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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Transformation of Rural Boundaries in Resource-Use Practices in Burkina Faso
Author:Hagberg, StenISNI
Year:2006
Periodical:Africa Today
Volume:52
Issue:4
Period:Summer
Pages:109-129
Language:English
Geographic term:Burkina Faso
Subjects:boundaries
cosmology
natural resource management
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/v052/52.4hagberg.pdf
Abstract:This essay explores how people in rural Burkina Faso act upon and seek to reconcile contradictions between cosmologically grounded ritual boundaries and geographically informed natural resource use planning. On the basis of ethnographic examples - sacred groves in Lyela and Nuna communities and land disputes in Karaboro and Tiefo communities - the author reflects upon the process in which the ritual boundary - a ritually defined, religiously sanctioned, and often invisible frontier - of sacred groves and earthshrine becomes politically significant and takes on some lawlike characteristics while preserving certain indigenous features. The author investigates how actors transform ritual boundaries from mythical lands into institutionalized local knowledge, either to be used instrumentally to settle political conflict, or to be made relevant for culture-sensitive development operations. By simultaneously invoking ritual power for biodiversity preservation and making political use of ritual boundaries without physically demarcating them, rural actors seek to reconcile cosmological and geographical notions of ritual boundaries. When ritual boundaries are invented in the development context, distinctions between insiders and outsiders are likely to be stressed. Bibliogr., notes, ref. sum. [Journal abstract]
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