Richards, Audrey Isabel, 1899-. Land, labour and diet in Northern Rhodesia: an economic study of the Bemba tribe

Table of Contents

Publication Information


Some Characteristics Of Primitive Diet.

The African Problem.

The Difficulties Of Primitive Diet Research.

The Present Study.

Chapter 1 The Bemba People And Their Country


Mode Of Life.

Material Culture And Economic Organization.

Social Structure.

White Contact.


Country And Climate. 1

Chapter Ii The Bemba Diet

Available Data.

Variations From Hunger To Plenty.

Composition Of The Diet.

Seasonal Changes In Diet.

Physique And Energy.

Chapter Iii Native Views On Food

Food As A Centre Of Interest.

The Perfect Meal.

Bemba Dietetic Theory.

Tastes, Cravings, And Preferences.

Magico-religious Attitudes To Food.


Chapter Iv Eating And Drinking

Infant Feeding.

Eating Customs.

Beer Drinking.

Chapter V Granary And Kitchen

Bemba Methods Of Storage

Storable Foods

I. Grains.

2. Ground-nuts.

3. Other Foodstuffs.

Granaries And Storing Vessels

The Bemba Kitchen




Untitled Section: ...

Chapter Vi The Routine Of Housecraft


Preparation Of Meals.

Education In Housecraft.

Chapter Vii Local And Kinship Groupings

The Problem Of Distribution.

The Bemba Village.

The Primary Group—the Matrilocal Extended Family. 1

The Secondary Groupings—the Matrilineal Descent Group.

Additional Households.

Modern Changes In Village Structure.

The Village Scene.

Chapter Viii The Domestic Unit

Daughter Households.

The Symbolism Of Cooked Food.

The Cooking Team.

The Value Of The Cooking Team.

Domestic Economics In Modern Marriages.

Chapter Ix Hospitality And Labour Payment

Types Of Hospitality.

Permanent Or Semi-permanent Visitors.

Division Of Meat.

Labour And Cooked Food.

Organized Forms Of Labour.

Distribution At The Chief’s Court.

Tribal Distribution And The Individual Ration.

Chapter X Distribution In A Typical Village

Character Of The Village.

The Composition Of The Village.

The Village Food-supply.

Calendar Of Events.

Three Families Housekeep.

Chapter Xi Ownership Rules And Education In Sharing

Ownership Of Garden Crops.

Rights Over Granaries.

Prerogatives Of Age.

Modern Changes In Kinship Dues.

Education In Distribution

Sharing And Supernatural Sanctions.

Chapter Xii Budgeting, Wealth, And Exchange


Methods Of Measurement.

Magic And Food Calculations.

Material Possessions Of The Bemba.

Conceptions Of Wealth.

New Economic Ambitions.

The Use Of Money.

Types Of Exchange.

Chapter Xiii Land, And Land Tenure


General Attitude To Land.

Land And Supernatural Blessings.

Locality And Residence.

Village Sites Of Chiefs.

Divisions Of Land.

The Chief As Land-owner.

The Chief’s Supernatural Powers.

Tribute On Land.

Tribute Labour.

Tribute As Rent.

Land Tenure And Political Organization.

Rights Of Selection And Occupation.


Chapter Xiv Soil Selection

Choice Of Village Sites.

Choice Of Garden Sites.

Soil Types Recognized.

Successes And Failures In Soil Selection.

Incidence Of Knowledge Of Soil Selection.

Chapter Xv Methods Of Cultivation

(a) Millet Cultivation (the Icitemene Method).

(b) The Cultivation Of Subsidiary Crops.

(c) The Sequence Of Crops.

The Adoption Of Fixed Cultivation In Special Environments

Chapter Xvi Fishing And Hunting

Fishing Methods.

(a) Methods.


Chapter Xvii Religion And Magic In Economic Life

The Nature Of Economic Ritual.

Special Ceremonial At The Citimukulu’s Court.

The Morphology Of The Rites.

The Economic Cycle.

Chapter Xviii Labour And Time

Division Of Labour.

Food Production

Domestic Work

Other Activities

Organization Of Labour.

Work And Time Sequence.

The Rhythm Of Work.

Time Taken On Particular Tasks.

The Will To Work.

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Land, labour and diet in Northern Rhodesia: an economic study of the Bemba tribe

Published By: London, New York [etc.]: Pub. for the International Institute of African Languages & Cultures by the Oxford University Press, 1939. xvi, 424 p., plates: ill., maps

By line: by Audrey I. Richards

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1997. Computer File

Culture: Bemba (FQ05)

Subjects: Production and supply (433);

Abstract: This monograph, written by a social anthropologist who was at that time a Research Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge, is a thorough functional study of the economics of the Bemba. The interrelations are shown between the diet and food-gathering practices of the people, and their kinship system, political organization, ceremonial life, and values. Full descriptive material is given on agriculture, hunting, fishing, collecting, etc. and the associated practices and beliefs.

Document Number: 2

Document ID: fq05-002

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references and index

Field Date: 1930-1934

Evaluation: Social Anthropologist-5

Analyst: James Leary ; 1958

Coverage Date: not specified

Coverage Place: Zambia

LCSH: Bemba (African people)


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