By Brian Morris
This publication is a pioneering and accomplished examine of the environmental historical past of Southern Malawi. With over fifty years of expertise, anthropologist and social ecologist Brian Morris attracts on a variety 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 examine spans the 19th century till the tip of the colonial interval. It comprises precise debts of the early historical past of the peoples of Northern Zambezia; the advance 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 keeping ordinary assets and the worries of the Africans of the Shire Highlands in keeping their livelihoods.
A landmark paintings, Morris’s examine constitutes a tremendous contribution to the environmental heritage of Southern Africa. it's going to allure 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 in regards to the heritage of Malawi, and ecological concerns when it comes to southern Africa.
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Additional info for An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands
The presence of a rain shrine on Thyolo Mountain was still evident when I climbed the mountain with Arthur Westrop in 1959. Around that period Jim Chapman described the forests on Thyolo Mountain as having ‘never been exploited’ (Chapman and White 1970: 160). But it is well to recognize that much of the evergreen forest that once clothed the slopes of Thyolo Mountain as well as the lowland forests were felled and cleared at the end of the 1920s to make way for the tea plantations—given the high rainfall for the district.
The scandent thorny shrub Smilax anceps (mkwandula) is also common in bracken-briar (White et al. 2001: 68). 28 B. MORRIS We may turn now to the four mountain ranges with which the evergreen forests are specifically associated—Zomba, the Blantyre hills, Thyolo and Mulanje. 8 Zomba Mountain Zomba Mountain, like Mulanje Mountain, consists of a ring-like syenite intrusion. Lying on the Western edge of the Shire Highlands it overlooks the upper Shire section of the Great Rift Valley. The intrusion actually comprises two quite separate mountains, Zomba Mountain (6846 feet; 2087 m) and Malosa Mountain (6816 feet; 2078 m), separated by the steep-sided Domasi valley, at a depth of some 2000 feet (610 m).
In recent decades through illegal felling, much of the cedar forest has been lost, leading Chapman and others to make an earnest plan for its conservation, particularly as it has been designated Malawi’s national tree (Chapman 1995). Besides the montane forests the other important vegetation type on Mulanje Mountain is the montane grasslands. As noted above, these grasslands are held to be a secondary vegetation, enduring only after the destruction of the montane forests by fire, and thereafter maintained by regular burning.