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The role of public speaking, ridicule, and play in cultural transmission among Mbendjele Bayaka forest hunter-gatherers

Bombjaková, Daša; (2018) The role of public speaking, ridicule, and play in cultural transmission among Mbendjele Bayaka forest hunter-gatherers. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis is based on ethnographic research conducted with Mbendjele BaYaka Pygmy hunter-gatherers of Likouala Region, Congo-Brazzaville for eighteen months from 2013 to 2015. The primary goals of this thesis are: (1) to present three key contexts for educating children about Mbendjele practices and values; (2) to analyse ethnographic observations of how these contexts are employed to distinguish the modes of education they exploit; (3) to contrast Mbendjele and outsider-imposed education methods, and how Mbendjele define proper and improper teaching and learning. Mbendjele BaYaka value three main pro-egalitarian, cultural institutions as the primary means of educating children. They are based on public speaking, ridicule and play. I will examine how these institutions are employed in practice with a discussion of content and context. The results indicate that Mbendjele value mostly transmission of pro-egalitarian values, shaping understanding of gender and sexual roles in children, and teaching ways to deal with Non-Mbendjele outsiders. Corporal punishment is rare amongst egalitarian hunter-gatherers. Despite Mbendjele perceiving of it as an improper way of disciplining children, it is often employed in sedentarized context, in conjunction with increasing domestic violence and alcoholism. Indigenous institutions for cultural reproduction are central to understanding how hunter-gatherer picture their own future. Despite good intentions foreign enforcement of institutional schooling can have negative affects on the cultural resilience of Mbendjele sociality and egalitarian values. Understanding how Mbendjele value outsider imposed and their indigenous education institutions contributes to a better understanding of cultural resilience among marginalised ethnic groups, such as Mbendjele.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The role of public speaking, ridicule, and play in cultural transmission among Mbendjele Bayaka forest hunter-gatherers
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043002
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