Category Archives: Indigenous crops & medicinal plants

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 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

The Magicality of Cuisine 2: A Recipe for a complicated Love Filtre for Men. 19th Century Gabon

Continuing our survey of pre-modern dishes with examples from the Gabon area of West Africa, I want to give a recipe for a love filtre for men as detailed by Dr. Robert Nassau, who served as missionary, doctor and ethnologist throughout … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-General, Africa-West, Anthropology, Cuisine, Ethnography, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Magic, Missionaries, Recipes, Robert Nassau | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Magicality of Cuisine 1: Meat Cooked in Plantain Leaves as a Love Philtre, 19th Century Gabon, West Africa

Pre-modern cuisine in many parts of the world can be more fully understood not simply as a technical  ‘recipe’ to be constructed – but also in relation to the context in which it is situated.  Hence, there may be social, sexual, political, religious … Continue reading

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

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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Christmas in Burundi: Celebrations in the Nearby Village of Kajaga-Kinyinya

Since I most likely will be unable to post a new Christmas Blog this year, what follows is last year’s Christmas Blog, Updated. Reposted 17 Dec. 2013> Related articles and recent events: African Beef Stew with sweet potatoes and mangos, … Continue reading

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Posted in Burundi, Christmas, Contract-Farming, Cuisine, Food, Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika2, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Lake Tanganyika, Living here, Wild honey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments