'Ilima', 'Izithebe' and the 'Green Revolution' : a complex agro-ecological approach to understanding agriculture in Pondoland and what this means for sustainability through the creation of 'Living Landscapes'

Payn, Valerie (2012-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis uses local narratives to explore relationships between agrarian landscapes, agrarian land use practices and the traditional cultural perspectives of traditional amaMpondo farming communities living along Pondoland‟s Wild Coast, on the East Coast of South Africa. This endeavour is based on theories that propose that human behaviour, including agrarian practice, is influenced by complex socio-cultural factors that shape cultural values, knowledge and world-views, and that are reflected in cultural narratives, and these influence the way different cultures relate to the surrounding environment. As a consequence of these cultural influences, different cultures use and shape the landscape in unique, culturally determined ways. Consequently, in human impacted landscapes attention needs to be paid to how cultural world-views, practices, customs and value systems influence the land use practices of the people inhabiting those landscapes. Amongst traditional communities with a long history of habitation within particular landscapes, traditional land use practices and customs, including agrarian practices, need to be understood from the perspective of the opportunities and constraints that particular environments present. Literature shows that a failure to understand relationships between culture and land use can led to the imposition of unsuitable development practices and policy on traditional cultures, and this can undermine cultural, agricultural and ecological diversity and lead to unsustainable models of development (Naveh, 1995; Antrop, 2005; Antrop, 2000; Capra, 2003; Capra, 1996; Nusser, 2001; Harding, S. 2006). Given the need to address development and agricultural practices that perpetuate unsustainable land use, an understanding of the nature of influencing relationships between landscape, land use and culture is particularly important Despite the debilitating influences of a colonial history, many rural communities along the Pondoland Wild Coast still retain a strong sense of cultural identity that has deep roots in a traditional agrarian system, and this has given rise to a unique indigenous landscape. This study of traditional amaMpondo farming communities presents an opportunity to gain insights into how different cultural perspectives might shape and utilize the landscape and lead to alternative land use systems than the dominant industrial norm.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis gebruik plaaslike narratiewe om die verhoudings tussen agrariese landskappe, landbou grondgebruik en die tradisionele kulturele perspektiewe van tradisionele amaMpondo boerdery gemeenskappe wat langs die Pondolandse Wildekus, aan die ooskus van Suid-Afrika voorkom te verken. Hierdie strewe is gebaseer op teorieë wat voorstel dat menslike gedrag, insluitende agrariese praktyk, beïnvloed word deur die komplekse sosio-kulturele faktore wat kulturele waardes, kennis en wêreldbeskouings vorm, en wat weerspieël word in die kulturele verhale, wat dan weer invloed het op die wyse waarop die verskillende kulture verband hou met die omliggende omgewing. As gevolg van hierdie kulturele invloede, maak verskillende kulture in unieke, kultureel bepaalde wyse gebruik van die landskap. Gevolglik, in landskappe wat deur die mens beïnvloed word, moet aandag geskenk word aan hoe kulturele wêreldbeskouings, praktyke, gewoontes en die waarde stelsels die mense in hierdie provinsies se landgebruik be-invloed. Tradisionele praktyke en kulture waaronder agrariese praktyke ingesluit is, moet in die tradisionele gemeenskappe wat 'n lang geskiedenis het van habitasie binne bepaalde landstreke, verstaan word vanuit die perspektief van geleenthede en beperkings wat hierdie besondere omgewings verteenwoordig. Litteratuur toon dat die versuim om die verhoudings tussen kultuur en grondgebruik te verstaan, kan lei tot die oplegging van ongeskikte ontwikkelings praktyke en beleid op tradisionele kulture. Dit kan' n kultuur-, landbou-en ekologiese diversiteit ondermyn en lei tot onvolhoubare modelle van ontwikkeling (Naveh, 1995; Antrop, 2005; Antrop, 2000, Capra, 2003; Capra, 1996; Nusser, 2001; Harding, S. 2006). Om die behoefte te vul wat ontwikkeling en landbou-praktyke wat nie-volhoubare grondgebruik perpetueer, is 'n goeie begrip van die aard van die beïnvloedings verhoudings tussen landskap, grondgebruik en kultuur veral belangrik. Ten spyte van die kreupelende invloed van 'n koloniale geskiedenis, het baie landelike gemeenskappe langs die Wildekus van Pondoland nog steeds' n sterk gevoel van kulturele identiteit wat diep wortels in 'n tradisionele agrariese stelsel het. Dit het aanleiding gegee tot' n unieke inheemse landskap. Hierdie studie van die tradisionele amaMpondo boerdery gemeenskappe bied 'n geleentheid aan om insig te verkry in hoe verskillende kulturele perspektiewe van die landskap kan vorm en gebruik maak en lei tot' n alternatiewe grondgebruik as die dominante industriële norm.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20228
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