By Brian Morris
This ebook is a pioneering and entire learn of the environmental heritage 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 advanced and dialectical courting among the folk of Southern Malawi, either Africans and Europeans, and the Shire Highlands panorama, this examine spans the 19th century until eventually the top of the colonial interval. It contains designated debts of the early heritage of the peoples of Northern Zambezia; the improvement of the plantation financial system and historical past of the tea estates within the Thyolo and Mulanje districts; the Chilembwe uprising of 1915; and the advanced tensions among colonial pursuits in retaining common assets and the worries of the Africans of the Shire Highlands in conserving their livelihoods.
A landmark paintings, Morris’s examine constitutes a massive contribution to the environmental heritage of Southern Africa. it is going to allure not just to students, yet to scholars in anthropology, economics, historical past and the environmental sciences, in addition to to someone attracted to studying extra concerning the background of Malawi, and ecological matters in relation to southern Africa.
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Extra resources for An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands
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. In contrast with the resilient Brachystegia woodland, which is resistant to fire and coppices easily, lowland evergreen trees are easily damaged.
Most of the submontane forests of the Blantyre hills, but especially Soche and Michiru Mountains, were associated with the spirits of the ancestors, and thus, in the past, were the location of important rain shrines. These shrines were once a crucial part of the socio-cultural life of the people of the Shire Highlands—both Mang’anja and Yao (MacDonald 1882: 1/70; Werner 1906: 46–61; Morris 2000: 192–193). Apart from the forest flora itself, two aspects of the submontane forests have been of particular interest to naturalists—this long before research biologists arrived on the scene.
Nyumba), Setaria sphacelata (nchira wa garu, dog’s tail), and Loudetia simplex (mpudzakubelu). They may constitute a sward up to ‘knee high’ (Chapman), that is, up to one metre. After the annual fires and around the outbreak of the rains the grassland becomes a carpet of colourful herbaceous plants (Jackson 1969; Chapman and White 1970: 21–22; White et al. 2001: 69; Morris 2009 : 46–47). On both Zomba and Mulanje Mountains there are a variety of different kinds of shrubby vegetation. But at the edge of the montane forest and in rocky terrains the commonest vegetation-type is that usually described as bracken-briar.