Along the slopes of the Ailao Mountains in Yunnan Province, Southwest China, ethnic groups such as the Hani and Yi have developed an impressive landscape of terraced paddy fields over the past several hundred years. Their intensive terraced rice cultivation stands in striking contrast to shifting cultivation, the predominant mode of agriculture in tropical mountain areas. This study aims to clarify how terraced rice cultivation has been developed and sustained over many years in the Ailao Mountains from the viewpoint of agricultural technology.
In terraced rice cultivation, considerable effort is paid to the preservation of paddy fields. In the dry season, most of the terraced paddy fields are kept inundated even when no crop is grown. This dry season irrigation helps to prevent the collapse of the terrace, in close relationship with various farming works. The long-distance channel irrigation systems maintained by local groups have secured a dry season water supply. In the wet season, on the other hand, protection of paddy fields from excess water is the major concern. Many kinds of drainage facilities can be observed both in the irrigation channel and in the terraced paddy field.
Irrigation in terraced rice cultivation is designed not only for supplying water to rice plants but has various other purposes as well. In addition to the protection of terraced paddy fields, the unique practice of year-round irrigation plays many important roles, including storing water, maintaining favorable soil conditions for rice growth and providing a habitat for various edible aquatic animals.
In conclusion, the terraced rice cultivation in the Ailao Mountains has been sustained by various types of technology, related in particular to irrigation and drainage, which have special bearing in the terraced paddy field.
Lemurs are primates endemic to Madagascar, and most of them are in danger of extinction, mainly due to deforestation. Berenty Private Reserve is a gallery forest along the Mandrare river, southern Madagascar, which is dominated by tamarind (Tamarindus indica) trees and characterized by a high density of lemur populations. Lemurs of Berenty have been protected from hunting and environmental changes since 1936. In the last two decades, since the reserve was opened to tourists, several phenomena occurred in the Berenty: increase of ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and human-introduced red-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur rufus) populations, large tamarind death, and alopecia syndrome among ring-tailed lemurs. These phenomena are potential risks that might cause instability of lemur populations in Berenty, but it is still difficult to determine the primary causes. In this paper, I summarize state of conservation of lemurs in Berenty Reserve and discuss the potentiality of the small-sized protected forest.
This study focuses on a unique mode of slash-and-burn cultivation utilizing artificial forest of black wattle (Acacia mearnsii), which is formed on grass-covered hills in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Black wattle was introduced into this area from Australia for the purpose of tannin extraction in the mid-20th century. This fast-growing tree came to be grown by the native Bena people as fuel wood or as a marker plant of private land. With the penetration of the market economy since the 1980s, the Bena have invented an agroforestry system, with forestry technologies integrated into their indigenous slash-and-burn cultivation system, in order to benefit from the increasing economic value of black wattle.
The new system enables sustainable use of the black wattle forest. Forest regeneration begins just after clearing and burning, as the fire accelerates black wattle germination. Skillful forest management allows the intercropping of finger millet or maize between well-ordered trees for three years. Also, fuel wood and charcoal can be acquired once every ten years when the forest is cleared. Charcoal and local beer brewed from finger millet provides the Bena with cash income. The enormous biomass produced by black wattle, which fixes nitrogen, enriches the soil fertility without the use of expensive chemical fertilizers.
This innovation by the Bena was created through various attempts based on their experience and knowledge accumulated in the process of coping with the socio-economic changes brought by globalization. This case study provides some notable suggestions for endogenous development in rural areas of Africa facing serious environmental degradation and shortage of arable land.
In many parts of Africa, crop-raiding by wild animals has given rise to a significant conflict between local communities and wildlife conservation activists. The objective of this paper is to describe some of the defensive strategies adopted by the locals against the “damage” caused by wild animals from the perspective of historical interactions between local people and wildlife. This is achieved by analyzing the case of Mago National Park in southwestern Ethiopia. Further, the study examines the transition of these strategies after the implementation of the wildlife conservation policy. The results indicate that rodents, primates, and ungulates are the most serious causes of damage to agricultural crops, and that some carnivores create problems for livestock in K village, adjoining the National Park. The following aspects were observed: two types of coping strategies implemented by the farmers; direct measures followed by each household to ward off wild animals, such as guarding the fields, chasing away any wild animals spotted in the fields, and snaring; and indirect measures, such as rituals, that were performed within the community. While these coping strategies helped to reduce the damage, they also increased the tolerance level of the damage. Prior to the establishment of the Park, the Ari people had developed different forms of coping strategies by establishing a direct and concrete relationship with the wild animals. However, when the government intensified the regulation, the Ari people began to request damage compensation from wildlife personnel and local government officials who have the authority to manage the Park.
Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is an important cash crop for small-scale Bangandou farmers living in forested area of Cameroon. In this region, cacao is usually grown under the shade in fields of selectively thinned natural forestland. This study aims to clarify how the cacao-growing system has been integrated into the Bangandou’s subsistence slash-and-burn agriculture and examines its role in their livelihood.
Bangandou people favor establishing new cacao fields in primary forests or old cacao fields because the shaded condition is easier to create in such vegetation. When the land is cleared, a larger number of trees are left in the cacao fields than in the fields of food crops only. This strategy of leaving more trees saves the labor for felling, and attracts people to clearing the primary forests, which would otherwise require larger labor forces. Cacao seedlings are planted in a newly cleared field, mixed with a variety of food crops during the initial several years, and grow while farmers harvest the food crops from the same fields. Unlike the food crop fields, weeding is indispensable to cacao growing, but it is so laborious that parts of the planted cacao fields often become covered with thick bush regrowth. Although these areas have to be abandoned, people may clear them for replanting after a few years.
Analyses of crop rotation and vegetation change in the cacao fields show that the fundamental elements of their farming system have remained largely unchanged by the introduction of cacao growing, in which the same principle of shifting cultivation is adopted for the new crop. This type of agriculture also ensures the stable production of food crops and acts as a buffer against unstable cacao prices and productivity.
Although carbon storage in ecosystems and biological diversity have been central issues of environmental and ecological sciences for a decade, a reciprocal relationship between diversity and productivity of ecosystems is still unknown. To reveal such the reciprocal relationship, we measured the microtopography around some tree groups, estimated flows and stocks of organic matters in soils in the form of litters and roots under three kinds of microtopographic conditions, measured decomposition rates, and detected the shift of distribution patterns of dominant species among growing stages in relation to locations of tree groups creating specific microtopographic conditions in a tropical peat swamp forest. The results suggest that heterogeneity of peat accumulation rate results in undulating peat surface. Such undulating peat surface contributes to habitat differentiation of tree species, because subtle difference in peat surface elevation determines the degree of flooding, which affects survival rates of plants differently according to species. Such the distribution of plant species formed through the above process determines local regime of organic matter dynamics that determines peat surface conditions of near futures. Thus, in tropical peat swamp forests diversity and productivity were closely interdependent to each other, although the diversity has attracted less attention than carbon storage function.
The availability of wild yams (Dioscorea spp.) has been considered the key factor that determines the viability of hunting and gathering as a way of life in the African rainforests. Annual-stem yams (D. praehensilis and D. semperflorens) in particular are the most reliable resource to support ample subsistence by foraging during the dry season, which has been considered to be extremely severe for a “pure” foraging life in tropical forests. An analysis of the canopy photographs indicates that “annual” yams favor habitats with sunlight, namely, forest gaps. The “annual” yams were, however, observed only in the limited areas presently situated far from the village, while forest gaps were omnipresent throughout the forest. The propagation of the “annual” yams thus seems to be restricted under natural conditions.
An old map printed in 1910 during the German rule shows that there had been in the area several village sites of the Bantu cultivators; and this fact suggests Baka camps were probably also distributed around these villages. Although the Bantu cultivators, who depended on bananas and cassavas, might have not grown wild yams in their fields, it is possible that the Baka made a positive impact on the formation of patches of plenty of “annual” yams, for example, through transplanting heads of yams into favorable habitats. If such a manner of “semi-cultivation” substantially increased the opportunity for the formation of yam patches, the framework of examination of the ecological bases of human subsistence of the African rainforests should be reconsidered.
The purpose of this paper is to study Thai nationalism through the dress-change policy during the Phibul administration. The paper focuses on the questions of what policies were adopted by the administration.
Examining women’s dress changes during this period, Suwadi ［1993］ and Kano ［1994］ describe how Phibul asked—sometimes even forced—Thai people to dress in Western style. This study found that what was changed was not only the style of dress, but also the underlying concept of wearing Western clothes, in which time, place, and occasion were taken into account.
Moreover, the Phibul administration employed its dress-change policy as a means of political maneuvering. This was reflected in at least three historical incidents. Following Thailand’s success in repealing extraterritorial rights in 1939, the administration changed the way Thai people dress in order to project the image that Thailand was a civilized nation. Recognizing the opportunity to conquer Indochina, then weakened by the aftermath of World War II, the administration urgently put the plan into practice by presenting to the people of Indochina a Thai civilization that was on a par with that of the Europeans. Lastly, during the Japanese invasion, the administration took legal action to force Thai citizens to dress in Western style as a means to express its resistance against Japanese culture.
The meat industrial sector in Namibia has changed rapidly since becoming linked to the global economy after the country’s independence from South Africa. Before independence, the meat industry was managed by colonists who ran commercial farms in the central and southern parts of the country, and who ignored livestock farming by “Black people” living in the north under apartheid regime. After independence, however, the nation has promoted livestock farming by people living in northern Namibia to involve them in the national meat market. On the other hand, the livestock farming of Ovambo has also changed in the past two decades, and some households have set “cattle posts,” areas of grazing land surrounded by a fence. The purpose of this research is to clarify the relation between the changes in livestock farming among Ovambo agro-pastoralists and the expanding of meat industry of Namibia, with special reference to the setting of cattle posts.
Most cattle post owners have high-paying jobs, and their cattle management system is different from the old one. It is considered that they invested the money earned through their jobs into livestock farming, and that they introduced a new system into their livestock farming.
However, households that own cattle posts and those that do not showed the same tendency for the number of livestock purchases to be higher than the number of sales. The number of gifts of livestock was also high. This implies that their livestock farming is not directly connected with the meat industry. It is not a perfectly commercialized economy but rather a subsistence economy, the aim of which is to increase the number of livestock and the yield of crops by using the manure of livestock.
Since the mid-1970s, all land in Ethiopia has officially been declared as a public/state property. Consequently, peasants have enjoyed only land use rights, while land sale has been deemed illegal. Indeed, the government legislation is not the only factor to have constrained land sale in the study area. The Arsii Oromo customs too discourage the transfer of land to ‘outsiders.’ Nevertheless, neither government legislation nor the local customs have exercised an absolute control over land sale, and small-scale land transactions have existed under various disguises. Although most of the land sale, being an illicit practice, is conducted through oral agreements, some land transactions involve informal written papers. At a glance these written materials appear to be attempts to ‘formalize’ an informal activity. Closer examination, however, reveals how some important words are carefully avoided, and other words and concepts with ambiguous or dual meanings are being deliberately employed in these written deals. These disguises and ambiguities introduced into the written agreements demonstrate farmers’ ‘adaptive strategies’ (adaptation both to the policies/legislation, and to the local customs as well) in order to conduct land transactions. Detailed analysis of these informal recordings is the core focus of this paper.
Since the 1993 International Year for the World’s Indigenous People, the San have been involved in the global movements for indigenous rights. In this process, as well as in the process of integration into Botswana’s national system following the resettlement program of the 1990s, each settlement is required to have a “headman,” to be elected by the residents from among themselves. The San have become interested in the issues relating to leaderships, while traditionally they are known for their “egalitarian” social relationships and sentiments. This paper aims to examine the views of “legitimate” headmanship in the ǀGui and ǁGana resettlements.
In the ǀGui and ǁGana resettlements, the genealogical relationships of the headmen and sub-headmen with ayako, translated as “rich person” or “headman,” often legitimate their political representation. The ayako were Bantu-speaking Ba-Kgalahadi people who moved into Central Kalahari, home of the ǀGui and ǁGana, in the late 19th century. Through the recent process of electing a headman, descendants of the ayako have come to bo redefined as “traditional royal family” among the ǀGui and ǁGana people, as well as by the local government. This paper addresses specifically the problems involved in such an electoral process.
This article examines the transformation of bureaucracy under the Ne Win regime (1962-1988) in Burma, in an attempt to demonstrate the process of the military intervention into the civilian bureaucracy.
The modern bureaucracy in Burma was constructed under the British Empire, and the Indian Civil Service (or Burma Civil Service) was the powerful cadre of the colonial bureaucracy. The commanding position of the ICS or BCS did not change significantly with the coming of independence in 1948, since the centralized colonial hierarchy and promotion system were retained. However, General Ne Win tried to “destroy” the cadre and its network of civilian bureaucracy when the military took over the state in 1962. He believed that the bureaucracy was a by-product of colonial rule and it must be destroyed to realize “the Burmese Way to Socialism.” Ne Win transformed the civilian bureaucracy by the administrative reformation in the mid-1970s under the name of “Socialistic Democracy.” Consequently the transfer of military officers to the bureaucracy through “election” was institutionalized. This enabled the military to intervene deeply in the civilian bureaucracy and contributed to the maintenance of Ne Win’s dictatorship. This change of the relationship between the civilian bureaucracy and the military deffered greatly from the developmental states which appeared in (South) East Asia in the 1950s and the 1960s.
Overgrazing in mobile pastoralism does not merely mean the disruption of the quantitative balance between rangeland and livestock, but also is related with biased livestock distribution which results from social environmental changes such as road construction or land enclosure. This situation also applies to mountain areas, which hitherto have been considered to be isolated by their topographic features. These areas have recently seen rapid changes in their subsistence economy as the relation between mountain and lowland has grown closer. Therefore it is necessary to reexamine the model for dealing with mountain pastoralism in the light of recent changes. This study aims to clarify the transition of mountain mobile pastoralism under the influence of social environmental changes in China. A field survey was conducted in a Tibetan village in northwestern Yunnan Province.
Since the Yak (Bos grunniens), which is the main constituent of herds, has low tolerance to the summer heat, herds gradually go up to the higher rangeland from spring to summer. The alpine grassland located above the timberline is evaluated as the most suitable rangeland, but it is inadequate for spring or autumn grazing because of snow and frost. Mobile pastoralism is broadly conducted under the constraints of vegetation and air temperature, but the distribution of individual herds is minutely decided by arrangements among villagers. Since there have been many disputes over the mountain pasture with neighboring villages since the 1980s, these arrangements are made to protect their pasture from encroachment of neighboring herds.
The mobile pastoralism is always changing in response to natural and social environments. In grasping the rangeland use of mobile pastoralism, it is important to consider the natural and social value of each rangeland.
This article aims to examine the goal of the political activities of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood under President Mubārak’s ‘democratization,’ by analyzing the Reform Initiative of the Muslim Brotherhood (Mubādara al-Murshid al-‘Āmm li-l-Ikhwān al-Muslimīn ḥawla al-Mabādi’ al-‘Āmma li-l-Iṣlāḥ fī Miṣr) published in March 2004, under the leadership of the General Guide Muḥammad Mahdī ‘Ākif. After the severe attack by Nasser regime in the 1950s-60s, the Brotherhood succeeded in reestablishing itself as the major Islamic movement in Egypt in the 1970s. Although the Brotherhood revived as a de facto political force, the government never lifted its illegal status for fear that it might rise as a new political competitor. As a result, its socio-political power has been limited. The Reform Initiative, which I will analyze in this article, aims to reform Egypt comprehensively and serves as the framework of the Brotherhood’s activities. The goal of the Brotherhood’s current political activities is to realize the ideas of the ReformInitiative, which demonstrates its attempt to overcome the organizational constraints stemming from its illegal status. Whether the Brotherhood will be legalized or not is one of the most important issues in the Egypt now, and will influence the future of Egyptian politics.
Thailand started decentralization in earnest in 1994. It has been over a decade that decentralization in Thailand has been implemented. This article examines the effects of decentralization on provincial power structures, presenting empirical evidence from field research in two case study provinces. The author argues that although decentralization over the last decade has brought about a reinvention of local self-government organizations, powerful MPs of the pre-decentralization era have regained and amassed even more power and have further entrenched themselves, mainly owing to their preeminent ability to win a large portion of vote.
This article elucidates the initial formation process of a Sufi order through a certain saint’s relation with his devotees. This saint is a descendant of Prophet Muhammad. His devotees think that he has knowledge of Islam, special power by which he can even kill people, and personal magnetism. I consider that the community that is formed around the saint is one in which devotees share the original Islamic view of the world, and which represents the initial state of Sufi orders before systematization. Before the 19th century, when the institutionalization and systematization of Sufi orders by the state started, there were religious groups centering on a certain charismatic person in Egypt.
The Baka are hunter-gatherers living in the tropical rainforests in the western Congo Basin. In the 1950s, the Baka abandoned their nomadic life in the forest and settled, like their Bantu-speaking neighbors, along the roads, adopting cultivation of their own fields. They perform various mask rituals, some of which have probably been introduced from agriculturist societies.
In this paper, I will first describe a rite of passage to join the mask association called jengi, the most important and widespread mask performance distributed throughout the Baka region. I will make clear the expected roles of initiates and non-initiates in a jengi mask performance. Then, I will analyze the actual behavior of participants in a jengi mask performance, based on data obtained from video tapes recorded with an ethological sampling method, in order to show how the Baka fill the expected roles. Based on these descriptions and analyses, I will show that there is little social pressure, with negative or positive sanctions, to compel an individual to participate and play the expected roles in the performance. Flexibility and arbitrariness, regarded as characteristics of hunter-gatherer social relationships in previous studies, are also confirmed in this study of behavior in the mask performance. I will finally discuss the acceptance, transformation and appropriation of the mask ritual by the Baka.
This paper discusses how Gandhians in contemporary India started to grapple with the environmental problems and the nature of their environmental thinking.
Sunderlal Bahuguna, a famous Gandhian leader of the forest protection Chipko movement in the Himalayan region in north India, had until the 1960s been proposing the promotion of local forest industry as against the exploitation of forest resources by outsiders of the region. His claim was an outcome of one side of the Gandhian notion of svarāj: freedom from outside oppression. However, he changed his stance during the 1970s and started to advocate the ban of forest cutting and the promotion of agroforestry as he learned the situation of environmental degradation in the region, the global move towards forest protection and the aspirations of local people to protect trees. He started to make much of the other side of svarāj: autonomy though proper deeds in a given condition.
After the 1980s, Bahuguna articulated a philosophy of “sublimation of nature”: the role of human beings is to refine the ātman (true being) of all natural beings. In addition, he cultivated a comprehensive environmental thinking as he committed to the anti Tehri dam movement. It can be called “Sarvodayist environmental thinking” because it was based on the Gandhian notion of sarvodaya (the welfare of all).
This paper examines the characteristics of Ari women artisans who make pottery in Southwestern Ethiopia, focusing on how they use local materials to make pots and how they ensure their livelihood by communicating with users who discriminate against artisans who produce pots.
Analyzing the production by four potters in both the rainy and dry seasons, I found that their pots always sold out in the local market, even when the number produced varied because of the weather conditions. In interviews with users and makers, aimed at evaluating pottery making, users rated durable pots positively. They reported that some pots do not last long, even those recommended by their friends. Users tend to form a special relationship, known as jaala, with potters who make durable pots especially for specific users. Potters tend to develop and change their unique pottery-making styles by altering their hand and finger movement patterns, in order to produce durable pots that satisfy their customers.
These findings show that Ari pottery making not only has a technological element but also involves cultural and social processes, and that these factors determine how Ari potters select the raw materials to make durable pots that will satisfy their clients. I regard their hand and finger movement patterns as useful units to analyze each potter’s learning patterns and process of creating new techniques and to compare with potter’s technological variations among the several ethnic groups of Southwestern Ethiopia.
This paper, based on long-term rural fieldwork in Cambodia, analyzes the post-Pol Pot agricultural land right resolution process in a community of the eastern Tonle Sap region. As is well known, Cambodia suffered extraordinary social upheaval during 1975-79, due the radical policy pursued by the Pol Pot regime for altering the society in existence. Specifically, as a part of a series of revolutionary attempts, the regime collectivized all the agricultural land and other producer materials in the country, and forced the people to work for its goals under harsh conditions. This paper firstly reviews the local people’s narratives on their agricultural activities before and during the Pol Pot era, and illustrates the changes brought by the rule of the Pol Pot regime. It then analyzes the land right resolution process after the Pol Pot era by using household data collected in the community in order to contribute toward the understanding of the reality of the post-Pol Pot Cambodian social reconstruction. Finally, it extracts the findings from this case analysis and points out the importance of conducting further analysis of the relationship between state rule and the local response in not only Cambodia but also other communities in the contemporary world.
The coastal region of the Republic of Kenya, including Mombasa, the second largest city of the country, is one of the foremost tourist resorts in the African continent. The blue Indian Ocean and white sand beaches attract as many as one million tourists per year, mainly from European countries. Young unmarried Samburu males, called “warriors,” come to this resort area as migrant workers from their semi-arid home region 800 kilometers away to make money by selling their beadsworks as souvenirs and showing their dance as a tourist attraction. The Samburu, one of the Maa-speaking groups who share their language and culture with the renowned Maasai, appeal to tourists with the exoticism of their “traditional” and “primitive” images. “Warriors” whose bodies are decorated with elaborate beaded adornments are especially eye-catching and feature in many postcards and on the front cover of tourist pamphlets.
In this paper, I focus on the Samburu warriors’ experiences through their dances and adornments. In the tourism context, their dances and adornments have changed visibly and invisibly. By clarifying such differences, I discuss how their experiences of conceiving the “new” and the “original” relate to their identity and cultural changes.
This paper analyzes how the unique business practices of small-scale traders dealing in second-hand clothes have changed under the recent socio-economic transformation in Tanzania. The business practices described here involve a kind of credit transaction called mali kauli, which is conducted by middlemen and micro-scale retailers.
This transaction conferred many economic benefits to both kinds of merchants when I conducted research in 2001-02. However, middlemen and retailers were finding it difficult to sustain this type of transaction in 2003-05, when I conducted further research, because of dramatic socio-economic structural changes taking place in Tanzania. When their business reached this critical situation, the problems faced by both middlemen and retailers was not how they should respond to situational change by individual action or by collective action but how they should reconstruct their personal economic relations by using the logic of reciprocity. In conclusion, I argue that the business practices have changed through the manipulation of the power relationship between middleman and retailers, who are trying to be self-dependent and social at the same time.