African sacred groves are often described as the remains of primeval forests, ethnographic curiosities, and cultural relics from a static pre-colonial past. Their continuing importance in African societies, however, shows that this 'relic theory' is inadequate for understanding current social and ecological dynamics.
This interdisciplinary book, by an international group of scholars and conservation practitioners, provides a new understanding of these forests, examining their ecological characteristics and delineating how sacred groves relate to social dynamics and historical contexts.
MICHAEL J. SHERIDAN is Associate Professor of Sociology & Anthropology at Middlebury College; CELIA NYAMWERU is Professor of Anthropology at St Lawrence University.
North America: Ohio U Press; South Africa: Unisa Press (PB)
Michael J. Sheridan is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Middlebury College; Celia Nyamweru is Associate Professor of Anthropology at St. Lawrence University
Introduction by the editors; The dynamics of African sacred groves by M. Sheridan; I THE HUMAN ECOLOGY OF SACRED GROVES; The role of sacred groves in biodiversity conservation in Sierra Leone by A.Lebbie & R. Guries; The kaya forests of coastal Kenya by C. Nyamweru, S. Kibet, M. Pakia & J. A. Cooke; Sacred groves in Morocco by U. Deil, H. Culmsee & M. Berriane; II THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF SACRED GROVES; Ethiopian sacred groves by Tsehai Berhane-Selassie; Forest conservation in southern Madagascar by N. Rabesahala Horning; Arboreal monuments & memorials in Senegal by E. S. Ross; III THE SYMBOLS OF FORESTS; Loggers vs. spirits in Cote d'Ivoire by A. Gottlieb; Are sacred forests in northern Benin 'traditional conservation areas'? by U. Siebert; Archaeological perspectives on sacred groves in Ghana by G.Chouin; IV THE FUTURE OF AFRICAN SACRED GROVES; Legal recognition of customary forests in Uganda by A.Y. Banana, J. Bahati, W.Gombya-Ssembajjwe & N. Voigt; The legal status of forests in sub-Saharan Africa by L. Alden Wily.