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The Relationships Among Plants, Animals, and Man in the African Tropical Rain Forest

By Hideaki Terashima

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Interrelationship among man, plants and animals in the Ituri forest is described and analyzed. Plants contribute mainly to establish the material world of forest foragers, and their eternity gives man and animals living in the forest a sense of security and certainty of life. Animals are characterized by an ontological duality. They are like man and differ from it. They interact with man actively, emotionally and ambivalently. Animal meat is highly prized as food but it is often connected with food toboo. Animals bring joys and happiness to man, but also perform as agents of various diseases. Both plants and animals provide many possibilities of uses on which forest people construct their material, social, symbolic and spiritual life. Finally the cosmology of forest foragers concerning the relationship between man and nature is compared with that of Western people and Buddhism.


Katie Carroll

Date 2001
Publication Title African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume 27
Pages 18
Publisher The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
DOI 10.14989/68418
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Africa
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animals in culture
  4. Human-animal relationships
  5. Human-plant relationships.
  6. Hunting and gathering societies.
  7. Nature
  8. Physical environment
  9. Plants
  10. rain forests
  11. Tropical forests