Category Archives: Agriculture

The Magicality of Cuisine 5 – A Spicy Warriors’ Stew, Gabon West Africa

Cuisine in premodern societies may contain a variety of ingredients that are meant to imbue the dish with magical attributes directed to specific ends.  In past blogs on this topic we have seen dishes that are to secure love for … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-West, Agriculture, Cuisine, Ethnography, Food, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Magic | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magical House-Breaker of Gabon, West Africa – 19th. Century

The following story told to the Rev. Nassau contains several features that are characteristic of groups living in the area in which he lived and worked: Separation of settlements from the gardens maintained by women of these settlements; Honorable characteristics … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-West, Agriculture, Ethnography, Gardens, Magic, Missionaries, Robert Nassau | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Magicality of Cuisine 4: Feeding the Soil a Stew of Leaves and Bark to Guarantee Successful Gardening, 19th Century Gabon, West Africa

Just as people and spirits must be fed, so, too, is the case with the soils that are to be cultivated.  Hence, magically based recipes that are specially destined to nourish the soils and/or spirits associated with a woman’s garden … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-West, Agriculture, Cuisine, Ethnography, Food, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Magic, Missionaries, Recipes, Robert Nassau | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magicality of Cuisine 3: A Dish of Fish and Plantains to Guarantee Successful Fishing, 19th Century Gabon, West Africa

While early travellers and explorers in Africa tended to ‘extract’ cuisine from its social and cultural context, thus walling off dishes as specific and secularized recipes,  missionaries often did not.  Perhaps due both to their lengthy stays in one region … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-West, Agriculture, Cuisine, Food, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Magic, Missionaries, Recipes, Robert Nassau | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Botanical – Brews

Originally posted on voynichimagery:
Exemplary type: f. 13r. Musaceae root-mnemonic ‘Brews’ f13r VG enlargement Having concluded that the group of plants shown on f.13r came from the Musaceae  –  and thus agreeing (as I learned months later) with Edith Sherwood,…

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Posted in Africa-General, Agriculture, Beer, Botany, Europe - medieval | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intercropping in upland Burundi, central Africa

Intercropping in upland Burundi. Banana, manioc, maize, amaranth, etc, are regularly intercropped by smallholders.  This is a traditional method of augmenting soil fertility and porosity, and of assuring seasonally appropriate crops. As well, problems of  brief, radical climate shifts are … Continue reading

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Sahelian City-States in the Western Sahel: Part 2

Recent and ongoing events in the Sahel by way of food crises, religiously based conflict, ethnically based conflict, and military coups are intertwined.  They are the most recent iterations of  interdependent political, economic, religious, social, and cultural changes that have … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-North, Africa-West, Agriculture, Arab traders, Caravan routes, Colonialism, Ethnicity, History, Ivory, Niger River, Religion, Sahel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment