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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African sacred groves: ecological dynamics & social change
Editors:Sheridan, Michael J.ISNI
Nyamweru, CeliaISNI
City of publisher:Oxford
Publisher:James Currey
ISBN:1847014011; 9781847014016; 0821417886; 9780821417881; 0821417894; 9780821417898; 1847014003; 9781847014009; 9781868884940
Geographic term:Africa
environmental management
Abstract:African sacred groves are often treated as the remains of primeval forests, ethnographic curiosities, and cultural relics from a static precolonial past. However, their continuing importance in African societies shows that this 'relic theory' is inadequate for understanding current social and ecological dynamics. This volume provides methodological frameworks for understanding these forests by examining their ecological characteristics and delineating how sacred groves relate to social dynamics and historical contexts. Michael J. Sheridan outlines the key themes explored in the book. The eleven case studies are grouped into four parts. In Part 1, The human ecology of sacred groves, examples from Sierra Leone, Kenya and Morocco are used to illustrate the impacts that different human activities have on the vegetation composition of sacred groves. In Part 2, The social organization of sacred groves, three contrasting case studies from Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Senegal illustrate different sociopolitical contexts within which sacred groves are, or are not, protected. Part 3, The symbol of forests, draws on three West African case studies (Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Ghana) to explore the meaning and symbolism of sacred forests. Finally, Part 4, 'The future of African sacred forests' contains a chapter on two sacred groves in southern Uganda, and a chapter on the legal status of forests in sub-Saharan Africa. Contributors: Liz Alden Wily, Joseph Bahati, Abwoli Y. Banana, Mohamed Berriane, Gérard Chouin, John Cooke, Heike Culmsee, Ulrich Deil, William Gombya-Ssembajjwe, Alma Gottlieb, Nadia Rabesahala Horning, Staline Kibet, Aiah Randolph Lebbie, Celia Nyamweru, Mohamed Pakia, Eric Ross, Michael J. Sheridan, Ute Siebert, Tsehai Berhane-Selassie, and Nathan Vogt. [ASC Leiden abstract]