Les paysages végétaux de la Côte des Esclaves du XVII° siècle à la veille de la colonisation : essai d'analyse historique

Abstract : Before attempting of restitution of vegetable landscapes of this part of Africa (South of Togo and Benin), historical sources must be put back in their historical, ideological and economical context. The perception and the representations of these landscapes passed on by the authors and informants consulted depend from this context. It is difficult from these only sources to have a concrete idea of the landscapes before the colonial period. The relations between men and their vegetable environment will be specially analysed. Men, since they settled, have organised the space according to human settlements, exploited places, hunting or religious places... This space structuring has been noted in the landscapes by some plants which represent real markers. The place reserved to the vegetation in the soil of each community shows the relationships between men and their vegetable environment. Cultivated plants, conserved trees during agricultural clearings, divinities localised in trees or in vegetable formations, all of these manifestations work towards codifying the space and building up the landscapes. A particular development will be given to sacred trees and forests, and to the question of the american plants introduction and diffusion. This will take us to consider the agricultural policy of the ancient kings of Dahomey, notably in relation with the palm oil trade development in Europe in the XIXth century.
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Dominique Juhé-Beaulaton. Les paysages végétaux de la Côte des Esclaves du XVII° siècle à la veille de la colonisation : essai d'analyse historique. Histoire. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 1995. Français. ⟨tel-00363964v2⟩

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