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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rural Weekly Markets and the Dynamics of Time, Space and Community in Senegal
Author:Perry, Donna L.
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Senegal
Subjects:social structure
Economics and Trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/161707
Abstract:This article explores the influence of rural weekly markets, known locally as 'loumas', and economic liberalization on community ties among small-scale Wolof peanut farmers in Ndao Kunda and surrounding villages. The research zone is located in the southeast Saloum area of Senegal's Peanut Basin, where the author lived for twenty-one months in 1993-1994. Contrary to the notion that markets are a force of social dissolution, new trading practices and free market policies in the area have not weakened community relations among small farmer neighbours and kin. Rather, the spatial and temporary patterning of 'loumas' has served to strengthen intracommunity bonds. Farmers have, since the formation of 'loumas' in the 1970s, limited their travel beyond their home zones. While at 'loumas' they interact with extralocal merchants, they have not allowed outsiders to settle permanently in local villages. Furthermore, because 'loumas' occur only once a week, farmers continue to benefit from daily, multiplex interactions with one another. After analysing the spatial and temporal organization of 'loumas', the article looks at specific examples of small farmers augmenting their economic security during a period of economic restructuration by innovating new modes of reciprocal exchange with one another. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.