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Map And Territory: The Politics Of Place And Autochthony Among Baga Sitem (And Their Neighbours)

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Chapter Summary

The communities of the coastal Republic of Guinea arose through the gradual incorporation of outsiders into rice farming areas where the gathering of 'wealth-in-people' by landlords was important and strangers were welcome to become farmers. This model of 'landlord and stranger' is not viable today for three main reasons: firstly, a political trend that started in colonial times made ethnicity rigid and incorporation difficult and not always desired; secondly, ecological changes and a land shortage are making strangers less and less welcome today; thirdly, democratic idioms of citizenship do not allow for such distinctions as 'landlords' and 'strangers'. As a reaction to all this, some communities, such as the Baga, are witnessing an emergence of the notion of an 'ethnic territory' to be controlled by the putative descendants of the original 'landlords'..

Keywords: Baga; coastal Republic of Guinea; communities; landlords



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