New PDF release: An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People

By Brian Morris

ISBN-10: 3319452576

ISBN-13: 9783319452579

ISBN-10: 3319452584

ISBN-13: 9783319452586

This e-book is a pioneering and complete examine of the environmental background of Southern Malawi. With over fifty years of expertise, anthropologist and social ecologist Brian Morris attracts on quite a lot of facts – literary, ethnographic and archival – during this interdisciplinary quantity.
Specifically focussing at the complicated and dialectical dating among the folk of Southern Malawi, either Africans and Europeans, and the Shire Highlands panorama, this research spans the 19th century until eventually the tip of the colonial interval. It contains exact bills of the early historical past of the peoples of Northern Zambezia; the advance of the plantation economic system and background of the tea estates within the Thyolo and Mulanje districts; the Chilembwe uprising of 1915; and the advanced tensions among colonial pursuits in maintaining average assets and the worries of the Africans of the Shire Highlands in preserving their livelihoods.
A landmark paintings, Morris’s examine constitutes an incredible contribution to the environmental heritage of Southern Africa. it is going to charm not just to students, yet to scholars in anthropology, economics, historical past and the environmental sciences, in addition to to a person drawn to studying extra in regards to the background of Malawi, and ecological matters with regards to southern Africa.

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Extra info for An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands

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On black ‘cotton’ soils the flat-topped Acacia seyal (chisawani) was common, often forming pure stands, and was associated with such grasses as Setaria spp (msenzi) and Ischaemum africanum (njogo). On sandy soils along the fringes of Lake Chilwa, Terminalia sericea (naphiri) was common. Other noteworthy trees that were found in various parts of the Phalombe plain or in the vicinity of Lake Chilwa were the baobab, Adansonia digitata (mlambe), the sausage tree Kigelia africana (mvunguti) and Lonchocarpus capassa (mpakasa)—this last being widely known as a ‘rain tree’ (Chapman in Evans 1965: 14–15; Morris 1996 with regard to local names).

Hursh (1960): Studies have shown that floristically they [Brachystegia woodlands] are complex; not only do they vary according to local and specific factors such as altitude, rainfall, drainage and soil type, but they vary also from one acre to another both in condition and composition. Each ‘plot’ has its own individual history (due to human impact), and the principal characteristic of Brachystegia woodland is, in fact, its striking diversity. (Morris 2009 [1970]: 55) Archaeological evidence has indicated that people have been living in the Shire Highlands for many centuries, and the Brachystegia woodlands of the highlands have, therefore, long been adapting to the impact of human agency—particularly in the relation to fire, shifting cultivation and the collection of woodland resources—such as timber, firewood, medicinal plants, edible fungi, thatching grass and wild herbs.

In the gardens, often the only trees left standing are Dracaena fragrans (mchemani). Efforts by the Forest Department to curb encroachments into the forest reserve have largely proved to be unsuccessful—given the pressure on land with the growing population. When I first came to Malawi in 1958 the population of the country was around 4 million; it is now 11 million. 11 Mulanje Mountain The energetic travel-writer and alpinist James Riddell (1956) accurately described Mulanje Mountain as an ‘African Wonderland’, for it is truly a magnificent mountain.

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An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands by Brian Morris


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