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Title: The cultural significance of thuya (Tetraclinis articulata) : an ethnographic study of the thuya woodworking craft and its implications for sustainable management in southern Morocco
Author: Kaleta, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 8732
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis concerns the socio-cultural importance of the thuya tree (Tetraclinis articulata) in southern Morocco, and issues relating to its sustainable management. It focuses on the thuya woodworking craft in the town of Essaouira. Thuya is a multiuse species, with a long history of traditional utilisation, however, the thuya craft is a recently invented tradition that has been strongly influenced by outside forces. Despite this, it has been locally appropriated as an integral part of the identity of Essaouira. Although artisans are reliant on thuya for their livelihoods, and hold a strong repertoire of knowledge regarding its use, thuya holds a primarily economic value for them. Artisans are embedded in a complex web of stakeholders, and through this are disconnected from the natural resource. Consequently, they have little or no influence over its management. Also, the instantiation of knowledge through their practice of the craft is restricted by a range of socio-cultural, economic, and political factors limiting their ability to ameliorate damaging aspects of their craft. Thuya harvesters are also dependant upon thuya for a variety of household needs, and have an extensive understanding of its sustainable management. However, they have a utilitarian perception of thuya (Tetraclinis articulata), which they consider a Tree to use', as opposed to argan (Argania spinosa) which they consider as a Tree of life'. Sustainable management of thuya is therefore dependant upon an incentive for the harvesters rather than sanctions for its artisans. Sustainability models were found to be inadequate to explain the complexity of the thuya trade. Artisans, forest dwellers and thuya forests have many resilient features, and in order to effectively manage thuya populations and the thuya craft, artisan and forest dweller knowledge and practices must be incorporated into adaptive management strategies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: QH301 Biology