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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:After the rush: living with uncertainty in a Malagasy mining town
Author:Walsh, Andrew
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Madagascar
precious stones
social relations
Abstract:This article addresses the uncertainties of life in the once booming, but now declining, centre of northern Madagascar's sapphire trade. Although the characteristic features of small-scale mining boomtowns have become well known to many through research on gold, diamond and other rushes throughout Africa and elsewhere in the world, relatively little is known of what happens to such distinctive communities after they boom. What becomes of the unique social networks, consumption patterns, and world views so often associated with these places when the supply of or demand for the particular commodities around which they have developed declines? Who leaves and who stays behind? How do those remaining in such places continue to earn livings and make meaningful lives despite the decline that surrounds them, and how do they make sense of their circumstances in light of memories of better times? This article addresses these and other questions as they relate to life after the rush in the northern Malagasy sapphire-mining and trading town of Ambondromifehy, arguing that the uncertainties faced by those who remain indicate new possibilities as much as continuing decline. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]