The Sanusiya was one of the most influential Islamic movements in North Africa and the Sahara in the nineteenth century. It organised the Beduin of the desert and desert fringes into a Sufi movement that combined religious piety with trade. Later, it played a key role in the resistance to French and Italian colonialism. The basis of the movement was laid by the Maghrebi scholar Muhammad b. Ali al-Sanusi (1787-1859), who saw his task as being to advance the growth and spread of Islamic learning, in particular the study of Law and the prophetic tradition.
It is difficult for me to recollect a time when I was not fascinated with the very notion of a desert. Walt Disney's film, The Living Desert, which I initially saw when I was 8 years of age, provided me with my first glimpse of this wondrous yet seemingly ho stile environment. The images were hypnotic and captivating. I looked on in amazement at the promenade Cl deux of the male and female scorpions during courtship. Their rhythmic and coordinated movements as they grasped one another made them appear to glide in unis on over the surface of the sand, each individual totally absorbed with its partner. In the next minute the fern ale had suddenly and utterly transformed herself like some Jekyll and Hyde act, into an aggressive predator whose prior gregarious embrace was now a hold of death for the male. The indomitable desert grasshopper mouse, the ever sentient kit fox, the graceful shovel-nosed snake swimming in an endless sea of sand.
This edited collection, written by eleven leading specialists, examines the nineteenth-century commercial transition in West Africa: the ending of the Atlantic slave trade and the development of alternative forms of 'legitimate' trade, mainly in vegetable products. Approaching the subject from an African, rather than a European or American, perspective, the case studies consider the effects of transition on the African societies involved. They offer significant insights into the history of pre-colonial Africa and the slave trade, the origins of European imperialism, and longer-term issues of economic development in Africa.
This collection of sixteen short papers, together with a complex and very much longer introductory essay by the editors on "African 'Slavery' as an Institution of Marginality," constitutes an impressive attempt by anthropologists and historians to explore, describe, and analyze some of the various kinds of human bondage within a number of precolonial African societies. It is important to note that in spite of the precolonial emphasis of the volume, all of the essays are based at least partly on anthropological or ethnohistorical field research carried out since 1959. All but one have been augmented greatly by more conventional historical research in published as well as archival sources. And although the volume's focus is upon the structures and conditions of servitude within the several African societies described, many of the essays illustrate, and some discuss, the conceptual as well as the practical difficulties of separating the institutions and customs of "domestic" African slavery from those of the European dominated commercial slave trade in which many of the societies participated. -- from JSTOR http://www.jstor.org (May 24, 2013).
Through much of history our relationship with the earth has been plagued by ambivalence--we not only enjoy and appreciate the forces and manifestations of nature, we seek to plunder, alter, and control them. Here Paul Shepard uncovers the cultural roots of our ecological crisis and proposes ways to repair broken bonds with the earth, our past, and nature. Ultimately encouraging, he notes, "There is a secret person undamaged in every individual. We have not lost, and cannot lose, the genuine impulse."
Camuto delivers insights on Mount Desert Island, a place of stunning beauty and natural wonders. Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park have been described as the climax of the coast of Maine. Millions are drawn every year to the stunning beauty of this rocky landscape of spruce-fir forest and granite islands. Some, like nature writer Christopher Camuto, never stop coming back. In Time and Tide in Acadia the author draws on years of walking Mount Desert’s summits and shorelines, canoeing its marshes, kayaking its tidal waters, and visiting its outer islands. To this task Camuto brings an appetite for observing wildlife and landscape with considerable originality, a regard for history and indigenous perceptions of nature, a keen interest in exploring the psychological and philosophical appeal of nature, and a writer’s love of language. As in his previous, highly praised books, Camuto fulfills his promise to give the reader innumerable vantages on the nature of a remarkable place that it takes time to get to know.