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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue
Title:Worlds of debts: interdisciplinary perspectives on gold mining in West Africa
Editor:Panella, CristianaISNI
City of publisher:Amsterdam
Publisher:Rozenberg Publishers
ISBN:9036102111; 9789036102117
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:gold mining
mining policy
informal sector
Abstract:Over the last fifteen years gold mining in West Africa has made a shift from dominant State intervention to a sector giving ample room to private companies. This process of liberalization, and the increasing number of Africans involved in artisanal mining, have triggered heated debates on the pros and cons of gold mining for Africa's future. This volume provides new insights, combining theoretical analysis with in-depth case studies. It adopts an approach called 'the social life of sites', or an understanding of the social organization of gold mining through a case study approach focusing on regional history. In part I, Henk Gewald explains why gold has such a prominent place in economies and representations all over the world. Part II consists of three anthropological studies that elaborate the 'social life of a site' model with particular attention for debt relations: Sabine Luning deals with Burkina Faso, Cristiana Panella with Mali, and Robert Pijpers with Sierra Leone. Part III focuses on the Manding area with contributions by Jan Jansen (What gold mining means for the Malinke, and how it was misunderstood by the French colonial administration), Brahima Camara (L'imaginaire du chasseur au pays mandingue), and Mahamadou Faganda Keita (Sur les sacrifices pour l'orpaillage artisanal dans le Manding). The final essay, by Jan-Bart Gewald, gives an overview of the role of gold in West African history. [ASC Leiden abstract]