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VEGETATION CHANGES AND USE OF PALMS AS A BUILDING MATERIAL BY OVAMBO AGRO-PASTORALISTS IN NORTH-CENTRAL NAMIBIA

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Title

VEGETATION CHANGES AND USE OF PALMS AS A BUILDING MATERIAL BY OVAMBO AGRO-PASTORALISTS IN NORTH-CENTRAL NAMIBIA

Subject

African study monographs. Supplementary issue (2005), 30:
89-105

Description

This paper focuses on the mutual transition between vegetation and timber use by the Ovambo people in north-central Namibia and their use of palms for timber in recent years. The vegetation around the research area was characterized as Mopane savanna, dominated by Colophospermum mopane. Historically, the Ovambo used mainly Mopane trunks for timber. However, as bush encroachment advanced in some parts of north-central Namibia, residents were forced to collect Mopane timber from the south. Since the 1970s, however, collecting Mopane has become difficult, and the inhabitants have therefore begun to use palm petioles for timber. Because the use of this resource requires many palm petioles, an environment conducive to grow many palms is required to make this option feasible. The vegetation configuration of this environment was formed mainly by three factors: (1) the unique fl ood terrain initially dispersed palm seeds over a wide area, (2) humans involuntarily dispersed seeds after eating, (3) palms were conserved by the residents. Thus, the increased use of palms emerged at a point of intersection between a change in vegetation patterns and a change in plant use by humans. The critical points of this use are its sustainability and the maintenance of traditional building complexity.

Creator

Yuichiro Fujioka

Publisher

African study monographs. Supplementary issue (2005), 30:
89-105

Date

2005

Contributor

Bernard C. Moore

Format

PDF

Language

English

Type

Journal Article

Files

Collection

Citation

Yuichiro Fujioka, “VEGETATION CHANGES AND USE OF PALMS AS A BUILDING MATERIAL BY OVAMBO AGRO-PASTORALISTS IN NORTH-CENTRAL NAMIBIA,” Namibia Digital Repository, accessed July 22, 2018, http://namibia.leadr.msu.edu/items/show/277.

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