Hunter Gatherer Research

Social change mirrored in Baka dance and movement

Observations from the River Ivindo in Gabon in 2011

Hunter Gatherer Research (2015), 1, (1), 61–83.

Abstract

This article discusses different dances and structured human movements of the Baka living along the River Ivindo in north-eastern gabon. Baka dancing in this region takes place in diverse ritual and social contexts. Movement theory and attention to body are used to show that dance analysis can provide a window on the challenges the Baka groups are experiencing to their egalitarian social organisation. The article addresses in particular how new technical influences are challenging long-standing movement values and ritualised male-female interaction of an egalitarian society. Social change is conceptualised from a perspective which gives primacy to human movement rather than material or environmental facts.

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Author details

Weig, Doerte