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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Fish as 'Primitive Money': Barter Market of the Songola
Author:Ankei, Yuji
Periodical:Senri Ethnological Studies
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:Nine periodic barter markets exist in the territory of the Songola, a Bantu people who inhabit the tropical rain forest along the upper reaches of the Zaire River. Men from fishing villages and women from villages of slash-and-burn agriculturalists participate weekly or twice weekly in the barter markets with fish or farm produce. It is estimated that a fishing village depends on a barter market for 62% of its total calorific intake, the rest coming from a cash sale market. On the basis of information from a field survey of seven months (Aug.-Dec. 1978, Dec. 1979-Feb. 1980), the author describes the markets in terms of the participants, items for barter, methods, units and determinants of barter rates, and discusses the barter markets in terms of their position in the Songola economy, and the reasons for their continued existence in a society where monetary transactions would normally prevail. Bibliogr., fig., maps, notes, photogr., tab.