DRCongo) Barter markets of the Lualaba River (1985)
This is an abstract of my paper about the markets of the Lualaba River,
upper reaches of the Congo river, formerly called as the Zaire. You can
read the full text in pdf form on the webpage sited below.
African Study Monographs, supplementary issue
No. 4 (1985) A Comparative Study of Human Ecology around the Woodland in
Edited by Makoto KAKEYA
A Comparative Study on the Barter Markets of the Upper Zaïre River
(Associé de recherche d'I.R.S.)
Institut de Recherche Scientifique, République du Zaïre
An extensive survey of economic anthropology was made along the upper
Zaire River. The author found forty-two periodic markets, thirty of
which practiced direct barter of fish and farm produce. These barter
markets had varied methods of barter and management, and the author
compared the results with those of an intensive study on the Songola
carried out in 1979 and 1980. Although many of the barter markets were
in the process of transformation, a few of them have institutionalized
a defense mechanism against cash use, and two of them revived in 1983.
The results verified some of the hypotheses obtained through the study
of the Songola economy: barter markets in the region are traditional
and they have survived the period of colonization. Under today's severe
inflation, barter is sometimes more efficient than the use of cash.