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The banana plant and the moon: Conservation and the Malagasy ethos of life in Masoala, Madagascar


Keller, Eva (2008). The banana plant and the moon: Conservation and the Malagasy ethos of life in Masoala, Madagascar. American Ethnologist, 35(4):650-664.

Abstract

For people in rural Madagascar, the growth of one's kin group and the joint processes of movement and anchorage in the land are fundamental aspects of a successful life. In this article, I examine the clash between the Malagasy ethos of growth and the canonical conservationist ethos of static equilibrium. I argue that biodiversity conservation on the Masoala peninsula leaves local people with a sense of having been defeated in the purpose of life as they understand it. I further suggest that, in the case of people of slave descent, such defeat reverses the historical process of shedding slave status. [Madagascar, Masoala, conservation, national parks, concepts of growth, slavery]

For people in rural Madagascar, the growth of one's kin group and the joint processes of movement and anchorage in the land are fundamental aspects of a successful life. In this article, I examine the clash between the Malagasy ethos of growth and the canonical conservationist ethos of static equilibrium. I argue that biodiversity conservation on the Masoala peninsula leaves local people with a sense of having been defeated in the purpose of life as they understand it. I further suggest that, in the case of people of slave descent, such defeat reverses the historical process of shedding slave status. [Madagascar, Masoala, conservation, national parks, concepts of growth, slavery]

Citations

31 citations in Web of Science®
36 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:790 Sports, games & entertainment
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:November 2008
Deposited On:18 Feb 2009 16:46
Last Modified:04 May 2016 07:29
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0094-0496
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1548-1425.2008.00103.x

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