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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Though the Earth Does Not Lie': Agricultural Transitions in Siin (Senegal) Under Colonial Rule
Author:Reinwald, Brigitte
Geographic terms:Senegal
agricultural development
History and Exploration
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:This article shows how the Sereer-Siin of Senegal, once famous for their unique integration of grain cultivation with pastoralism and trees, were drawn into the monocultural 'groundnut basin' which came to cover much of the country. The author gives an outline of the Siin's symbolic perception and appropriation of nature, before analysing their mode of cultivation and the social organization of production and reproduction. In the second part of the article, she describes how the Sereer-Siin adapted to groundnut cash crop production, introduced under French colonization. In this connection, she elucidates the impact of externally determined market relations on the nutritional status of the population. She also explores the ways in which Siin women maintained some of their traditional cultivation, notably rice, against the tide of groundnut monoculture and 'male' millet growing. This strategy may be read as an expression of women's struggle for identity and recreation of the former gender balance which emerged in the colonial context when women as producers had been relegated to the second role. Despite attempts to maintain some of their former diversity of food production, the droughts around 1970 made it plain that the Siin too had become highly vulnerable to famine and ecological degradation. Bibliogr., notes, ref.