By Brian Morris
This publication is a pioneering and entire learn of the environmental historical past of Southern Malawi. With over fifty years of expertise, anthropologist and social ecologist Brian Morris attracts on quite a lot of information – literary, ethnographic and archival – during this interdisciplinary quantity.
Specifically focussing at the advanced and dialectical dating among the folk of Southern Malawi, either Africans and Europeans, and the Shire Highlands panorama, this examine spans the 19th century until eventually the tip of the colonial interval. It comprises targeted money owed of the early heritage of the peoples of Northern Zambezia; the advance of the plantation economic climate 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 keeping traditional assets and the troubles of the Africans of the Shire Highlands in protecting their livelihoods.
A landmark paintings, Morris’s research constitutes a tremendous contribution to the environmental background of Southern Africa. it's going to charm not just to students, yet to scholars in anthropology, economics, historical past and the environmental sciences, in addition to to somebody attracted to studying extra concerning the historical past of Malawi, and ecological concerns in relation to southern Africa.
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Additional info for An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands
As with the Blantyre hills, Thyolo Mountain in the past was an important rain shrine. In July 1962 Lovell Proctor of the Universities Mission to Central Africa climbed the mountain, and described it as a mountain that was ‘full of spirits (mizimu) and that the place never wanted for rain’. 32 B. MORRIS The mountain, in fact, was linked with the Mang’anja chief Lundu and the Mboma territorial spirit, and thus the local chief Mankokwe often prayed to the spirit of Thyolo Mountain for rain (Bennett and Ylvisaker 1971: 303–305; Morris 2000: 212).
MORRIS soil (dothi lamchenga), though easily cultivated, do not hold water and generally lack organic matter. In marked contrast, soils at a higher altitude, specifically those in evergreen forests, though in many respects similar to the ferruginous leached soils of the lower altitudes, tend to be much richer in organic matter. Compared with other parts of Africa, the soils of the Shire Highlands are generally regarded as fertile (nthaka), though there is wide variation in their nutrient status, with respect to soil type, location and anthropogenic status (on the soil types of the Shire Highlands see Hornby 1924; Evans 1965: 38; Pike and Rimmington 1965: 83–90; Chapman and White 1970: 18–20).
The trees in the forest are all evergreen, usually with smooth bark (contrasting with that of Brachystegia) and between 50 feet (15 m) and 80 feet (25 m) tall, forming a dense and continuous 24 B. 2 Evergreen forests of the Shire Highlands (White et al. 47 acres canopy. Trees typical of montane forest include: Chrysophyllum gorungosanum (chifira), Ekebergia capensis (ntonduko), Podocarpus milanjianus (mkute), Pygeum africanum (mpeuma), Mystroxylon aethiopicum (mpakate) and Xymalos monospora (chikakalaka).