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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Revisiting the irrigated agricultural landscape of the Marakwet, Kenya: tracing local technology and knowledge over the recent past
Authors:Davies, Matthew I. J.ISNI
Kipkeu Kipruto, Timothy
Moore, Henrietta L.ISNI
Year:2014
Periodical:Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa (ISSN 1945-5534)
Volume:49
Issue:4
Pages:486-523
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:agriculture
irrigation
indigenous technology
indigenous knowledge
Link:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0067270X.2014.979527
Abstract:This paper revisits previous work on the irrigated agricultural landscape of the Marakwet of Kenya and presents this alongside the results of new interdisciplinary archaeological and anthropological analyses that address the temporal dynamism of Marakwet farming technologies in relation to both endogenous and exogamous developments. In particular, it presents a major new re-mapping of the Marakwet irrigation system and higher-resolution analysis of irrigation practices at the village level. The paper argues that irrigation and farming shift across the landscape through time in relation to ecological and social parameters (and their associated timescales) and suggests that rural African farming systems are more complex than how they are represented in current literature. It shows how the Marakwet system has dynamically incorporated small-scale technical changes and increased in scale over the last 30 years while resisting wholesale technical and managerial change and spatial reorganisation. It further argues that historically contextualised interdisciplinary analyses, combined with extensive community collaboration, are essential not only for obtaining more complete understandings of specific farming systems past and present, but also for learning more broadly about the intersection (and regular mismatch) between local contextual knowledge and the approaches of external developers. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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