African landscapes: interdisciplinary approaches by Olaf Bubenzer (auth.), Olaf Bubenzer, Michael Bollig (eds.)

By Olaf Bubenzer (auth.), Olaf Bubenzer, Michael Bollig (eds.)

Landscape reviews supply an important viewpoint into the interplay among people and their surroundings, laying off perception on social, cultural, and monetary issues. The examine explores either the best way that average techniques have affected the advance of tradition and society, in addition to the ways in which common landscapes themselves are the fabricated from old and cultural tactics.

Most prior stories of the panorama selectively excited about both the common sciences or the social sciences, however the study provided in African Landscapes bridges that hole. This paintings is exclusive in its interdisciplinary scope. during the last twelve years, the individuals to this quantity have participated within the collaborative learn heart ACACIA (Arid weather variation and Cultural Innovation in Africa), which bargains with the connection among cultural strategies and ecological dynamics in Africa’s arid areas.

The case experiences offered right here come from ordinarily Sahara/Sahel and southwestern Africa, and are all associated with broader discussions at the notion of panorama, and issues of cultural, anthropological, geographical, botanical, sociological, and archaeological curiosity. The contributions during this paintings are more advantageous by means of complete colour pictures that placed the dialogue in context visually.

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Pyne (1997) analyses the origins and effects of the colonial prohibitions to use fire when managing tropical savanna and forest landscapes. Indeed the use of fire has been attested to have contributed to the shaping of savanna landscapes: hunter and gatherers as much as herders used fires to destroy unwanted vegetation and to fertilise soils before the rains. The colonial paranoia of fires stems from the condemnation of fires in nineteenth century European agricultural sciences. European farmers still using fire to clear fields (such as in the German Black Forest) were seen as remnants of a premodern past and the use of fires by autochthonous communities was regarded as a further proof of their wasteful engagement with natural resources.

In a modernist vision plantations and settler farms and a rescheduling of indigenous modes of production towards commoditised agricultural production became essential. In this vision zones of intensive use were juxtaposed to zones of complete protection. Large schemes such as the Gezirah scheme for cotton production in the Sudan were implemented, however, wildernesses were inscribed onto the landscape. Carruthers (1995) shows how the original farming population of the South African Kruger Park was expulsed to create the impression of wilderness (see also Dieckmann, this volume on a similar case in northern Namibia).

During a rainmaking ritual I had the chance to participate in, ritual elders stressed that the ground and the rocks of Nakurkur had often been soaked with the blood of sacrificial oxen. Society and nature had interpenetrated each other in ritual to the benefit of the people living on the land. Todokin’s blessing spoken on the 23rd of September 1993 in Nakurkur addressed essential landscape features directly and stressed the agency of mountains and the interpenetration of soil and sacrifice. The sacred mountain the Njemps pray to, that sacred mountain shall help the cattle I order that mountain, be clean, be clean and come together with what?

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