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Mirror in the Forest: the Dorobo hunter-gatherers as an image of the other1

  • Michael G. Kenny

Extract

The term ‘Dorobo’ denotes an ethnic category embracing small hunting-and-gathering groups residing on the fringes of various agricultural and pastoral peoples in East Africa. The essence of the Dorobo's position is that they engage in economically symbiotic activities with regard to local farmers and herders, while retaining their social marginality as people of the bush. Much is known of them through the constructs of their neighbours, who assign them attributes commensurate with their marginal social position; the Dorobo are amalgamated with wild amoral creatures, and their ancestors are thought to have been in attendance at the birth of the present world-order. Their marginality therefore has economic, spatial, and temporal dimensions.

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Mirror in the Forest: the Dorobo hunter-gatherers as an image of the other1

  • Michael G. Kenny

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