By Brian Morris
This publication is a pioneering and finished learn of the environmental historical past of Southern Malawi. With over fifty years of expertise, anthropologist and social ecologist Brian Morris attracts on a variety of info – literary, ethnographic and archival – during this interdisciplinary quantity.
Specifically focussing at the complicated and dialectical courting among the folk of Southern Malawi, either Africans and Europeans, and the Shire Highlands panorama, this research spans the 19th century until eventually the top of the colonial interval. It contains designated money owed of the early historical past of the peoples of Northern Zambezia; the improvement of the plantation financial system and heritage of the tea estates within the Thyolo and Mulanje districts; the Chilembwe uprising of 1915; and the advanced tensions among colonial pursuits in keeping common assets and the worries of the Africans of the Shire Highlands in keeping their livelihoods.
A landmark paintings, Morris’s examine constitutes an enormous contribution to the environmental historical past of Southern Africa. it's going to allure not just to students, yet to scholars in anthropology, economics, historical past and the environmental sciences, in addition to to someone drawn to studying extra concerning the heritage of Malawi, and ecological matters with regards to southern Africa.
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Additional info for An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands
Machemba, like Mulanje Mountain is a syenite intrusion. This type of lowland forest consists of such evergreen trees as Khaya anthotheca (syn. K. nyasica) (mbawa), Newtonia buchananii (nkweranyani, Climbed by baboons), Zanha golungensis (mtutumuko), Cola mossambicensis (mkope), Macaranga capensis (mbwabwa), and Parkia filicoidea (mkundi). There are fewer bryophytes and ferns compared with the montane evergreen forests, and epiphytes are largely confined to the crowns of the larger trees. Both mbawa and mkundi are often strongly buttressed.
Altogether 522 species of birds have been recorded from the Shire Highlands. Three bird-species (among many others) which are significant in the socio-cultural life of the people of the Shire Highlands are: namng’omba, the ground hornbill (Bucorvus cafer), which is important medicinally and symbolically in both Mang’anja and Yao initiation rites; the nkulu kulu, Livingstone’s Turaco (or Loerie) (Tauraco livingstonii), whose red wing feathers were highly valued and were utilized in the past to signify the authority of territorial chiefs; and the kadzidzi, the spotted eagle owl (Bubo africanus) which is widely associated with witchcraft (uf iti) by local people.
64 square miles (1462 ha). It has also been recognized that there are in fact two species of cedar on Mulanje Mountain, namely, the majestic Widdringtonia whytei (syn. W. cupressoides) (mkunguza), which is a broad crowned canopy tree growing to 40 m and Widdringtonia nodiflora, which is a multi-stemmed shrub 4 m tall that grows mainly at the forest edges (White et al. 2001: 82–83). Paradoxically, although Mulanje cedar is extremely sensitive to fire, it is dependent on the intervention of fire for its successful regeneration (Chapman and White 1970: 168).