Bird-liming in West Africa: Notes Towards a Geographical Appreciation (2023, Version 1.1) Following up some reports of this activity in Liberia, I have assembled what scant information there is on this under-documented activity in the region to better situate my notes and encourage further research.
Slavery Recalled within Local Names for West Africa's Fauna & Flora (2021, Version 1.0) A first attempt to gather and examine names referencing slavery. It finds 25 from 15 languages which suggest this is an interesting avenue for further exploration.
Ethnomycological Notes from Liberia (2020, Version 1.0). Combining rapid mushroom name inventories along with data from dictionnaries and other literature, this note presents the first overview of the field in Liberia for 16 indigenous languages.
Grebo Mammal Names: Some Preliminary Data (2019, Version 1.0). This note is intended as both an examination of the extent of variation in names across dialect boundaries and a rallying call for serious examination of ethno-mammalogy in the region.
How the Salmon Cup became a Rice Measure in Liberia: Elements of an Answer (2019, Version 1.0). This note examines the curious history of a product from the northern Pacific imported to Liberia in the early 20th century, but though no longer found, its name persists to measure the national staple.
Thatch Geographies in Liberia: An Introduction (2017, Version 1.0). Thatching materials have rarely been the subject of geographical enquiry. This note introduces the topic through a literature review that seeks to understand the various combinations of social and environmental factors which shape how they are used as thatch resources in particular places at particular times.
Origins of an Outlying Acacia (2013, Version 1.0). This note is an exploration of connectivities across Sahelian landscapes through considering how a fine Acacia sieberiana in central Niger might have got growing where it is about 90 km from the nearest known examples during the 1984-5 drought induced famine.
A Preliminary Hausa Bird Lexicon (2012, Version1.1). During my thesis I recorded the Hausa names for over a hundred species of birds with a local hunter. Inspired by this I managed to track down 11 other sources of Hausa bird names, some of them unpublished, obscure or hard to find, which I have gathered together in this document. The lexicon is built around a list of all species found in the core Hausa speaking areas in Nigeria and Niger (Hausaland) and just over a half of this total have recorded names. Those so far assembled here hint at some fascintating patterns of name conformity for some species and diversity in others. I propose a socio-spatial approach to the recording of names, as well as a more rigourous collecting protocol, in order to investigate what names may tell us about language change and diffusion.
A Contribution to the Ornithology of Northern Gobir (2010, Version 1.0). This is a detailed report based mainly on my observations during my thesis fieldwork but also incorporates some insights from a local hunter. I have attempted to understand my records with reference to what is known about the biogeography and ecology of the species involved but there is much still to be learnt about these birds as well as wider the ecology of northern Gobir.
Klao Marine Fishing Vocabulary: The language of the Kru people of Liberia remains poorly documented and bar a draft dictionary compiled in the 1970s I am not aware of any other lexicographic work. Working with fishermen and a Klao specialist from LIBTRALO, this is a first attempt to document names around an activity that the Kru are especially renowned for.
A Bibliography of Sources on the Social Aspects of Hunting in West Africa. The bushmeat crisis discourse typically portrays hunting and trapping as the simple acquisition of animal source food for consumption or sale. In reality, who hunts, what, how, why, when and where it is often far more complex. It is always a deeply socially embedded activity. To promote greater awareness of the social aspects of this activity, this note will assemble references to relevant materials by country and sub-topics. Though many of these are old they nonetheless provide helpful background information to better understand how hunting practises have evolved and differ across the region.