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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Woods (MURA) and social organization in Konso (southwestern Ethiopia)
Author:Demeulenaere, Elise
Year:2002
Periodical:Journal of Ethiopian Studies (ISSN 0304-2243)
Volume:35
Issue:2
Period:December
Pages:81-111
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ethiopia
Northeast Africa
Subjects:social structure
Konso
forests
Environment, Ecology
Konso (African people)
Social organization
Forests and forestry
Ethnobiology
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/41966136
Abstract:The Konso of southwestern Ethiopia recognize different categories of wooded places or 'mura', a word which can be translated as either 'forest' or 'wood'. The categories of Konso woods are defined not so much according to phyto-ecological criteria but more according to their place in Konso society, their uses and the practices associated with them. On one level, Konso woods can be seen as natural collective heritages of clans/villages or of the whole Konso society. The diversity of wood types reflects the diversity of social organizational levels. Different social units are in charge of preserving the different kinds of woods. They are supposed to transmit the woods and their conservation responsibility to the following generations. Their strategy of conservation is either a complete ban, systematic regeneration, or both. At the same time there are interrelations between different social units in which the woods themselves are involved. The preservation of the Konso woods is related to the reproduction of a certain social order. If this order and the representations on which it is based change, the physiognomy of the woods changes as a consequence. Thus, for example, the weakening of local power through the diminution of its mystic base leads to the disappearance of forest management and, sometimes, the forests themselves. App., bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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