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The Citemene System, Social Leveling Mechanism, and Agrarian Changes in the Bemba Villages of Northern Zambia: An Overview of 23 Years of Fixed-Point Research.

May 1, 2006

This article examines the social processes and mechanisms of agrarian changes based on a 23-year (1983-2006) case study of Bemba villages in northern Zambia. The Bemba have engaged in a unique shifting cultivation system called the "citemene" system in miombo woodlands. Villagers have sustained a citemene system that does not greatly exceed the amount required for subsistence. They have also maintained a leveling mechanism of distribution and consumption that promotes equity among the people, which could at times deter innovative changes.

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