[Marxism] Ogiek: The Guardians of the Forest

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Mon Dec 13 11:31:55 MST 2004


*The Ogiek: The Guardians of the Forest *
By Ron Nomi
African Studies

Excerpt

Natural resources play an important role in the shaping of a culture or 
the survival of a society.  The relationship between man and his 
dependency on the environment has been a major cause of conflicts 
throughout the history of the world.

The Mau Forest, an ecological haven in Kenya, is an example of such 
conflict. The Mau supports an abundance of diverse plant and animal life 
as well as one of the last indigenous forest dwellers, the Ogiek.

The Ogiek, commonly referred to as the "caretakers" of the forest, have 
existed for centuries in a peaceful and symbiotic relationship with 
their homeland. The Ogiek is a forest-dependent community who have 
resisted, struggled and survived decades of discrimination and eviction 
from their ancestral land.  Since the onset of the colonial invasion the 
Mau Forest has undergone environmental chaos of all living plants and 
animals. This loss of natural resources and the denial of spiritual and 
cultural rights of their homeland have had a devastating affect on the 
continuance of the Ogiek identity. The Ogiek individuality, 
spirituality, and economic survival are based upon the biodiversity and 
ecosystem of the Mau Forest. Although the Ogiek have maintained their 
heritage for centuries through a symbiotic relationship with the Mau 
Forest, they now face cultural extinction due to government policies 
that are destroying their traditional homeland and denying their right 
to exist.

The vitality of the biodiversity and the ecological system of the Mau 
Forest is central to the tradition, spiritual growth, and economic 
livelihood of the Ogiek.  Therefore, the continued existence of the 
indigenous Ogiek is dependent upon the survival of the Mau Forest, and 
their ability to live in it, for without it they will cease to exist.

read the whole thesis at:

http://www.ogiek.org/indepth/forest-guardians.htm
or go to: http://www.ogiek.org and click on "Indepth"
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-- 

Macdonald Stainsby
http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/rad-green
In the contradiction lies the hope
	--Bertholt Brecht.





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