Agrarian creolization: The ethnobiology, history, culture and politics of West African Rice

Paul Richards*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


West of the Bandama river in the Ivory Coast, however, among groups speaking the Mande languages of the Upper Niger basin or the West Atlantic languages of the Upper Guinea coast, material cultures and moral economy have long been shaped by the experience of cultivation of rice in forested environments. The possibility of making such comparisons would seem to be especially intriguing in view of the fact that the origins of West African rice agriculture are independent of events in Asia. The idea of experimentation to explore the potential of unfamiliar rice germplasm seems to be widespread among the societies and cultures of the WARZ. In effect to draw upon a computer analogy West African rice farmers have learnt that it is more cost-effective to manipulate the software than rebuild the hardware of the cultivation system. Mende historiography often traces the formation of forest edge communities to spots where a hunter killed an elephant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRedefining Nature
Subtitle of host publicationEcology, Culture and Domestication
EditorsR. Ellen, K. Fukui
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781000325652
ISBN (Print)9781859731352
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021


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