Journal Article


New shapes to shift: war, parks and the hunting persona in modern West Africa

Published on 1 January 2000

The deployment of Mande hunters’ brotherhoods in environmental defence around Guinea’s national parks, and in civil defence in Sierra Leone’s war, represent two cases where international and fragmented state interests are interlocking transformatively with ‘traditional’ organizations in modern West Africa. Emphasizing the embeddedness of hunting in ideas and practices linking social and ecological processes, this article explores how the construction and representation of gender and authority domains are negotiated in articulation with larger political‐economic processes in these two cases. Important parallels and interconnections include the ambiguous basis of hunters’ identity, distinctiveness, and sociality in the region; the reproduction of both hierarchies and ambiguities in gender relations; potent linkages between environmental protection and conflict, and the ways apparently technocratic or peace‐building initiatives can serve to fuel oppositional politics and the creation of armed ethnic regionalisms.


Publication details

Leach, M
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, volume 6, issue 4


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