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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:In Search of Nyo: Lyela Farmers' Perception of the Forest in Burkina Faso
Author:Hagberg, StenISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Burkina Faso
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161547
Abstract:This article deals with the cultural construction of the forest by focusing on a group of farmers in Burkina Faso. It explores forest perceptions among Lyela farmers living in the vicinity of Tiogo Forest Reserve through an analysis of cultural notions, specific historical circumstances and daily practices. Forest discourses articulate the process by which people's perceptions of forest resources are shaped both by religious and cultural notions of how to behave towards spirits, ancestors and human beings, on the one hand, and by sociopolitical and economic practices of how to make a living on the other. In search of 'nyo' - that is food, farmland and a better living - Lyela farmers handle at least three layers of apparently contradictory perceptions of the forest. First, they need to follow the ways of the ancestors, grow food crops and carry out agrarian rites. Second, they must be adaptive to the legacy of different state administration's views of the forest. Third, Lyela farmers need to deal with market demands as they seek ways of earning money, notably by cotton growing and woodcutting. The article concludes that these different layers of perception need to be understood as part of the present-day social struggle in which the Lyela farmers are engaged. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.