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The Betsileo in the Extreme Southern Highlands of Madagascar
Author: Sandra Evers
During the early 20th century, a group of ex-slaves established a frontier society in the no-man’s-land of the extreme Southern Highlands of Madagascar.
First settlers skilfully deployed a fluid set of Malagasy customs to implant a myth of themselves as tompon-tany or “masters of the land”. Eventually, they created a land monopoly to reinforce their legitimacy and to exclude later migrants. Some of them were labelled andevo (“slave” or “slave descent”). The tompon-tany prohibited the andevo from owning land, and thereby from having tombs.
This book focuses on the plight of the tombless andevo, and how their ascribed impurity and association with infertility, illness, death and misfortune made them an essential part of the tompon-tany world-view.
Displacement and Struggle for Identity Against Two World Powers
Editors: Sandra Evers and Marry Kooy
This book examines the history and contemporary living conditions of Chagossians who were evicted from the Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean to make way for a strategic U.S. military base. Initially part of colonial Mauritius, Chagos was integrated into a new colony named the British Indian Ocean Territory in 1965. In 1966, Great Britain transferred control of Diego Garcia, the largest Chagos island, to the Americans under a fifty year lease. The expulsions which followed were designed to satisfy the U.S. demand for an unpopulated territory. The Chagossians were thus forced to resettle in Mauritius and the Seychelles, where livelihoods are poor and marginalized. The Chagossians are currently engaged in a campaign seeking right of return to the archipelago and recognition as a people forced to live in diaspora.
In: Contest for Land in Madagascar
In: Eviction from the Chagos Islands
In: Not Just a Victim: The Child as Catalyst and Witness of Contemporary Africa
Settling land claims in Africa
This book is about the politicking and strife over land between various stakeholders on the African continent, including Madagascar. It is about attempts to control land tenure ‘from above’ and about local manoeuvring ‘from below’. The contributing authors analyse the intricate relations between the central government, the local government and grassroots level institutions.
In: Eviction from the Chagos Islands
Environment, Ancestors and Development
The Malagasy possess a profound religious, socio-political and economic attachment to land which connects individuals and kinship groups with the ancestors. International stakeholders value Madagascar for its biodiversity, minerals and agricultural potential, while the Malagasy state views land as the necessary platform for its economic development. This collection presents original research by established and rising scholars across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including Human Genetics, Anthropology and History. Authors focus on land as the pivotal factor underlying the economic, social and religious structures of Malagasy society and its relationship with outsiders, aiming to provide new insights into the issues underlying Madagascar’s ongoing economic and political malaise.
Positioning the State, Land and Society in Foreign Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Africa
The past several decades have witnessed a rise in foreign and domestic investments in Africa’s arable land. While such land projects are currently the focus of widespread media and scholarly interest, the role of the state in driving, negotiating and facilitating these acquisitions deserves closer attention. This book analyzes how state land policies, stakeholder interactions and privatization schemes interact to facilitate large-scale land acquisitions. It includes a study of the various forms of state intervention, the influence of foreign agencies, governments and private entities, and a look at how states interact with local populations. The inclusion of case studies in settings throughout the African continent should attract the interest of both an academic and non-academic readership.
Social scientists examining contemporary Africa take considerable pains to resist portraying Africa as nothing more than a land of victims unable to escape historical cycles of war, exploitation and tyranny. However, children are still frequently conceptualised as passive actors, mere extensions of adult societies and receptors of culture. The authors in this volume argue that children are dynamic contributors to the shaping of contemporary Africa. Through novel and unorthodox ethnographic research methods, each chapter provides insights into children’s perspectives on kinship, work, caring, health, migration and conflict, shedding light on children’s views and the vital roles they play in the emerging Africa of tomorrow.