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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Impact of African Holistic Cosmology on Land Issues: A Southern African Case
Author:Rakotsoane, Frances C.L.
Periodical:Journal for the Study of Religion
Geographic term:Lesotho
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Abstract:Experience shows that Africans are often opposed to land-related projects which include resettlement as one of their concomitant effects. One project that has recently met this kind of opposition from some of the local people, in Lesotho, is the Lesotho Highlands Water Project - a project aimed at harnessing the water resources of the Highlands of Lesotho to the mutual benefit of both Lesotho and South Africa. This paper looks at what underlies such opposition. It argues that underlying the Basotho's refusal to be resettled is the fact that, for Africans, there is more to land than appears on the surface. It explains this in terms of African holistic cosmology and argues that the Basotho's veneration of their ancestors' graveyards, the dependence of the living on their ancestors for their material welfare, and the Basotho's cultic functionaries' mystical identification with some aspects of nature, all of which give spiritual value to the land, are the source of the problem. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]