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Imposing Wilderness Struggles over Livelihood and Nature Preservation in Africa

Read Chapter 3
Conservation versus Custom: State Seizure of Natural Resource Control

"[P]reservation" of wild life as "game", was directly and repeatedly challenged by men living and finding their living in their own places, their own country, but now, by the arbitrariness of law, made over into criminals, into rogues, into marginal men.
Raymond Williams, The Country and the City

The demarcation of the Forest Reserves on Kilimanjaro and Meru and the prohibition of cultivation and grazing within the boundaries was probably as unpopular a thing as the government ever did in those parts.
Tanganyika Territory, Report of the Arusha-Moshi Lands Commission

Securing control over access to, and the benefits derived from, natural resources was a critical process in the early formation of the colonial state in Tanzania. Natural resource laws were essential not only for generating revenue for the state and fueling accumulation for private interests, they were symbolically important for the assertion of the dominance of the German kaiser and later, the British Crown, over all aspects of the territory's economy and wealth. The resulting centralization of control was produced at the expense of an existing system of communal property relations and customary rights to land and resources within African societies. The purposes of this chapter are to identify the ways in which the new colonial dispensation disrupted customary practices and rights and to explore the ways in which Africans resisted these changes.

Much of the chapter is based on archival sources found in Tanzania and England, with additional information from various Tanzanian government documents. 1 Relying on these sources for insight into the desires and motivations of Africans under colonial rule poses analytical challenges. Since the written history of conservation is the product of an elite social group, the voices of African peasants and pastoralists are heard here as barely audible whispers, and even those are usually relayed secondhand. These types of documents, written by state officials, have limited utility for uncovering "the silent and anonymous forms of class struggle that typify the peasantry" (Scott 1985, 36). Nonetheless, we can gain a sense of what was at stake for rural African societies by tracing some of the debates conducted within the colonial government concerning the conflicts between conservation policies and customary rights to land and resources. Occasionally, the actions of those whose land uses were threatened by conservation policies are reported in the colonial records, and these incidents hint at the existence of a rural moral economy, its constitution, and its defense. The chapter, then, examines the historical process of transference of natural resource control from the local customary institutions to the state, beginning with general patterns in the territory and moving on to the specific situation on Mount Meru.

Natural Resource Control and the Colonial State

State forestry under German rule began slowly in 1892, gaining momentum in 1903 with the appointment of the first full-time professional forester and the enactment of the Forest Conservation Ordinance a year later (Schabel 1990). The ordinance created a system of forest reserves and established prohibitions against their use. According to Schabel, German motivations for establishing reserves were more environmental than fiscal. Nonetheless, the Germans were interested in making the territory profitable and did seek to develop timber production for both domestic and external markets. Ultimately, however, timber would not contribute to colonial coffers, operating expenses remaining about double the revenue for the duration of German rule (1990). In fact, most of the German forestry officials' energy and finances were directed toward the exploration, demarcation, and survey of forest reserves. A visiting forestry expert commented in 1935 that "[b]etween 1896 and 1914 this work was pushed on energetically" 2— nearly an understatement considering that the Germans had proclaimed 231 reserves from 1906 to 1914. 3 The effect of German forest laws on existing African access and use was direct and immediate. "Under Teutonic discipline" 4 (which included corporal punishment and confinement in chains), all African settlement, cultivation, burning, and grazing was outlawed in designated forest reserves. 5

The Germans made similar efforts to control wildlife, legislating a complex set of regulations on hunting, as well as creating eighteen game reserves where all hunting was prohibited. 6 A hunting license was required to hunt most animals in the colony. Africans also had to have a game license to hunt any of the controlled species, which included common meat sources such as antelopes, buffalo, and hippo. The only animals anyone could hunt without a license were predators such as river pigs, warthogs, porcupines, ground pigs, and monkeys.

World War I took its toll on the German forest bureaucracy's meticulous record-keeping efforts in German East Africa, and British natural resource professionals thus found that few of their documents remained. 7 Enough was preserved, however, for the British to use as a base on which to build their program of resource management and conservation. Regarding the draft of the first Regulations on the Conservation of Forests, the interim director advised, "I cannot do better than to refer you to the laws in existence under the German regime." The British government, he continued, "would be well advised to base its forestry laws on those of the Germans." 8 Essentially it did, immediately proclaiming all reserved forests anew as a preliminary measure. 9 In December 1920, D. K. S. Grant (previously of the Kenya Forest Service) was appointed the first conservator of forests. His primary charge upon taking office in January 1921 was the creation of a separate Forest Department based at the old German forest headquarters at Lushoto. The legal framework for administering the territory's forests was established by the 1921 Forest Ordinance, which incorporated all the previously designated German forest reserves. Gazetted forests in 1921 totaled 8,770 square kilometers, slightly less than I percent of the territory.

Once the new Forest Department assessed the forests in its charge, some were decommissioned, others added. By 1925, 212 reserves covered 9,601 square kilometers, most of which were closed montane tropical forests in the highlands. The 1921 ordinance initiated a series of prohibitions for these reserves, including cutting or removing trees or forest produce, firing, squatting, grazing, and cultivating. 10 As restrictive as these rules appear, the policy was such that it did not prevent "the exercise of any right or privilege recognized by the Governor," whose officers could issue licenses for most of the prohibitions. One significant (and contentious) concession was the free use by Africans "of any forest produce taken by them for their own use only."

As with forest resources, the British relied heavily on the work of the Germans in establishing state control over wildlife. The Game Preservation Ordinance of 1921 repealed the German Game Ordinance of 1908-1911 and more or less regazetted German game reserves (see table 2). The intention was eventually to discard and replace those that did not fit future plans for the territory and to gazette new reserves as necessary. 11 There were three types of reserves, and of these the "complete game reserve" had the strictest management. No hunting was allowed and the governor had the power of "prohibiting, restricting, or regulating" entry, settlement, cultivation, and the cutting of vegetation. Even at this early stage of British administration a substantial amount of land was allocated for wildlife conservation (see map 5). Successive game wardens were particularly keen to discourage all African settlement in the reserves. 12

complete and closed game reserves in colonial tanganyika
Map 5. Complete and closed game reserves in colonial Tanganyika, 1930. (Tanganyika Territory Survey Department Map 24/1/30, TNA 11234.)

Besides the establishment of reserves, the 1921 ordinance contained clauses regulating African hunting which were important for customary rights. The law established that "No person shall hunt any game unless he holds the appropriate Game License" and that "No license shall be issued to a native without the consent of the Governor." The regulations (Section 3[3]) established under the ordinance further outlawed certain traditional hunting practices, including the use of "nets, gins, traps, snares, pit-falls, poison, or poisoned weapons." On the face of it, the law seems to be quite restrictive in regard to African hunting, yet relative to those of other colonies, it was in fact liberal. The governor could make regulations "allowing and regulating the hunting of game for the purpose of food supply in times of famine or by natives who are habitually dependent for their subsistence on the flesh of wild animals" (Section 3 [e]). In fact the policy of the government was such "that the native should be regarded as having a moral right to kill a piece of game for food." 13

Conservationists in England—most notably the Society for the Preservation of the Fauna of the Empire (SPFE)—found this "liberal" policy unpalatable and constantly chastised the Tanganyika government for allowing the "slaughter" of game by Africans. As an indication of the SPFE's influence, the Game Ordinance of 1940, which replaced the 1921 ordinance, was authored "to give effect to the provisions of the International Convention signed in London on the eighth day of November, 1933, in so far as those provisions relate to the preservation of fauna in its natural state." 14 The London convention resulted almost exclusively from the SPFE's efforts.

The 1940 bill, however, did not significantly alter Tanganyika's game policy, with the exception that a new category of protected area, the national park, was created. 15 Contrary to what was sought by European conservationists, the wording on African hunting seemed, if anything, to more strongly recognize traditional rights: "Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Part shall make it an offense for a native to hunt, without a license, any animal not protected under the provisions of section 24, for the purpose of supplying himself and his dependents with food, provided that he does not use arms of precision." 16 As for game reserves and national parks, certain customary rights were also confirmed in the 1940 Game Ordinance. Any "person whose place of birth or ordinary residence is within the reserve" or "who has any rights over immovable property within the reserve" could enter or reside within. Immovable property, it was ruled, included pasturage for livestock.

The stage was thus set for a protracted battle between conservationists and human rights advocates over the configuration of wildlife and forest management in the colony. On one side, conservation advocates wanted the state to exercise its claim as the sole legal authority controlling natural resources to curtail any customary use by Africans. On the other side were pro-African elements who argued that the League of Nations mandate obligated Britain to respect African rights to the greatest degree. The result was a policy of compromise: not a compromise between the state and the colonized African population, but between factions within European society, and one that was ultimately unworkable given the ideological chasm dividing the two sides.

Conservation versus Customary Rights

The legal ambivalence of colonial policy and legislation allowed both African rights and conservation advocates alike to make convincing arguments about the validity or irrelevance of African customary claims to land and resources. Very early in the British occupation, Sir Donald Cameron, governor of Tanganyika from 1925 to 1931, foresaw the opposition of pro-African officials to the game laws and suggested that "the interests of the people must be paramount and that the conventional attitude as regards game preservation requires revisions." 17 In particular, agricultural and veterinary officers thought that nature preservation efforts lacked discrimination and too often had the effect of impoverishing rural areas. A resolution passed at a 1926 agricultural conference stated: "[I]n Tanganyika ... indiscriminate game preservation ... had the effect of so segregating natives that their land was becoming exhausted, and a condition was arising leading to their demoralisation and preventing their natural increase." 18 The observation is an amazingly prophetic statement about the conditions surrounding protected areas on the eve of the twenty-first century.

This resolution and similar criticisms of game and forest policies were hotly contested. The chief native commissioner responded that he knew of nowhere that game preservation had crowded Africans "in areas which are too small to carry them." If anything, preservation promoted development "by dissipating the natives who prefer to wander abroad and to spend on hunting game time and energy which would be more properly devoted to agriculture." 19 For their part, the wildlife and forestry professionals simply refused to recognize that being an indigenous African in a colonized territory afforded any special treatment in regards to land and resource access. The conservator of forests reasoned that since intertribal warfare kept territorial boundaries in flux, there was no basis to acknowledge that the African's "claim is more valid than that of the non-native." 20 Commenting on the proposed forest rules of 1928, one official decreed that "[t]he natives have no more inherent property in the forest than in the land, and, besides, must always be protected against themselves." 21 The colonial government's rulings at times seemed to support such positions, as in the attorney general's 1926 decision that all lands, whether alienated or tribal, were public lands and the government therefore owned all rights to cut and sell timber from African lands. 22 Yet even such clear-cut legal decisions were disputed at the highest levels. "I entirely dissent from the view," wrote Governor Cameron in 1927, "that the Forestry Department, is in any circumstances, entitled to credit in respect to royalty on timber on which they have not expended time or money and in most cases have never seen." 23 Nevertheless, foresters singled out policies favoring customary rights, such as free issue (forest products collected on government forest lands without payment of a fee) for African household use, as a major impediment to fulfilling the goals of scientific forestry. 24

The debate over customary rights versus scientific forestry swung decidedly in favor of the latter after an advisory visit by Professor R. S. Troup, director of the Imperial Forestry Institute in 1935. The recommendations of the Troup Report guided forest policy in Tanganyika for nearly twenty years. In his report, Troup presented a lengthy polemic on the evils of free issue. He began by citing Forest Department estimates that the annual royalty value lost to free issue from 1923 to 1934 averaged \cp\12,786. These figures were intended to show the potential surplus to the department if free issue were eliminated. For Troup, free issue was a hidden subsidy for Africans. He felt the policy of allowing Africans free use contradicted the Forest Ordinance, which implied that reserved forests are free of rights. He concluded, finally, that "the timber trade of the country is handicapped by free issue ... So long as natives are allowed free produce from forest reserves, the development [of a trade in small dimension timber] will be difficult." He recommended that the government "declare the non-existence of any rights to free produce from existing forest reserves" and levy royalties on any and all forest products. 25

Such opinions and debates indicate how dangerously ambiguous the various land and natural resource laws were. An untenable situation existed in which African rights seemed to be simultaneously eliminated and protected. A district administrator, for instance, argued that the Game Ordinance opposed the Land Ordinance and Territorial Mandate because it "must necessarily interfere with the holding, use, occupation and enjoyment of lands by natives and must necessarily disregard the rights and interests of natives." 26 These contradictions are representative of a pattern in the colonial state's approach to land and resources laws. In asserting its political dominance, sweeping claims to the ownership of all land and resources would be made and then the "privilege" to continue some customary uses would be granted. The character of these privileges was shaped by the colonial political economy as well as European ideologies of nature, hunting, and scientific resource management. Both of these factors will be explored below.

Some colonial officials, such as the "pro-African" administrator Sir Philip Mitchell (later governor of Kenya) and his onetime protégé in Tanganyika's Northern Province, A. E. Kitching, seemed sincerely concerned with protecting customary rights against the onslaught of European conservation efforts. Kitching's articulate and impassioned counterattacks on forestry and wildlife officials in defense of African rights appear in the records repeatedly, sometimes as a lone voice. Many of Kitching's critiques were carefully reasoned legal arguments based on existing laws. Other administrators chose to argue from a moral stance. "Are we justified," asked an official, "in treating a man who, following the customs of his ancestors, keeps a bee-hive in the forest without a license or searches for wild honey as a criminal who may be sent to gaol for six months?" 27 Moral appeals and outspoken advocates like Kitching were rare, however, and the harsh political-economic realities of administering an insignificant colony such as Tanganyika go further in explaining the government's reluctance to extinguish African rights than some model of imperial benevolence.

To begin with, Tanganyika was never regarded by Britain as an important territory. The amount of money and effort Britain was willing to invest in order to control its territorial mandate was minimal, and the Game Department was far down on the list of priorities within the administration. In fact it was nearly eliminated in the budget cuts of 1931, a cheering notion for many provincial commissioners. 28 In short, though it claimed sole ownership of the territory's land, wildlife, and timber, the state's ability to completely control the rural areas was limited. The Chief Secretary of Tanganyika, in fact, admitted in the public press that the government could not control African hunting and was taken to task by the SPFE in London. 29 African game scouts, often the sole representatives of the state for many kilometers, were heavily dependent for their welfare on the communities whose members they were supposed to be arresting, and "bribery" was widespread. 30 For some administrators, the proposal to impose fees for Africans' use of forest products was irrational since it would be impossible to enforce without incurring great expense. 31 Benevolence was cheaper.

In addition, administrators were well aware of the importance of free access to resources to rural livelihood and that if they pushed so far as to threaten survival, rebellion might ensue. In the aftermath of the Maji Maji Rebellion of 1905, for instance, German military officers speculated that African opposition to the game laws had helped trigger the uprising (Koponen 1995). While foresters urged the implementation of a fee schedule for minor forest products, administrators warned that the "proposal would arouse intense opposition" among Africans. 32 Of all Troup's recommendations, the elimination of free use for Africans drew the most cautionary responses. Governor Harold MacMichael warned that it was not "wise to make any sudden and drastic change" in policies concerning African forest access. For administrators concerned with order and stability and a modicum of legitimacy, the proposals from natural resource professionals to curtail customary rights were political red flags.

Finally, free access to subsistence resources helped to keep African wages depressed, since essentials such as fuelwood and building poles could be obtained by the labor of wives and children rather than by cash purchases. Furthermore, in rural economies, game meat and honey collected in the forests were critical nutritional sources. Hence, the interpretations or explicit wording of wildlife and forest laws directed that Africans could take what they needed for their own consumption. At the same time, the laws prohibited them from using their access "privileges" to participate in the market economy by selling meat or timber. In this way natural resource management laws helped push Africans toward wage labor to meet their cash needs and prevented them from competing with Europeans in the marketing of wildlife and forest products. In short, allowing Africans free access left them with one foot in the subsistence economy and helped fuel the accumulation of capital among Europeans.

Colonial resource policies were indeterminate and ambiguous about African rights because political-economic conditions were such that they could not be otherwise. In essence, the law placed all regulatory control in the hands of the governor, while granting some African rights to hunt and collect products of the forest. Consequently, the government could avoid the political trouble of attempting to curtail all African rights without having to explicitly relinquish state authority. Customary African hunting and land use practices, if not redefined as "crimes," were considered "privileges," theoretically revocable at the discretion of the governor. However obtrusive this situation was for Africans, it was far from satisfactory for the conservationists in London.

The Unhappy Hunting Grounds

Reflecting on the controversies and conflicting interests at play in the debates surrounding the 1940 Game Ordinance, Tanganyika's solicitor general remarked that "[t]here can be few such subjects which are capable of rousing such violent passions in the breasts of otherwise quite reasonable people than that of game preservation." 33 While the colonial administration was willing to concede limited local access, various other interests within European society were anxious to see it extinguished. African rights to hunt wildlife were perhaps the most visible and symbolically important arena of struggle in this respect. The culture of "the Hunt" (MacKenzie 1987) was deeply imbedded in the consciousness of European settlers and resource professionals, especially those with military backgrounds. Hunting wild animals in Africa was an important symbol of European dominance on the continent and instrumental in distinguishing social class within settler society (MacKenzie 1987; 1988). Success in hunting translated to success in military campaigns, at both the individual and group level.

Hunting in Africa was ultimately transformed into a ritualized act that became one source of upper-class identification, a measure by which a social group could differentiate itself from other classes and, in particular, Africans (MacKenzie 1988; Neumann 1996). A complex set of mores and rules concerning the killing of wild animals were established which were embodied in the terms "sportsmanship" or "sport hunting." A person's class status determined, and could be determined by, how they brought an elephant to its untimely demise. The idea of hunting with the sole motivation of obtaining meat was thus anathema within the ideology of the Hunt. For the European engaged in the hunting ritual, food acquisition was largely irrelevant. For African societies engaged in their own ritual hunting practices, efficiency in obtaining animal protein was highly valued.

The discourse of colonial conservation thus soon became centered on the "unsportsmanlike" quality of African hunting practices. Conservationists singled out Tanganyika as the worst offender, 34 mostly because its policies were relatively sympathetic to African hunting rights. For example, at a game conference in Mombassa in 1926, Tanganyika's game warden explained that the policy is "as regards natives, to take no notice of minor or isolated offenses." 35 A subsequent regional conference on the protection of wildlife held in Nairobi in 1947 became a forum for attacking Tanganyika's policies. Conference participants deplored the tolerance of African hunting methods in moralistic terms—what was "game" for Europeans was a "victim" for Africans. Regarding the use of poisons, a critic declared: "[T]he victim [animal] dies slowly in sweating agony" under the "foulest and most unsporting method of killing." 36 Another participant declared that "there is wholesale extermination [of game] by native hunters" in Tanganyika. 37

People outside the colonial bureaucracy also pressured the government with denunciations of their game policy. Editorials by such public luminaries as Sir Julian Huxley 38 appeared in the British press condemning wildlife "slaughter," and the SPFE pressured the colonial office to halt "inhumane" hunting practices. 39 Alarming declarations such as "hundreds of Natives hunting with poisoned arrows are slaughtering thousands of head of game" were made by groups with vested interests in monopolizing wildlife hunting. 40 European settlers added their criticisms, complaining of lenient sentences for African offenders 41 and once calling for the dismissal of an administrative officer who encouraged Africans to exercise their customary hunting rights. 42 Ultimately, the well-publicized and sensational descriptions of wildlife "slaughter" compelled the secretary of state for the colonies to tell the governor, "I feel sure that you will agree with me that this state of affairs should not be allowed to continue." 43

The claims in the popular press of wildlife slaughter by Africans were not substantiated in the records and most were immediately refuted by administrative officers. Regarding the above accusation concerning "thousands of head of game," for example, the Member for Agriculture and Natural Resources replied that there were perhaps five animals involved in the incident cited, not "thousands," and perhaps forty Africans, not "hundreds." 44 Of these, he speculated, most were probably porters and noted that the party was small in comparison to European safaris. In a series of responses to the game warden's recommendations to ban poison arrows, several provincial commissioners countered that in their experience death by that method was very quick. 45

Commentaries such as those cited above reveal that there was more at stake than merely the conservation of wildlife numbers in colonial Africa. Hunting by Africans involved cultural values and practices that offended the sensibilities of Europeans who held fast to their own values and myths concerning wildlife. The enforcement of these values and myths was integral to the legitimation of colonial rule and to reaffirming the superiority of British culture and society. To allow African hunting and forest use to continue would mean placing African culture and resource management practices on equal footing with those of Europeans. The discourse of colonial conservation, then, simultaneously denigrated African land use and natural resource practices and promoted the primacy of European forest and wildlife management techniques.

Supplementing their moral arguments against customary uses of natural resources, the British relied on the ideologies of "scientific" resource management and racial interpretations of African culture. Great weight was given to Professor Troup's assessment of Tanganyika's forestry policies, in which he argued that free issue for Africans hindered scientific forest management. In claiming sole authority to manage the colony's natural resources, resource professionals employed stereotypes of racial inferiority to dismiss Africans' ability to conduct their own affairs. The game warden, for example, argued against the legalization of African hunting, "because the native has not yet reached the stage of civilization at which he is capable of appreciating properly the gifts of nature such as a fine game population and valuable timber forests—and of conserving them." 46 Discussing the possibilities for sustained use management in Tanganyika, a succeeding warden pointed out that "[i]t is well known, however, that in his present state of mental development, the African is incapable of foresight and provision for the morrow." 47 Based on this line of thought, European professionals argued that the control of all natural resources should be placed in the hands of state bureaucracies.

Not all members of the colonial elite, particularly early advocates of indirect rule (Neumann 1997b), were convinced by conservationists' reasoning. Governor Cameron, for instance, envisaged the long-term role of the Forestry Department as advisory only, with Africans performing reserve management. In 1931, the Chief Secretary outlined the government's position for the conservator. The governor felt, wrote the secretary, that "the Government certainly had in mind the desirability of delegating responsibility for the protection of Forest Reserves to Native Administrations." 48 He went on to explain that "the ultimate object would be to effect a complete transfer of responsibility for the actual protection of forests, so that your Department would be in the position of an expert adviser." In his memoirs, Cameron became sentimental about the plight of Africans who had lost legal access to wild meat. Recalling an incident he witnessed in which three people were mauled by a lion, he wrote, "Because these wretched people, with their miserable bows and absurdly tiny shields and spears, having seen the lion strike down an antelope, were endeavoring to take it away from him—for food for themselves. They were afraid to kill a bit of game for themselves, lest they be punished, but were not afraid to try to drive the lion away from the stricken antelope that they might obtain a bit of meat" (Cameron 1939, 239). The governor's compassion for the plight of Africans deprived of hunting rights did not, however, compel him to rescind the colonial game laws.

There were some in the administration who mocked the moral stance of wildlife conservationists and dismissed the professionals' scientific arguments as "lip service" that masked the "real" motivation behind the policies: reservation of the wildlife for elite European hunters. 49 There were costs to reserving wildlife hunting for the pleasure of a privileged few, most of them borne by Africans. "I think a great deal of sentimental twaddle is talked about game by those who confuse the issue," observed an administrator, "which is, simply, whether game is to be preserved for the privileged owner of a .350 Express regardless of the damage it does to the crops or livestock of a man who is at most times on the bare subsistence level." 50 None of this, of course, was lost on the Africans, who were well aware of the links between their loss of rights and European pleasure and profit.

Conservation Law and Landed Moral Economy

From the above debates it is clear that the laws severely disrupted African natural-resource use and diminished Africans' control over traditional means of production. However, recovering from the historical record a sense of African responses to these threats to their livelihood is more problematic. Nevertheless, though we have only the jaundiced writings of the game department and other colonial officials, a careful reading of the reports offers evidence for a moral economy within African society that legitimized resistance to the conservation laws of the state. We can detect in the complaints of the rangers and foresters elements of community coherence and complicity among Africans in the face of European assaults on their way of life. Refering to the "slaughter" of wildlife by African hunters, a ranger indignantly observed that "[t]here is practically no attempt made by the people concerned to hide their activities," which their chief, technically a representative of the state, openly supported. 51 When Ikoma hunters threatened game scouts with poisoned arrows should they attempt to stop them from hunting, an official complained that "everybody in the tribe . . . knows the names of the members of the tribe involved." 52 Assessing the situation, which continued for years without resolution, the provincial commissioner for the region declared it was uncontrollable because the headmen were in sympathy with the hunters. 53

Giving due consideration to the source of the accounts, 54 the records show that the Africans were prepared to defend their livelihood against the state's attempts to usurp control. Confrontations between African hunting parties and game rangers—who warned that "the situation will develop into guerrilla warfare"—were not uncommon. 55 The Ikoma, who had a strong tradition of hunting, were particularly defiant and willing to attack rangers attempting to enforce game laws. 56 They openly boasted to the rangers that they would continue to hunt as they pleased and threatened to use poison arrows against anyone trying to stop them. In the forest reserves, meanwhile, guards were "endangering their lives" if they tried to stop traditional burning practices. 57

Cognizant of the prevailing community acquiescence regarding the open violation of conservation laws, forest and wildlife officials felt communal fines were the solution. The Collective Punishment Ordinance of 1921 allowed the governor to impose fines on an entire village or community if any of the members were involved in harboring criminals. The conservator of forests and others repeatedly requested the government to invoke the ordinance for cases of forest burning. 58 Collective punishments were reasoned to be necessary to halt forest firing because African communities saw it as an acceptable and even desirable practice. As a legislative council member from the Arusha District reasoned, collective punishments would reduce the incidence of fire because "the fire lighter would no longer be a hero but a public nuisance." 59 Weighing the political risks involved in applying the ordinance, the government repeatedly refused. Another proposed solution was to leverage compliance by Machiavellian application of the principle of indirect rule. The game warden Philip Teare, for example, urged "headmen of a village to be held responsible for fire." 60 In the above case of "disorder among the Ikoma," the provincial commissioner with-held half of the chief's salary until such time as the names of the perpetrators were revealed. 61 The record does not show that they ever were, though the chief was eventually returned to full salary.

The discourse of colonial conservation and the discourse framed within an African moral economy were fundamentally incompatible regarding land and resources uses, the meaning of which became a point of struggle. Practices considered by the state to be crimes or privileges were, within the moral economy of African rural life, customary rights and entitlements that came with clan and tribal membership. In the struggle for control, each side could engage their own moral language to legitimize their positions. Though each side might frame the discussion according to their respective visions, both lacked the power to put their claims into practice except within limited areas of time and space. Africans rejected the discourse of conservation and found ways to resist the total loss of access to subsistence resources, but were subject to severe penalties if they were caught. Conversely, during the interwar years, conservationists did not have the political strength to eliminate completely customary rights nor even enforce the legislated prohibitions to which the government agreed.

The Evolution of State Conservation Policy on Mount Meru

On Mount Meru, whose upper slopes contained stands of commercially valuable cedar (Juniperus procera) and loliondo (Olea hochstetteri), rights to timber and forested lands were the focus of state conservation policy through most of the colonial period. While wildlife was abundant in certain areas of the mountain, and various locally specific game laws were enacted, the fulcrum of struggle between the Meru and the colonial state was forest access rather than hunting. The roots of this struggle reach back to the nineteenth century.

The forest and game reserves implemented by the Germans in the 1890s on Mount Meru mostly remained intact after the British took over the rule of Tanganyika. When colonial authority collapsed during World War I, Meru farmers expanded cultivation and settlement upward, pushing beyond the German reserve boundary at sixteen hundred meters elevation (Spear 1996). In 1921, the whole of Mount Meru, extending downslope as far as the edge of the natural forest (around eighteen hundred meters elevation), was gazetted by the British as the Mount Meru Complete Game Reserve, and in 1928 the old German forest reserve was officially regazetted, its boundaries overlapping the game reserve's. The double designation meant that the area's natural resources were under the strictest state control possible, given the conservation laws existing at that time, and all settlement, cultivation, and hunting was outlawed. It was twice the size of the Arusha and Meru "native reserves" combined.

Because all of the mountain's forests had been under state control since the 1890s, colonial officials assumed that local rights were surrendered long ago. The conservator of forests once explained that the "Germans before proclaiming a Forest Reserve investigated existing rights and generally extinguished them in a proper legal settlement paying compensation." 62 This statement implies important assumptions about the legal procedures followed by the German government, not the least of which is the definition of "existing rights." For example, under German administration, proof of title to land was by authenticated documents only. Legally, "only settlers who could prove grant of land from the German administration, which grants were entered into the register, or those who had documentary evidence of grants from local chiefs or a public authority, had security of title" (James 1971, 14). Under such a highly rationalized system, rights to the commons under customary law were unlikely to be recognized, let alone compensated for. It also implies that the Meru were told the rights they were giving up, understood them, and happily obliged. Shio (1977, 161), for example, pointed out that Meru elders thought they were granting use rights, not ownership. It is likely that they had not turned over their lands as willingly as the conservator implied. Recall that two Lutheran missionaries were killed for being suspected of coveting Meru land just a few years before the Germans gazetted Mount Meru Forest.

Compensation or no, the designation of the Mount Meru forest and game reserves meant a significant alteration in rural production strategies. Some areas of the forest, off-limits to livestock under forest regulations, had historically provided grazing for Meru herds, most critically during the dry season and extended periods of drought. Yet the forest laws allowed some customary practices to continue. Though commercially valuable trees were untouchable, most of the nontimber forest products were still available without a fee. The diversity of plants provided building materials, fuel, medicines, poisons, and uncountable household utensils and tools. In addition, livestock tracks through the reserve, critical for the seasonal movement of the Meru's cattle, were recognized right-of-ways. There was, nonetheless, constant pressure from the Forest Department to eliminate most "privileges."

One such privilege was the keeping of bees and the collection of the honey they produced from the flowers in the thick forest groves. 63 The foresters' wish to eliminate this local use was based on fear that honey gatherers' careless use of fire would destroy valuable timber. They were particularly concerned about this practice on Mount Meru, where beekeeping was an important occupation for some Meru. On the slopes just below the shattered crater there are extensive stands of lush montane forests, where beekeeping was especially productive as a result of the multitude of flowering plants. In this area, four Meru families had exclusive use rights for keeping hives. Each family had its own section of forest. The father passed to his son the right to use the area, as well as the hives themselves. Smoky fires, which had to be carefully watched, were set below the hives to stun the bees while the honey was extracted. Uncontrolled fire or any form of deforestation would obviously devastate honey production, and beekeepers therefore kept strict control over the use of their section of forest. Compensation, to be paid in livestock and pombe (local beer), was due the "owners" should someone damage their sites with fire.

Such a system of tenure and labor specialization makes the argument that honey gatherers would be guilty of destroying the forest with fire seem implausible. Nevertheless, honey gathering in government forest reserves was long the number one bugaboo of colonial foresters bent on wildfire control, an almost obsessive preoccupation for the conservator of forests, who called for collective punishments, imprisonment, and even caning for (non-European) fire starters. It was the Meru system described above that was targeted for elimination, for in the Forest Department's campaign to rid the reserves of honey gatherers, the Meru Forest Reserve was considered "one of the most inflammable" and "should be concentrated on first." 64

Arguing that honey gatherers are a major cause of forest fires, the conservator of forests eventually requested that it be made an offense to enter a forest reserve for the purpose of collecting honey. When his proposal was reviewed by the Territory's administrators, however, his basic argument—that destructive wildfires and honey gathering were directly linked—gained little support. The local chiefs' description of honey gathering to the commissioner in Mahenge Province, for instance, echoes the system on Mount Meru: "They assure me that honey hunters are most careful of the bee-swarms whose hives they raid for honey. They are well aware that if fire is carelessly employed while raiding the hives the queen bee may be destroyed and the destruction of the swarm will follow. The hunting of honey and the manufacture of wax is regarded as a profession among tribes, and an expert one at that. No novice would be allowed to hunt for honey if he could be prevented. It would be against recognized custom[,] and this is a force strong enough to control such a contingency." 65 The fact that there was ample evidence to suggest that beekeepers were of necessity careful with fire, as well as the questionable political viability of implementing harsh penalties for so ancient a practice, convinced the government that outlawing honey collecting was not a reasonable alternative.

In the face of this opposition, the Forest Department relented somewhat and began to differentiate between beekeepers and honey-hunters—the latter being portrayed as nomadic and irresponsible. After a series of wildfires on Mount Meru in 1937 and 1938, which the conservator of forests blamed on honey-hunters, the government was convinced to prohibit entry to the mountain's north side without written permission. 66 A few years later during a period of drought in the Meru area, the conservator again blamed honey-hunters for starting fires and—making an immediate jump from honey-hunters to beekeepers—resurrected the argument for a "total prohibition of the placing of honey barrels in forest reserves." 67 The prohibition was not implemented, but all honey-hunting in the Northern Province reserves was outlawed; 68 beekeepers had to obtain licenses and their movements in the Meru Forest Reserve were increasingly restricted.

This example of the struggle over the extinguishment of access rights to one "minor" forest product serves to illustrate the historical process by which rights were slowly eroded rather than eliminated overnight. This process of tightening state control and whittling away at customary rights on Mount Meru was not confined merely to the forest and game reserves, as the state made broad claims to the ownership of all wildlife and timber in the territory. The Meru area was the test case for the attorney general's 1926 ruling that, since all land except freehold was public land (which included African-occupied lands), the timber that grew upon it belonged to the Crown. 69 In 1926, a correspondence began between the Forest Department and the local administration, which forced a clarification of the department's power to control land use and timber harvesting on African lands. 70 At this time, Mitchell and Kitching were provincial commissioner and district officer respectively for the area that included Mount Meru. In the communications between the administrators and the Forest Department, the right of the department to collect revenue from Meru and Arusha lands was challenged. 71 Seeking Mitchell's support for African control over the trees on their lands, Kitching explained, "It is not however the wish of the Native Authorities that the exploitation of forest produce in the native areas should be left to the caprice of individual natives. There are communal rights which must be safeguarded and there are also the requirements of the district generally which must be met[,] which the Native Authorities recognize and do not resist. The only issue is the form of control." 72 If direct control by the Meru and Arusha is not possible, he argued, at least the timber revenue should go to the Native Treasuries, not the Forest Department.

The matter could not be reconciled locally, and Mitchell asked for a ruling from the Chief Secretary, explaining that "[t]he practice at present is for sawyers to select a tree so situated [i.e., on occupied African lands] and to obtain from the Forest Department a permit to cut it down. They then enter upon the land, fell and cut up the timber, often doing considerable damage to crops in the process, and always being a source of irritation and annoyance to the occupier: royalties on trees so felled are paid to the Forest Department." 73 He asked that the Forest Department not be allowed to issue permits for occupied land. The matter was not confined only to timber rights and revenue, for the conservator of forests was pushing his department's claims even further, reasoning that since "[r]oyalty is chargeable on timber everywhere," it follows "that the destruction of forest ... is unlawful" even on African occupied lands. 74 Based on this logic, the Forest Department tried to order Kitching to stop the Arusha and Meru from clearing trees to make room for cultivation on what all the parties recognized as "native" land.

The Forest Department's arguments on timber rights were couched in the language of "scientific" resource management and conservation, which depicted African use of the land as wasteful and degrading. Where Africans were clearing land on Mount Meru for cultivation, the local forester saw "wanton destruction by natives" resulting from "shifting cultivation." 75 Clearing the land of loliondo constituted a "waste of a valuable commodity," argued the conservator, and it was "incontestable that the heavy timber is not required by the Arusha and Meru natives for their own or their families' sustenance." 76 These arguments—derived from the European-African, scientific-traditional, efficient-wasteful antinomies—obfuscated the fundamental question of who would control access to and benefits from natural resources. The Arusha and Meru peoples were well aware of the market value that their trees acquired in the new economy and, believing the trees rightfully belonged to them, wanted the benefits to accrue to their own Native Treasury. The colonial government also desired the revenue for state coffers and, just as important, wanted to keep Africans from competing with European interests in the market economy.

The government eventually responded with a typically ambivalent decision: "\[A\] native's right in the land is the right of user only; the property in the land remains vested in the Governor. The native's right to the natural produce of the land is limited therefore to the amount required by him for the sustenance of himself and his family\[,\] and subject to this, Government is entitled to exploit the timber on such land." 77 Yet in the same decision, the conservator of forests was told "to refrain from issuing permits to exploit timber on land occupied by natives until the District Officer has been consulted and concurred." 78 When, some months later, Kitching's successor was asked by Mitchell's successor how the government's decision was working, he replied it was working just fine because no permits had been issued and no cutters had ventured onto African lands. At the end of 1930, without explanation, the conservator himself ordered that no cutting permits be issued "on land claimed by the Wachagga, Waarusha and Wameru." 79 Thus on Mount Meru, as it was with natural resource law and policy throughout the territory, the state made sweeping claims to the ownership and control of resources but found it politically and monetarily too costly to actually implement the claims.

The state's early plans for natural resource conservation and the development of a timber industry, then, necessarily eliminated many of the Meru's local land use practices. Underlying these plans was an ideology of scientific management and nature protection that served to help legitimate the state's claims on control and ownership of all of the colony's resources. Implementation of this ideology was, however, problematic because it required a degree of acceptance and cooperation on the part of the Meru people, who were most negatively affected by the enactment of natural resource laws. The necessary cooperation was not quickly forthcoming.

Meru Resistance to Colonial Natural Resource Policy

Since the earliest years of colonial rule on Mount Meru, government foresters had difficulty enforcing natural resource laws in the Meru forest and game reserves. The Forest Department was plagued by continuous offenses, involving especially the pressing of customary rights to graze livestock and a constant pressure on the forest boundary. Illegal grazing was the most common offense in the reserve at least since the British period, 80 and various solutions were suggested to slow livestock trespass depending on how the problem was perceived. The assistant conservator of forests in charge of Meru wanted to build a twenty-four kilometer fence along a livestock path to control cattle trespass as they moved through the forest reserve to grazing grounds on the opposite side. 81 When the conservator of forests claimed, however, that cattle were destroying the forest and that "adequate protection of the forests under these conditions is impossible," the district officer accused him of exaggeration and responded with his own exaggerated metaphor: "Waarusha and Wameru country is overcrowded and overstocked; it is like a boiler with the internal pressure very near the danger mark and when all relief valves should be opened." These tracks were the relief valves: "close them and bursts will take place through alienated land." 82

The district officer's metaphor powerfully illustrates the political and social tensions on the mountain, which resulted from the extensive alienations for settler estates and forest and game reserves and a hardening of attitudes among government officials. After World War II, technical specialists replaced the sympathetic administrative officers of the 1920s (Feierman 1990; Iliffe 1979). The paternalism of earlier administrators was superseded by the technocratic efficiency of the new breed. This postwar situation in East Africa has been characterized as a "second colonial occupation" (Low and Lonsdale 1976, 12) marked by a deeper penetration of the colonial state into nearly all aspects of rural African society (Beinart 1984; Feierman 1990). The change had a chilling effect on the already strained relations between natural resource officers and Africans. A letter to the Member for Agriculture and Natural Resources described the problem with the new crop of foresters: "They at times forget that in creating a forest reserve they generally are eliminating some ancient rights and are giving the individual very little in return... The result of all this is that there has been a steady hardening of African opinion against all forest reserves\[,\] and this attitude is probably the greatest single adverse factor in the creation of an adequate forest reserve in Tanganyika." 83 Given the land crisis for the Meru, it is not surprising that perhaps the most significant problem confronting these forest bureaucrats was the encroachment of settlements and cultivated land into the reserve.

In order to be successful, an encroachment had to go unnoticed by the reserve officials, and apparently the practice approached an art form among Meru peasants. In an almost admiring account of a "most deliberate and premeditated encroachment into the forest reserve," a government surveyor described how local residents carefully repositioned the concrete beacons thirty to forty-five meters parallel to the legal forest boundary. 84 They dug guide trenches, erected guideposts and built cairns with a beacon in the center as an "exact replica of the original." "To fully comprehend this master-piece of encroachment is difficult," the bewildered surveyor wrote, "but I feel that this sort of thing has gone on quite often on both Meru and Kilimanjaro over the past thirty years."

Even if the perpetrators of encroachment and livestock trespass were caught by forest authorities, getting the Meru courts to prosecute their cases was another matter. In pressing the prosecution of forest violations, department officials could find themselves drawn into a frustrating game of cat and mouse with the Meru authorities. Correspondence in 1948 between the forester in charge of the Meru Forest Reserve and the Arusha district commissioner is illustrative of the situation.

The forester was complaining about the lack of cooperation on the part of Meru authorities in enforcing forest laws, specifically a case of illegal timber cutting that Jumbe Ndamu failed to act upon and another case in which a forest guard caught a Meru resident with twenty-eight cattle and eighteen goats inside the reserve, but which was later dismissed in a local court. 85 After interviewing the principals involved, the district commissioner replied to the forester that the jumbe denied he was doing nothing and said that he was instead only waiting for the forest guard to give him the name of the offender. 86 In regard to the grazing case, the district commissioner said that in Mangi Sante's court, people were paraded before the forest guard who failed to identify the accused or his sons. Mangi Sante, in fact, turned the indictment around, and the district commissioner reported to the forester that the chief was highly suspicious of "your two Pare Forest Guards," whom he believed were "condoning offenses in the reserve." Sante suggested that the Forest Department hire Meru guards who could identify the cattle and their herders. The correspondence continued, with the forester contradicting Mangi Sante, complaining that his forest guard never saw any "identity parade" in court. 87

And so it went on Mount Meru throughout the colonial period. As the forester pointed out in response to Sante, hiring Meru guards for the reserve had "been tried, but with no success in Meru country." 88 The forester could not rely on their testimony in court, let alone rest assured that they were not giving the forest away to their friends and family. When the forester found a budding settlement of three houses inside the reserve, the local elders told him that they thought it was legal because the Meru forest guard had personally shifted the boundary. 89 Previous to the discovery of this particular encroachment, the Meru guard had been sacked by the Forest Department for giving out agricultural plots in the reserve.

As late as 1960, cases of encroachment brought before the Meru courts were still being dismissed. In one case, four people were arrested for encroaching and taken to the court in Nkoaranga. The hakimu (Meru Native Authority judge) told the forester they had been fined, but would appeal. A month later when the ranger asked about the appeal, the hakimu said he had already acquitted them, offering no explanation for his decision. 90

Eventually it became clear to government authorities that it was nearly impossible to prosecute forest offenders in the lower Meru Native Courts. A memo from the assistant forest conservator concerning a Meru judge in the Native Courts sums up the situation. He wrote, "The above Judge is repeatedly refusing to deal with Forest Offenders when cases of encroachment or illegal cultivation and residence are brought in by my staff; instead of convicting the offenders, he gives them a certain period within which he allows the offenders to move out of their farms/encroachments. In one case he has done so contrary to a court order by the Resident Magistrate, Arusha." 91 Following this, the district commissioner directed that all forest encroachment cases should be heard at Baraza A (the central Meru Native Court) in Poli, while cases on other violations, such as grazing trespass, would still be heard in the lower courts. 92

Since the arrival of the Germans, the pattern of natural resource management and access control on Mount Meru (and in Tanzania in general) has been one of increasing state intervention and a steady erosion of the Meru's customary rights. Under the independent government, local control has been eroded even further. In 1963, when the TANU government abolished customary political authority, it eliminated most remaining local control. "Native forest reserves" in Meru, set up by the British to be managed locally with revenue going directly to the Meru Native Treasury, were turned over to (non-Meru) TANU party officials, and the revenue redirected to the district treasury. Rights of access to the government forest were gradually whittled away until all access to the "natural areas" of the Meru Forest Reserve was completely eliminated in 1984 by order of the director of forestry and beekeeping.

Elucidation of this historical pattern is of critical importance for understanding contemporary conflict. Colonial authorities were well aware that the new natural resource laws were obstructing African practices and eliminating what were perceived as inalienable rights, but proceeded in the name of efficient and scientific management. The implementation of game and forest laws, by unilaterally depriving the Meru (and other peoples) of customary access to land and resources, spawned a subculture of resistance (Scott 1985) to their enforcement. The manner in which this subculture operates is perhaps best exemplified by the actions of the individuals who were servants of the Crown yet simultaneously deeply tied to the moral economy of the village—the Meru judges, headmen, and forest guards. The dismissal of cases of forest trespass and the incidents of guards looking the other way as villagers encroached on the reserve are examples of community resistance to state policies that threatened established production and reproduction strategies. If the accounts of the foresters and administrators reveal anything about the history of natural resource crimes in the Meru Forest Reserve, it is that their perpetrators cannot be characterized as independent-acting, asocial criminals. Forest encroachments were well planned and organized tactical maneuvers to reappropriate land from the reserve without the management being any the wiser, and their success necessarily required a degree of community cooperation. When individuals were caught grazing or encroaching, the local communities, including their courts and elders, were actively complicit in seeing that they were never punished. We can see in this solidarity of opposition to forest laws, strong parallels with the organization of resistance to the eviction from Ngare Nanyuki.

This historical examination also reveals that, far from being a homogeneous entity, the colonial state was strongly divided over the conflict between African rights and natural resource management and conservation. Those administrators who believed that African rights had primacy over the designs and policies of colonial resource professionals found themselves at odds with politically powerful conservation advocates in London. The interests of British conservationists in African wildlife were represented principally by the SPEE, which, as will become evident in the following chapter, played an instrumental role in the design of Tanzanian wildlife policy and in efforts to create the first national park in a British-ruled African territory. For the SPEE and the British classes that they represented, nature protection in Africa was a deeply moral issue, and the symbolic meaning attached to national parks equally as important as their ecological significance.


Note 1: Portions of the history of the Tanganyika Forest Department described below are based partially on material in Neumann (1997b).  Back.

Note 2 R. S. Troup, Report on Forestry in Tanganyika Territory, 1935, TS, TNA 23115.  Back.

Note 3: Tanganyika Forest Department, 1923, Annual Report, TNA File 1733/A/13/L: 88.  Back.

Note 4: Ibid.  Back.

Note 5: "Extract from German Ordinances and Decrees of German Africa," TS, TNA 2708.  Back.

Note 6: German East Africa Game Ordinance of 1908/1911, TNA 2708.  Back.

Note 7: Tanganyika Forest Department, Annual Report.  Back.

Note 8: Leechman to chief secretary (CS), 17 May 1920, TNA 2708.  Back.

Note 9: Tanganyika Forest Department, Annual Report.  Back.

Note 10: Tanganyika Territory, Forest Rules of 1921, TNA.  Back.

Note 11: Notes on Draft Game Ordinance by C. F. M. Swynnerton, 1921, TNA 3260.  Back.

Note 12: Swynnerton, game warden (GW), to CS, 7 August 1923, TNA 7227; Teare, GW, to CS, 22 April 1933, TNA 12005.  Back.

Note 13: CS to PC, Mwanza, 21 May 1929, TNA Secretariat File 13371.  Back.

Note 14: From the full title of Tanganyika Territory, 1940 Game Ordinance, TNA.  Back.

Note 15: A full discussion of the establishment of national parks and the extent of the SPFE's influence on Tanganyika's national parks and wildlife policy will be presented in the next chapter.  Back.

Note 16: Tanganyika Territory, 1940 Game Ordinance.  Back.

Note 17: Governor's comments on Executive Council Circular, 2 February 1926, TNA 3260/2.  Back.

Note 18: Extract from the summary of the Combined Agricultural, Cotton Entomological and Mycological Conference 1926, quoted in the Proceedings of the 2nd African Game Conference, Mombasa, 11-15 January 1927, p. 6. PRO CO 822/5/7.  Back.

Note 19: Chief native commissioner, East Africa, to SS, n.d., quoted in the Proceedings of the 2nd African Game Conference.  Back.

Note 20: Forest Department Circular No. 1 of 1933, 3 January 1933, TNA 21559.  Back.

Note 21: Comments on Proposed Forest Rules of 1928, initials illegible, 13 August 1929, TNA 10580.  Back.

Note 22: CS to PC, Northern Province, 14 May 1927, TNA 45/9, Accession No. 69.  Back.

Note 23: Governor Cameron, quoted in CS to conservator of forests (CF), 7 June 1927, TNA 1733/A/13/I: 88.  Back.

Note 24: For example, CF to CS, 4 April 1933, TNA 21559.  Back.

Note 25: Troup, Report on Forestry, p. 35.  Back.

Note 26: Kitching to CS, 23 May 1931, TNA H-11234.  Back.

Note 27: D. J. J., comments on Executive Council Circular, 26 March 1933, TNA 2708.  Back.

Note 28: CS to all PCs, 9 July 1931. Various PCs' replies to CS, 1931, TNA 20282.  Back.

Note 29: Hoblen, secretary, SPFE, to SS, 31 July 1929, TNA 13582.  Back.

Note 30: PC, Western Province, to CS, 10 December 1946, TNA 35773.  Back.

Note 31: Comments on Forest Departmental Circular No. 1 of 1933, PC, Northern Province, n.d., TNA 21559.  Back.

Note 32: Comments on Forest Departmental Circular No. 1 of 1933.  Back.

Note 33: TT solicitor general's comments on the 1940 Game Ordinance, Proceedings from the Legislative Council 14th Session, Part IV, May 1940, TNA 27273.  Back.

Note 34: Tanzania was frequently singled out as the worst case in the empire because its laws were tolerant of African forms of hunting. East Africa High Commission, 1948, Proceedings from a Conference Held on the Fauna of British Eastern and Central Africa in Nairobi, 8 and 9 May, 1947, TNA 35773.  Back.

Note 35: Appendix A, "The Game Position in Tanganyika Territory," in the Proceedings of the 2nd African Game Conference.  Back.

Note 36: "Memorandum on Native Hunting," presented at the Conference Held on the Fauna of British Eastern and Central Africa in Nairobi.  Back.

Note 37: M. Cowie, "Tanganyika: The Case for Preservation of Game," paper presented at the Conference Held on the Fauna of British Eastern and Central Africa in Nairobi, 8 and 9 May 1947, TNA 35773.  Back.

Note 38: London Times, 18 February 1946. Another editorial charged that "native hunters are irresponsible and untrained in the humanities of hunting" and "\[t\]here can be no doubt that Tanganyika, among British territories, has the blackest record." London Sunday Express, 27 November 1929.  Back.

Note 39: The SPFE singled out game drives and the use of pits as particularly deplorable. Hoblen, secretary, SPFE, to SS, 31 July 1929, TNA 13582.  Back.

Note 40: M. Dunford, general manager, East African Tourist Travel Association to CS, 9 September 1949, TNA 37492.  Back.

Note 41: Usa Planters Association to PC, Northern Province, 6 January 1930, TNA 13371.  Back.

Note 42: Usa Planters Association to CS, 9 September 1931, TNA 13371.  Back.

Note 43: Creech Jones, SS, to Gov. William Battershill, 10 June 1948, TNA 35773.  Back.

Note 44: Member for Agriculture and Natural Resources to GW, 19 November 1949, TNA 37492.  Back.

Note 45: PCs' comments on Game Department recommendations, 1941, TNA 13371.  Back.

Note 46: Director of game preservation to CS, 12 January 1926, TNA 7623.  Back.

Note 47: Acting GW to CS, 9 September 1991, TNA 35773.  Back.

Note 48: CS to CF, 9 June 1931, TNA 10580.  Back.

Note 49: Acting DC, same to PC, Tanga, 18 May 1934, TNA 13371.  Back.

Note 50: PC, Southern Highlands Province, to Member for Agriculture and Natural Resources, 10 May 1948, TNA 37492.  Back.

Note 51: Open letter from Capt. Hewlett, temporary game ranger, 5 September 1936, TNA 13371.  Back.

Note 52: Comments on Executive Council Circular, initials illegible, 27 August 1938, TNA 13371.  Back.

Note 53: PC, Lake Province, 19 April 1941, TNA Secretariat File 13371.  Back.

Note 54: It is impossible to discern the accuracy of the reports of guards and rangers, for if the records reveal anything clearly, it is that their writings were consistently alarmist and exaggerated.  Back.

Note 55: Game ranger, Bangai Hill, to PC, Lake Province, 25 July 1938, TNA 13371.  Back.

Note 56: A game patrol arresting poachers in Serengeti near Musoma had to retreat in the face of Ikoma and Sukuma hunting parties who wanted to attack them. "Report on Game Scout's Patrol in the Serengeti National Park" from Game Department, Bangai Hill, Musoma, 24 October 1946, TNA 35773.  Back.

Note 57: The conservator mentioned that a "case of brutal assault has been reported recently in the Meru region." CF to CS, 21 November 1946, TNA 10948.  Back.

Note 58: CF to CS, 7 April 1930, TNA 10948. CF to CS, 6 May 1937, TNA 24595.  Back.

Note 59: Extract from the "Notes on the Discussion in the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council held at Arusha in December, 1929," TNA 10948.  Back.

Note 60: Swynnerton, director of tsetse fly research, to CS, 25 April 1930, TNA 10948.  Back.

Note 61: PC, Lake Province, to CS, 18 August 1938, TNA 13371.  Back.

Note 62: CF to Member for Agriculture and Natural Resources, 3 October 1950, TNA 23185.  Back.

Note 63: The following summary of honey gathering and Forest Department fire policy on Mount Meru is based partially on material in Neumann (1992).  Back.

Note 64: CF to CS, 12 November 1947, TNA 10948.  Back.

Note 65: PC, Mahenge, to CS, 11 June 1931, TNA 10948.  Back.

Note 66: CF to CS, 14 March 1939, TNA 10948. This portion of the Meru Forest Reserve was officially closed on 10 May 1939, by Government Notice No. 66.  Back.

Note 67: "Report on Fire Prevention," CF to CS, 21 November 1946, TNA 10948.  Back.

Note 68: CF to Member for Agriculture and Natural Resources, 26 October 1948, TNA 10948.  Back.

Note 69: The term "public lands" was adopted in the Tanganyika Territory Land Ordinance of 1923. It read, "The whole of the lands of the Territory, whether occupied or unoccupied, on the date of the commencement of this Ordinance are hereby declared to be public lands." In official correspondence and in many maps of the government survey office, the term "Crown lands" was often substituted. Resources, such as game and timber, were often said to be owned by the Crown.  Back.

Note 70: The series begins with: Forester, Olmotonyi, to Arusha DC, 6 September 1926, TNA FOR/16, Accession No. 472. It concerned the harvesting of commercially valuable trees on Arusha and Meru native lands. In the following months the debate over timber royalties and ownership was taken to ever higher levels, eventually being decided in the CS's office.  Back.

Note 71: Kitching, DC, Arusha, to CF, 9 September 1926, TNA FOR/16, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 72: Kitching, DC, Arusha, to Mitchell, PC, Northern Province, 20 November 1926, TNA FOR/16, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 73: Mitchell, PC, Northern Province, to CS, 29 March 1927, TNA FOR/16, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 74: CF was quoted in a letter from the forester, Olmotonyi, to DO, Arusha, 4 October 1927, TNA FOR/16, Accession No. 472 (emphasis in the original).  Back.

Note 75: Forester, Olmotonyi, to DO, Arusha, 14 September 1927, TNA FOR/16, Accession No. 472. As a point of clarification, the forester was quite wrong when he labeled African agricultural practices on Mount Meru "shifting cultivation." The Meru and Arusha had long been farming on fixed plots, and by the late 1920s intercropping with coffee had become widespread.  Back.

Note 76: CF to DO, Arusha, 11 May 1928, TNA FOR/16, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 77: Acting CS to CF, 2 May 1928, TNA FOR/16, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 78: Ibid.  Back.

Note 79: CF to Asst. CF, Moshi, 14 October 1930, TNA FOR/16, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 80: Troup, Report on Forestry.  Back.

Note 81: CF to CS, 19 November 1928, TNA 12913.  Back.

Note 82: DO, Arusha, to PC, Northern Province, 9 February 1929, TNA 12913.  Back.

Note 83: M. L. M. (unidentified administrator) to Member of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 6 July 1954, TNA 21559.  Back.

Note 84: Forest surveyor to Northern Provincial Officer (PO), Arusha, 1 November 1955, TNA FOR/7, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 85: Forester, Arusha District, to DC, Arusha, 14 April 1948, TNA FOR/7, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 86: DC, Arusha, to Forester, Arusha District, 22 April 1948, TNA FOR/7, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 87: Forester, Arusha District, to DC, Arusha, 5 May 1948, TNA FOR/7, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 88: Forester, Arusha District, to DC, Arusha, 5 May 1948, TNA FOR/7, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 89: Forester, Arusha District, to Asst. CF, 17 April 1948, TNA FOR/7, Accession No. 472.  Back.

Note 90: Asst. CF (East Meru Charge) to DC, Arusha, 21 January 1960, TNA Arusha Regional File L/4/8/2.  Back.

Note 91: Asst. CF (East Meru Charge) to DC, Arusha, 16 April 1960, TNA Arusha Regional File L/4/8/2.  Back.

Note 92: Memo from DC, Arusha, to all Hakimu, 25 April 1960, TNA Arusha Regional File L/4/8/2.  Back.