Read e-book online An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People PDF

By Brian Morris

This publication is a pioneering and complete 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 complicated and dialectical courting among the folks of Southern Malawi, either Africans and Europeans, and the Shire Highlands panorama, this learn spans the 19th century till the tip of the colonial interval. It contains designated bills of the early background of the peoples of Northern Zambezia; the improvement of the plantation economic 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 holding common assets and the worries of the Africans of the Shire Highlands in holding their livelihoods.
A landmark paintings, Morris’s examine constitutes an incredible contribution to the environmental historical past of Southern Africa. it's going to charm not just to students, yet to scholars in anthropology, economics, background and the environmental sciences, in addition to to an individual drawn to studying extra concerning the heritage of Malawi, and ecological concerns in terms of southern Africa.

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Additional resources for An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands

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86 square miles (1000 ha). The Thyolo mountain forest was dominated by Chrysophyllum gorungosanum (chifila), a tree growing to 60 m, with milky fruit, and by various fig trees, of which the strangler fig Ficus samsibarica was the most numerous. Other common canopy trees include Albizia gummifera (chikwani), Drypetes gerrardii and Macaranga capensis (mbabwa), while Khaya anthotheca (mbawa) is found in gullies at a lower attitude. Epiphytic ferns and orchids are abundant in the forest (Chapman and White 1970: 156–159; Dowsett-Lemaire 1989a: 100–101, on the birds of upper Thyolo see Johnston-Stewart 1982).

In contrast with the resilient Brachystegia woodland, which is resistant to fire and coppices easily, lowland evergreen trees are easily damaged. There is evidence to suggest that this type of lowland evergreen forest was once more widespread in the Shire Highlands, particularly in the higher-rainfall areas of Zomba, Thyolo and Mulanje. Much of this along the foothills of Mulanje and Thyolo Mountains was cleared in the opening-up of the tea estates in the first decades of the twentieth century.

MORRIS Brachystegia woodland is a widespread forest type found throughout a greater part of eastern and central Africa. In the Shire Highlands it was, until comparatively recently, the main vegetation type covering much of the highlands, particularly the hills and escarpments between 2000 feet (610 m) and 5000 feet (1525 m). Almost always dominated by species of Brachystegia it is often described as ‘miombo’ woodland, after the local names for Brachystegia longifolia (miombo, Nyanja; njombo, Yao).

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