shopping_cart

African Sacred Groves
Ecological Dynamics and Social Change

Edited by Michael J. Sheridan and Celia Nyamweru

“This book provides an excellent reference for refocusing conservation efforts in Africa, and a useful paradigm to apply wherever preservation requires balancing ecological values with social and economic interests.”

CHOICE

“The great strength of African Sacred Groves is in demonstrating that sacred groves simultaneously represent ecological, socio-political, and symbolic processes.”

Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa

“The essays in this volume provide an enlightening tour of the issues around conservation and sacred sites. They demonstrate the complexities of the issues linking such sites to globalization, communal control of local resources, and its potential difficulties, and changing social and cultural practices.”

African Studies Review

In Western scholarship, Africa’s so-called sacred forests are often treated as the remains of primeval forests, ethnographic curiosities, or cultural relics from a static precolonial past. Their continuing importance in African societies, however, shows that this “relic theory” is inadequate for understanding current social and ecological dynamics. African Sacred Groves challenges dominant views of these landscape features by redefining the subject matter beyond the compelling yet uninformative term “sacred.” The term “ethnoforests” incorporates the environmental, social-political, and symbolic aspects of these forests without giving undue primacy to their religious values. This interdisciplinary book by an international group of scholars and conservation practitioners provides a methodological framework for understanding these forests by examining their ecological characteristics, delineating how they relate to social dynamics and historical contexts, exploring their ideological aspects, and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses as sites for community-based resource management and the conservation of cultural and biological diversity.

Michael Sheridan is an assistant professor of anthropology at Middlebury College.   More info →

Celia Nyamweru teaches in the Department of Anthropology and the African Studies Program at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.   More info →

Order a print copy

Paperback · $21.56 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $26.95 · Save 20% ($21.56)

Hardcover · $47.96 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $59.95 · Save 20% ($47.96)

Buy from a local bookstore

IndieBound

US and Canada only

Cover of African Sacred Groves

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon

Requests

Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Downloads & Links

Related Subjects

African Studies · Anthropology · Nature

Formats

Paperback
978-0-8214-1789-8
Retail price: $26.95, S.
Release date: November 2007
Rights: World (exclusive in Americas, and Philippines) except British Commonwealth, Continental Europe, and United Kingdom

Hardcover
978-0-8214-1788-1
Retail price: $59.95, S.
Release date: November 2007
240 pages · 6.125 × 9¼ in.
Rights: World (exclusive in Americas, and Philippines) except British Commonwealth, Continental Europe, and United Kingdom

Related Titles

Cover of 'African Philosophy, Culture, and Traditional Medicine'

African Philosophy, Culture, and Traditional Medicine
By M. Akin Makinde

For over two centuries, Western scholars have discussed African philosophy and culture, often in disparaging, condescending terms, and always from an alien European perspective. Many Africans now share this perspective, having been trained in the western, empirical tradition. Makinde argues that, particularly in view of the costs and failings of western style culture, Africans must now mold their own modern culture by blending useful western practices with valuable indigenous African elements.

African Studies · Anthropology · Philosophy

Cover of 'The  Struggle for Meaning'

The Struggle for Meaning
Reflections on Philosophy, Culture, and Democracy in Africa
By Paulin J. Hountondji
· Translation by John Conteh-Morgan
· Foreword by K. Anthony Appiah

The Struggle for Meaning is a landmark publication by one of African philosophy's leading figures, Paulin J. Hountondji, best known for his critique of ethnophilosophy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this volume, he responds with autobiographical and philosophical reflection to the dialogue and controversy he has provoked.

Philosophy · African Studies

Cover of 'Imagining Serengeti'

Imagining Serengeti
A History of Landscape Memory in Tanzania from Earliest Times to the Present
By Jan Bender Shetler

Many students come to African history with a host of stereotypes that are not always easy to dislodge. One of the most common is that of Africa as safari grounds—as the land of expansive, unpopulated game reserves untouched by civilization and preserved in their original pristine state by the tireless efforts of contemporary conservationists.

African History · African Studies · Environmental History · Eastern Africa · Tanzania