Accepted paper:

Land evictions and the resilience strategies for the preservation of traditional food productions: beekeeping activity among the Ogiek of Mariashoni.

Authors:

Dauro Zocchi (Università di Scienze Gastronomiche)

Paper short abstract:

The paper is meant to analyse the effects of forced migrations on the Ogiek of Mariashoni beekeeping activity. It is also meant to analyse the role the "Slow Food Presidium" in the recovery of the traditional beekeeping practices and in promoting social, economic and environmental development.

Paper long abstract:

This paper is meant to analyse the effects of both land evictions on the subsistence of indigenous communities and the resilience strategies for the preservation and recovery of traditional food production. The study will in particular focus on the Ogiek, a semi-nomadic ethnic group of hunter-gatherer in the Mau Forest of Kenya. Hunting and honey harvesting have always covered a central role in the food system for these people. In the course of the twentieth century, pressures from both the Colonial Government first and later the Kenyan one forced Ogiek to leave their ancestral homelands. These policies are also responsible for the quick degradation of the ecosystem in the Mau Forest. The transition from a semi-nomadic to a sedentary life, fragmentation of the land and the forced coexistence with other ethnic groups caused the impossibility to continue productive activities in accordance with the traditional methods, with the subsequent need to adapt them to the new context. Taking this as a basis, the paper will investigate the adapting strategies implemented by the Ogiek of Mariashoni, focusing on honey harvesting. More specifically, the work will focus on the "Slow Food Presidium" for Ogiek honey and the role such project has on revaluating the traditional practices and knowledge related to beekeeping. The goal is to verify whether the Presidium may be able to promote social, economic and environmental development in the concerned communities and their territories, in order to understand the potential role this project may have as a promoter of local development.

panel P014
Unsteady food in a migrant Africa [Anthropology of Economy Network]