project on elephant hunting and cable snare hunting, two forms of hunting that have increased sharply since a logging road was opened to the village.
          They hunt 15 to 30 elephants a year, at the request of poachers who come with guns. The cable snares are mainly used to catch duikers and bush pigs, but pangolins, buffalos, leopards and chimpanzees are also sometimes caught.
          These hunting activities are of course illegal, since they take place inside of a national park.
          The national park and logging road have placed opposing pressures on the Baka. The logging road makes it easier for them to catch wild game, whereas the national park makes it more difficult.
          The next subject to be examined is how their hunting activity will change within this complex situation.

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