Rural weekly markets and the dynamics of time, space and community in Senegal
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This article analyzes reciprocal relations among Wolof small farmers in rural weekly markets (loumas) in Senegal. New trading practices have created new economic opportunities that reduce out-migration, and have strengthened community relations among small farmer neighbors and kin. Farmers have, since the formation of loumas, limited their travels and they interact with outside traders in the loumas. Twenty percent of older women have never been to town. Women engage in multiple activities; they are the majority of petty traders, they farm their peanut fields, help their husbands, and they manage complex arrangements of reciprocal exchange. Women's networks assist them with their tasks. They organize santaanes, sort of collective work parties, and women's work has replaced threshing machines as women's work is cheaper and cleaner. Spatial and temporal organization of loumas were analyzed in this article and results show an increase in economic security during a period of economic restructuration through the use of reciprocal exchange with each other.