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Democracy in the WoodsEnvironmental Conservation and Social Justice in India, Tanzania, and Mexico$

Prakash Kashwan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190637385

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190637385.001.0001

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Colonialism and the Transformation of Hinterlands

Colonialism and the Transformation of Hinterlands

(p.33) Chapter 2 Colonialism and the Transformation of Hinterlands
Democracy in the Woods

Prakash Kashwan

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the variation in the institutional legacies—including the property regimes—of British, German, and Spanish colonial administrations in the hinterlands of India, Tanzania, and Mexico. Although the colonial era marked a drastic shift in the levels of resource exploitation in these countries, this chapter shows that native societies’ precolonial orders also shaped the institutional legacies of colonial regimes. Departing from much of the existing comparative analysis of British and Spanish colonialism, it argues that Spanish colonialism in Mexico left a relatively less constraining institutional legacy for indigenous forest-dependent groups when compared with British colonialism in India and Tanzania, each of which inherited a legacy of state-led landlordism in the hinterlands. Finally, while India inherited a very strongly organized elite Indian Forest Service, Tanzania inherited a more fragmented forestry administration.

Keywords:   comparative colonialism, Spanish, British, path dependence, Locke, Castilian, colonial conservation

Hidden beneath the serene landscapes of the hinterlands are complex histories of regimes of access to and control over natural resources. Over the course of the second half of nineteenth century and the first half of twentieth century, colonial governments in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa set aside large territories as state forests, a process which scholars have referred to as the creation of “political forests.”1 In so doing, colonial administrations ignored the land rights of forest-dependent peasants, which were established through conventions of de facto use and carried forward through the authority vested in community leaders. The extractive and exploitative nature of the colonial enterprise was the main driver of these transformations in the hinterlands.2 In this chapter, I examine the variation in the institutions that British, German, and Spanish colonial administrations put in place for the management and exploitation of resources in the hinterlands of the case study countries. Although colonial policies marked a drastic shift in the levels of resource exploitation, native societies’ precolonial orders also shaped the impact of the colonial regime.3 While a detailed examination of precolonial political-economic structures is beyond the scope of this book, the next section offers a concise (p.34) introduction to the historical context of pre-colonial land relations in each of the three countries’ forested regions.

2.1 Agrarian Environments: The Forest Farm Interface in the Precolonial era

The photographers of National Geographic often produce images of pristine rainforests that seem completely removed from human contact. In reality, few forests would be what they are today without some form of human intervention. The hinterlands in developing countries have long been characterized by a variety of land-use practices—they are “agrarian environments” with complex mosaics of woods, shrubs, and savannahs interspersed among smallholder farms.4 Contrary to narratives that pit society against nature, agricultural practices and human habitation have often led to the enrichment of soil and the emergence of woodlands in otherwise arid landscapes.5 In other cases, peasant groups’ active management of fire and grazing created savannahs or other specialized landscapes associated with unique populations of plants and wild animals, including charismatic megafauna like tigers and lions.6

Despite such complex histories, some reductionist accounts portray precolonial landscapes in Asia, Africa, and Central America as “pristine” and idyllic, while indigenous and other forest-dependent people are portrayed as “ecologically noble savages” and “hunter-gatherers” who do not have to farm.7 Contrary to such images, which are quite pervasive among conservationists, the people of the hinterlands on all three continents have long practiced agro-pastoralism and forest-based livelihoods, and also have been a part of trade networks and political alliances.8 Access to forests in these environments was governed by customary norms, which evolved over time into culturally accepted local routines that were often imbued with entrenched inequalities.9 In all three case study countries, forest-dependent groups also developed collective and household-level systems of land relations, often overseen through customary authority relations. Most agricultural activities were coordinated through this system of household rights embedded within patrilineal relations and obligations. In the “slash-and-burn” or “shifting” (all of which I refer to as “swidden,” a term that is used internationally) agriculture practiced in the precolonial (p.35) era, households occupied and controlled a parcel as long as they farmed it. In the case of sedentary agriculture, parcels of farmland were heritable, mostly in patrilineal forms of succession.10 The often-cited “customary land tenure” systems of the precolonial era thus comprised a series of household and community rights, which were enforced via social and cultural norms and the hereditary authority of chiefs.

These systems were far from egalitarian. For example, preconquest Mexican societies—Aztec, Maya, and Zapotec—demonstrated sharply unequal sociopolitical hierarchies.11 Mayan rulers controlled long-distance and regional exchange networks that linked the production and distribution of fine ceramics, jade, shells, and quetzal feathers.12 Mayan farmers, craftspeople, and local leaders paid tribute to the ruling elites in the form of agricultural produce, corvée, and crafts.13 Peasants in southern and central Mexico practiced swidden agriculture, which continues even to this day.14 Conditions and authority relations were very similar in the undulating terrains of Tanganyika, where local populations also practiced swidden farming. Even so, by the beginning of the nineteenth century, peasants of north-eastern Tanzania had developed highly productive and resilient hill-furrow irrigation systems that were a key source of tribute collection by local chiefs.15 The production of a surplus “worth defending,” scholars argue, contributed to the emergence of chieftaincy in the mountains in the north and northeast Tanzania.16

Well before the German explorers set foot in the northeastern mountains of Tanganyika in the second half of the nineteenth century, local chiefs had been part of the trade networks fostered by British and Middle Eastern traders based at Zanzibar. The smallest chieftaincies in Tanganyika, such as the one in the South Pare Mountains, engaged in the Indian Ocean trade even before the onset of German colonization. The chiefs bartered food, ivory, and slaves for prestige goods such as livestock, cloth, beads, metals, and aromatic resins, such as copal with a robust export market.17 These chiefs used cloth distribution ceremonies to maintain and expand hierarchies of patronage. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the central concerns of the political economy of the Shambaa people of the Usambara Mountains had shifted from (p.36) tribute collection to competition over trade links, which “helped consolidate many a political system.”18

In both the Tanzanian and Mexican precolonial hinterlands, the chiefs or local rulers maintained a fair degree of autonomy, which also translated into control over the surpluses generated from the barter trade. The state of affairs was remarkably different in Indian hinterlands, however, where the conditions for stable living and development of political economic institutions did not exist for the forest-dwelling Adivasi populations.

The relationship between Adivasis and the caste society groups that practiced settled agriculture was one of outright hostility. Adivasis were (and are) believed to be at the very bottom of India’s social hierarchy, ranked even lower than the so-called untouchables.19 Indian folk tales and Hindu sacred books portray people of forests as “demons.”20 These sociocultural animosities had roots in Hindu religious practices, but even more importantly became part of political culture. Kautilya, the legendary prime minister of the ancient Gupta dynasty (320 to 550 CE), condemned forest dwellers as troublemakers that could only be controlled through “bribery and political subjugation.”21 The hostility that Adivasis encountered, coupled with their social and political marginalization, often compelled them to migrate, which limited their opportunities to invest in sedentary agriculture.22 Though they continued to practice swidden agriculture in expansive zones of forests around their areas of residence, most Adivasi groups had taken on fairly settled lives in forested regions by the nineteenth century.23 This important change enabled the colonial-era rulers to exact taxes and tribute via regional elites, including some tribal kings.

Medieval-era rulers—including the Mughals, who controlled most of northern India from the early sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth century—co-opted regional elites by offering “positions of leadership, authority, and political mediation in state institutions.”24 The system of land revenue collection, known as Ijara, was designed specifically to encourage members of dominant farming communities to bring forestland under cultivation. Village intermediaries who brought one-third of the land under cultivation in the leased village would be appointed as the village police Patel, a position with far-reaching powers that we will discuss later in this chapter.25 Thus, most Adivasi groups had been brought under the jurisdiction of regional rulers via kings or intermediaries who instituted a “regime of annual tribute and imperfect obedience” (p.37) from forest people who lived within their jurisdictions.26 These included the Adivasi kingdoms of the Dangs in the contemporary western Indian state of Gujarat, Berar in central India, and Chota Nagpur in eastern India.

Systems of authority relations within forest peasant groups, with varying levels of organization, also were present in Tanzania and Mexico during the precolonial era. While Tanzanian chiefs had not been subjugated by external rulers until the arrival of the European colonial powers in the late nineteenth century, rudimentary systems of political organization were already present.27 In Mexico, meanwhile, village groups in pre-conquest Maya and Zapotec civilizations in Mexico lived in well-organized communities. Among the Maya and the Zapotecs, the “landholding village” or pueblo was a key unit for social and political organization.28 Precolonial Tanzania and Mexico were different from precolonial India, however, where regional rulers exercised significant authority over forest-dependent people. These differences in political organization had important implications on how colonial administrations affected the hinterlands. The next section examines the colonial-era apportionment of hinterlands in India and Tanzania, which is followed by a discussion of Spanish colonialism in Mexico.

2.2 Colonial Construction of Political forests in India and Tanzania

The webs of precolonial authority relations and political organizations (discussed in Section 2.1) were subject to significant changes as colonial rulers began to engage in concerted exploitation of these territories’ natural resources. Colonial governments created institutions and organizations to establish control over territories and native populations.29 The colonial-era institutions of property rights, in particular, relied on a set of theoretical constructs (such as “waste” and “wastelands”) that ran counter to colonial notions of productivity and enterprise.

An influential discussion of the notion of “waste” appears in John Locke’s treatise “Of Property,” in which he outlines the labor theory of property.30 According to Locke, “Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property.”31 According (p.38) to this theory, the act of “first possession”—by, say, the European pioneers who migrated to North America—amounts to investment of labor leading to the creation of property rights in nature.32 Instead of being an armchair theorist, Locke was often out in the colonial field in his role as secretary to both the Lord Proprietors of Carolina (1668–75) and the Council of Trade and Plantations (1673–75).33 According to his labor theory of property rights, it seems Locke should have asked his English peers to not encroach on the property of the American Indians in North America who, by their very presence in the hinterlands, must have invested some of their labor. Instead, Locke dismissed the prior claims of the Indians who had held the land in “common,” with the following rationale:

… the provisions serving to the support of human life, produced by one acre of inclosed [sic] and cultivated land, are … ten times more than those which are yielded by an acre of land of an equal richness lying waste in common… . for I ask, whether in the wild woods and uncultivated waste of America, left to nature, without any improvement, tillage or husbandry, a thousand acres yield the needy and wretched inhabitants as many conveniences of life, as ten acres of equally fertile land do in Devonshire, where they are well cultivated?34

The Lockean labor theory of property was thus premised on the presumed superiority of European practices of intensive husbandry over the lower-intensity practices of “the wild Indian, who (knew) no enclosure.”35 Scholars have argued that Locke’s interest in mounting an “economic and ethical defense of England’s colonial activities” may have prejudiced him against a fairer view of systems of resource rights prevalent in pre-conquest America.36 Even so, Locke was not the first member of an elite ruling class to present a political argument in favor of appropriating land from people deemed to be wild and uncivilized. According to the ancient Hindu code of conduct outlined in Manusmriti written between 400 BC and 200 AD, the duties of royal authority include protecting the “sacred right of first possession for the people who clear the land, even if they have taken use of the land away from others—for example, hunters and pastoralists.37 Much later in medieval India, Mughal King Aurangzeb reiterated Manusmriti’s tenets on the sacred right of first possession when he declared that “whoever turns (wasteland) into cultivable land (p.39) should be recognized as the (owner) and should not be deprived (of land).”38 Over time, caste groups appropriated Adivasi lands, thereby pushing the Adivasis deeper into the forest, a process that continued well into the nineteenth century.39

Locke’s prejudiced views about the forest, and about indigenous and peasant groups’ claims to land, reinforced similar prejudices among the native elites and left a deep imprint on the nature of the British enterprises in Asian and Sub-Saharan African colonies such as India and Tanzania.

The Political and Economic Drivers of Forest Control in Colonial India

British colonial officers, with their prejudices against forest people, met a receptive audience in India, where agrarian caste groups harbored even stronger prejudices against forest people. According to the colonial adherents of the Lockean philosophy of value and waste (or the Indians who followed the tenets of Manusmriti), the “jungly people” who lived in “jungly landscapes” forfeited the natural right of property in land because they failed to produce its highest possible value.40 British officials regarded much of India’s hinterlands as res nullius—i.e., no man’s land. The colonial administration set up a separate baze zameen daftar (wasteland office) in the late 1780s, with the intention of bringing “wastelands” under productive use and regulating local land relations. Colonial officials had little hesitation in enclosing such lands claimed by itinerant shift-farmers, hunter-gatherers, and pastoralists.41 Citing the Indian traditions in which conquering rulers took over the conquered territory, one British colonial official remarked, “The right of conquest is the strongest of rights—it is a right against which there is no appeal.”42

Even though the British were not the only colonial power vying to gain a foothold in India’s economy, the British East India Company had a virtual monopoly over trade in large parts of the Indian subcontinent. Moreover, the company ruled a significant part of the country until 1857, when Indian soldiers rebelled and refused to work under the command of company officials. Following the rebellion, the British monarchy formally took over the reins of Indian colonial rule. Forced on to the defensive, colonial rulers began assiduously building on the “apparatus of rule” that existed in precolonial times.43 (p.40) This process of appropriating pre-existing political and economic structures for colonial purposes was fraught with contingent negotiations between the colonial administration and Indian rulers, including some Adivasi elites.44

The British colonial administration built upon the Mughal-era systems of land governance, some of which recognized peasant land rights.45 British administrators, however, saw settled agriculture as a desirable form of economic development and wanted to promote it through amendments to existing forest policies. Consequently, these colonial officials dubbed Adivasi peasants who practiced various forms of swidden farming as a threat to forests, the hydrological cycle, and to the agricultural productivity of non-Adivasis who practiced settled cultivation in the lowlands.46 The colonial administration used these justifications to classify large territories in the forested areas as state forests. This policy facilitated the colonial government’s fiscal goals, but produced socially discriminatory effects. On the one hand, the colonial administration, driven by the objective of maximizing agriculture taxes, made tenancy rights in India’s plains and valleys increasingly more secure. Yet this objective of revenue maximization also led to extensive timber logging, which required the centralization of government authority and control over forests and the dismissal of native claims in forestlands.47 The net effects of these colonial policies were thus contingent on how different types of colonial property regimes fit into a sharply stratified Indian society.

A plethora of social, economic, and political factors went into the making of British forestry policy in India, which would become the foundation of a global ideology of forest conservation over time. In August 1855, James Ramsay, the Earl of Dalhousie and governor-general of India (1848–56), issued the Charter of Indian Forestry, which declared “annexation a ruling principle.”48 Forests, which were not under private ownership, were deemed to be state property. As Gregory Barton argues, from this “new legal definition of non-private land as state property (and later—nature as state property) grew the policies and practices of [imperial] environmentalism.”49 This forest charter traveled across oceans and temporal milieus to shape British imperial conservation policies across Asia, Africa, and the Americas.50 The charter also influenced the design of a number of policies in colonial India, such as the Indian Forest Act 1865, the All-India Imperial Forest Service of 1867, and the Forest Act of 1878, the last of which gave the colonial government the authority to reserve any public (p.41) land, including “wastelands,” as state forests.51 Note that except for some parts of eastern and southwest India—which housed tea, coffee, and rubber estates—commercial plantations were not a major part of British colonial administration in India.52

Even though colonial-era forest laws provided for “settling prior rights through negotiated due processes,” they mainly functioned as a “discourse of rational, systematic, modern legislative process through which the modern state acquires proprietary rights in forests.”53 According to a forest official from the British-India province of Bombay Presidency, “the various government and private rights … should be absorbed into the system of Reserved Forests until only one class of government forests remained,” under a “system of Reserved Forests.”54 The colonial forestry statutes were used to transform “wastelands” into a territorial jurisdiction devoted to the goals of conserving and sustainably harvesting forests.

In conjunction with these exclusionary forest policies, colonial administrators’ racial prejudices prompted them to enact laws aimed to protect, control, and bring about the “improvement” of people of the so-called “wild races.”55 The colonial administration pursued these goals through laws such as the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871. Similarly, the Scheduled Districts Act of 1874 was intended as a process of “reformatory settlement to sedentarize [sic], protect, and civilize wild, unruly subjects of empire.”56 In 1890, the colonial forestry administration created the “Baiga reserve” in central India, meant exclusively for Baiga Adivasis who practiced swidden. As this reserve was created, the Baigas were asked to either settle down as plough cultivators or to work as laborers for the forest department.57 Ironically, the efforts of colonial administration to settle Adivasis dispossessed them of their lands, with their labor rendered less useful in the confines of the reserve. This was not a coincidence, however.

As important as it was for the colonial administration to secure territorial control, securing an assured supply of labor was also critical to British administrators’ forestry operations and their desire to conduct land surveys. Notwithstanding the supposed influence of the Enlightenment on European political culture, the visiting colonial officials relied on an ancient Indian system of compulsory unpaid labor called begar, veth begar, or beth begar.58 (p.42) The burden of begar became so severe that Adivasis in peninsular India fled deep into forests whenever they had the slightest hint of an impending visit by colonial officials.59 The British also employed the institution of police Patel (mentioned previously) to discipline peasants and to extract unpaid mandatory labor that colonial officials needed for forestry operations and various contingencies.

For more intensive and sustained requirements of labor, the imperial forest department relied on taungya, a modified form of Burmese agroforestry. Under taungya, the colonial forestry department permitted registered “squatters” to farm small parcels of land within territories set aside as state forests and cleared of natural-growth forests in preparation for establishing commercial forestry plantations.60 The licensed squatters were allowed to farm small parcels or to intercrop within the new forest plantations. In return, they were required to contribute their labor for colonial forestry projects at highly discounted rates. After a forestry plantation matured, the taungya participants relocated to a new site.61 In some of the large forest areas that required consistent labor supplies, “forest villages” comprising clusters of taungya licensees were established. More than 4,500 forest villages, where every household is a tenant of the forest department, exist in India even to this day.62 Poor and marginalized Adivasis’ grudging acceptance of taungya was “the outcome of an antagonistic relationship between an acquisitive colonial power and a threatened indigenous people whose reactions varied from covert resistance to defensive compliance.”63 The colonial officials also incentivized chiefs and police Patels to maintain a consistent supply of taungya and begar labor.

In places where this kind of political maneuvering failed to pacify the “wild races,” the colonial administration relied on the power of paramilitary forces such as the Bhil corps in central and western India, who were composed of Bhil Adivasi soldiers led by members of the chiefly families.64 The corps “freely hunted down and captured their friends and relations who continued to create disturbances, and brought them in for punishment.”65 The colonial administration used membership in the Bhil corps as a means to incorporate chiefs, their families, and other influential clans as the frontline of hinterlands (p.43) administration. Such a dual political-military strategy proved quite effective at pacifying the Adivasis and encouraging many of them to adopt sedentary agriculture, thereby opening up vast areas of hinterlands for colonial appropriation.66

The constitution of the colonial forestry regime in peninsular India, which Arun Agrawal explains “relied mainly on [the] exclusion of people, demarcation of landscapes, creation of new restrictions, and fines and imprisonment” was unviable in politically active regions of the Indian Himalayas.67 The caste society farming groups of the Kumaon region in the north, who also depended significantly on forests, mounted a concerted mass movement against the practices of begar. Farming groups’ frequent refusals to cooperate and acts of arson against forest estates forced the colonial government to introduce reforms, and eventually in the year 1921, to abolish the practice of begar in Kumaon.68 More importantly, prolonged agitation against colonial restrictions on forest use eventually forced the colonial government to enact the Forest Councils Act of 1931, which was designed specifically for the Kumaon region. This act gave the locally elected forest councils wide-ranging powers to set rules, resolve conflicts, and to distribute surpluses from local forest use and management, albeit under the close supervision (and financial control) of colonial forest authorities.69 Note that the strongest forest rights were granted in precisely the same areas where caste groups enjoyed clearly defined rights to their agricultural lands.

The outcomes in peninsular India were different not because of an absence of resistance against colonial forest policies. On the contrary, Adivasi groups mounted a number of overt rebellions, but regional feudal lords and moneylenders, whom Adivasi groups considered as their principal enemies, became the main targets of these insurgencies.70 Adivasis of central India also sought the backing of the colonial-era, pro-independence movement leaders of the Indian National Congress (Congress) to launch a forest satyagrah, a civil disobedience movement to protest forest laws. However, Congress leadership was distrustful of the consequences of peasant agitations, particularly if such mobilization spilled over into bourgeois representative politics.71 The forest satyagraha of central India Adivasis illustrated these tensions quite vividly. An influential group of Congress leaders believed that enforcement of imperial forest laws was necessary for the conservation of natural wealth and the protection of agriculture.72 They also believed that the severe restrictions the (p.44) colonial forest laws imposed on Adivasis’ lives and livelihoods did not constitute a valid reason to violate them. Notwithstanding such ambivalence by Congress, the forest satyagrah gained ground and turned into a radical violent mass movement by August 1930. At this point, Congress distanced itself from the movement, with a prominent regional leader reminding the Adivasis that “they were not fighting for mastery over the forest, but for Swaraj [self-rule].”73

To conclude, inter-regional differences in the recognition of forest and land rights by the colonial administration mirrored the balance of power within the precolonial Indian society. Relatively better-off individuals and households within the peasant communities enjoyed state privileges in return for their support for the colonial control of forested regions. The enforcement of forest laws via local authorities—such as police Patels and other village leaders, and political actors such as the Congress Party—helped protect the exclusionary colonial forestry regimes. These outcomes were driven, in significant measure, by the social and political marginalization of Adivasis and other forest-dependent peasants within Indian society, which is evident from the comparative analysis of protest movements in the hills of Kumaon and peninsular India. All cases of Adivasi rebellions that led to recognition of forest and land rights in specific pockets, such as the Bastar and Chota Nagpur regions in central and eastern India, resulted from sustained mobilization and violent insurgencies.74 The colonial-native encounter yielded site-specific outcomes: natives’ utilization of defensive adaptations (i.e., “weapons of the weak”), informal negotiations in some places, and the exercise of colonial military power in others. Notwithstanding the differences in specific outcomes, the overall impact of colonial-era policies in India, including that of the freedom movement, was to undermine the political voice of Adivasis and other forest-dependent people.75 It was on this basis of discriminatory colonization that the edifice of contemporary India’s forest regime was founded.

Creation of Political Forests in Colonial Tanganyika

The early period of German colonization in Tanganyika between 1883 and 1902 coincided with what the region’s Maasai people refer to as the period of emutai (annihilation). This era was marked by epidemics, intense droughts, locust attacks, political upheavals, and plunder for slaves, foodstuffs, and livestock, all of which forced a large number of people to migrate.76 Taking advantage of the exodus, Germans introduced a number of legislative measures to (p.45) secure control of a sizeable territory in Tanganyika’s northern and northeastern regions by the end of the nineteenth century.77 These legal maneuvers enabled the German East Africa Corporation—founded in 1885 with commercial interests in mining, railroads, and plantations—to capture vast tracts of land. The company’s harsh rule, appropriation of land, and forced labor policies led to much native consternation, forcing the German imperial government to assume direct control of Tanganyika in 1891.78 Among the first German colonial administrators was Eugen Kruger, a professional forester who paved the way for development of German colonial forestry in years to come.79

Securing control of forests, land, and labor was the cornerstone of German colonialism in East Africa. While corporations and the colonial administration sometimes purchased land at nominal prices by paying off local chiefs or their families, most land was acquired through trade treaties with these chiefs. As Thaddeus Sunseri explains, the trade treaties also gave the Germans “the sole and unlimited right to exploit mines, rivers, forests, the right to exact tolls and raise taxes, to administer and impart justice, and to maintain an armed presence.”80 The colonial administration transferred large portions of the purchased and acquired territories to settler-owned sisal and coffee estates, though only a small fraction of these lands was ever actually incorporated into plantations. Eighty-nine farms covering an area of 37,720 hectares had been allocated to German settlers by 1910.81 In 1913, production of sisal—a tropical fiber used in making twine and the German colonial administration’s main export product—reached approximately 21,000 tons and was worth £536,000.82 Even though German rubber plantations in Tanganyika eventually failed, the plantations left behind “islands of private land”—for example, in the riverine lowlands below the Usambaras.83

Arguably, the German colonial era’s longest lasting legacy in Tanzania is the country’s forestry regime, founded with the Imperial Crown Land Ordinance (Kronlandverordnung) of 1895. This ordinance gave the German colonial state ownership of all “ownerless” or vacant” land, which included all forested areas previously used by forest-dependent populations. The state in turn could reallocate these lands to settlers. The Wildlife Preservation Ordinance (Wildschutzverondnung) enacted in 1896 provided the legal means for establishing wildlife reserves and to support “sport” hunting industry for the Europeans, which colonial conservationists believed went hand in hand (p.46) with the goals of conservation.84 By 1912, the colonial administration had established a dozen forest reserves in Usambara Mountains alone, leading to the displacement of Mbugu indigenous pastoralist groups, among others. The conversion of vast territories of land into state forests forced people to seek out wage labor opportunities at settler- and native-owned plantations. Groups that lived in the forests were subject to stringent forestry regulations intended to control swidden, fires, and grazing—all of which were seen as damaging to the forest ecosystem. In many cases, the colonial forestry department enforced the regulations with brutality.85 In addition, the violent repression of the Maji Maji rebellion of 1905 made it less likely that forest peasants would confront the administration openly. Historians attribute this rebellion to colonial policies forcing peasants to grow cotton, the colonial control over copal, ivory, and rubber trades, and the very restrictive forest and wildlife policies that also undermined the authority of headmen and chiefs.86

The circumstances described above led to a gradual consolidation of German colonialism from 1891 to 1919, which in turn led to the development of a state-controlled forest estate.87 By World War I, which put the brakes on German colonialism in Tanganyika, the colonial administration had created a significant territorial infrastructure of forest reserves and legal precedents to preserve its control of the state forests.88 Even so, the presence of rival trade networks and a settler-led plantation economy meant that Tanganyika’s German colonial forestry department did not enjoy quite the same level of territorial control as the British colonial forestry department in India did. Moreover, after the League of Nations removed Tanganyika from German control and placed it under a British mandate in 1922, British colonial policies in the region were subject to monitoring by the league.The Meru land case, a key milestone in Tanzania’s struggle for independence discussed later in this chapter, owed its success to the limits that the League of Nations mandate imposed on British colonialism in Tanganyika.89

Under the mandate system, British colonial authorities were required to respect “native laws and customs.”90 In practice, however, respect for native rights translated into a system of indirect rule, where the colonial administration exercised control via local indigenous authorities.91 One of the first concrete manifestations of this approach was the Land Ordinance of 1923, (p.47) which put “native authorities” in charge of administering customary land claims. Even more importantly, the ordinance declared that all land in the colony was to be classified as “public lands” held under the “radical title” (or ultimate ownership) of the British crown.92 The ordinance also established the duality of property rights institutions: natives’ land rights were recognized as customary “rights of occupancy,” while settlers’ rights were recorded as (state-) “granted” land rights. Because of the complex genealogies of customary land rights, it is often difficult to defend “customary rights of occupancy” in a court of law. “Granted land rights,” on the other hand, are often supported by government-backed documentation and are therefore easier to defend.

International advocacy for the conservation of wild fauna also built on the colonial land rights regime in British-administered territories like Tanganyika. In 1928, the Society for the Preservation of the Fauna of the Empire (SPFE) successfully lobbied Britain’s secretary of state for the colonies, who, in turn, circulated a confidential letter with plans for the creation of an international agreement to protect wildlife in sub-Saharan Africa.93 The British colonial administration in Tanganyika later introduced additional restrictions on local access to forests and forest lands through the 1933 Forest Ordinance, the amended Park Ordinance of 1954, and the 1957 Forest Ordinance.94 The Park Ordinance was especially strict; it curtailed rights of occupants to farm land parcels situated within boundaries of forest reserves that colonial administration determined unilaterally. The SPFE leaders believed that as a “civilized” and educated nation, Great Britain was duty-bound to protect a “natural” Africa.95 A preference for conservation was justified through “dessicationism”—the now long-discredited thesis that deforestation contributes to poor rainfall and drought, leading to environmental crisis.96 A direct consequence of the advocacy for nature conservation was to reinforce the colonial administration’s powers, as it presumed the role of guardian of wild flora and fauna. The colonial administration used this conservation discourse to further tighten control over native territories.97

Even though territorial control was a necessary condition for appropriating colonial surplus, it was not sufficient. As discussed earlier in the context of India, “scientific” forest management and the production of a predictable and marketable surplus from the hinterlands required the mobilization of labor. While forced labor, or corvée operations, were not unheard of in Tanganyika, the colonial government developed a localized form of the taungya (Burmese agroforestry) system discussed earlier. The British colonial (p.48) forestry department actively recruited peasants to live and farm in forest reserves so they could be employed on short notice to tend to tree plantations, produce charcoal, and craft timber poles for the urban market. During the 1950s, when the forestry department expanded the amount of territory set aside as state forest by a factor of more than fourteen, the department incorporated the taungya licensees into plans for the development of new forestry reserves.98 These colonial proposals were met with a mixed response from forest peasants.

Left with no alternatives, forest squatters and the chiefs of Rufiji Delta region sought to appropriate the taungya to their advantage. Over time, these peasants and chiefs came to see taungya as an instrument to solidify their own claims on forestland. The chiefs, who were addressed as the “wielders of ceremonial axes” because of their authority to regulate forest clearing, appealed to the colonial administration in 1944 to issue more taungya permits in the Vikindu and Kisarawe forests. In their petitions, the chiefs referred to the forests as “government bush” (Pori la Serkali), thereby indicating an acceptance of colonial authority to allocate taungya licenses.99 As the colonial administration sought to assert its control over the Usambara hills, Wambugus—who were pastoralist immigrants from Kenya’s Laikipia plateau—moved in quickly to assert their claims by planting crops in newly created forest clearings. However, these strategies worked much better for Wambugus with certain levels of wealth, sizeable cattle stocks, and greater risk-taking capacity, while poorer Wambugus were forced to accept the taungya model of farming without secured land rights.100

A much higher degree of internal stratification took place among the indigenous groups near Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, the regions in which chiefs and their families had started growing coffee on their own initiative. The educational institutions that European missionaries had founded in this area beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century primarily benefited local elites, thereby reinforcing the socioeconomic differences among the people of the hinterlands. The educated coffee-growing local elites did play an important leadership role, however, as they were the first ones to articulate the questions of forest and land rights within a broader framework of African nationalism.101 These neo-elites also successfully channeled popular discontent against colonial regulations related to soil and water conservation, decimation of former grazing grounds, and the appropriation of land for the creation of settler plantations and forest reserves. The immediate targets of these multiple discontents were the traditional chiefs who, by virtue of their positions (p.49) as the colonial administration’s local interlocutors, had been complicit in controversial colonial policies.102 The forest- and land-related grievances forced Tanganyika’s elite-led, pro-independence TANU Party to engage with local issues, which gave rise to a “local nationalism” at a time when Julius Nyerere emerged as one of the most vocal advocates of a pan-African nationalism.103

Economic anxieties in the aftermath of World War II prompted the colonial administration to respond to European settlers’ demands for the establishment of a commercial beef and dairy industry in Tanganyika’s northern and northeastern regions. Amid ongoing concerns about the land crisis caused by previous policies designed to promote settler commerce, the colonial administration relocated the indigenous Meru population living in Engare Nanyuki to the dry planes of Kingori (between Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro). This relocation in November 1951 led to the eviction of nearly three thousand Merus, sixty-four deaths, and the loss of thousands of cattle and other livestock. In opposing the move, the Merus mobilized politically under the auspices of the Meru Citizens Union and networked with allies in Nairobi, London, and New York to take their grievances directly to the UN General Assembly. While the Meru pursued their case vigorously, the UN failed to produce any verdict on the case, and thus the British “won by default.”104 In the process, however, the Merus gained confidence to carry on with their struggle throughout the 1950s. Eventually, the territory of Engare Nanyuki was returned to the Merus in the years leading up to Tanzania’s independence in 1961, in part because the landscape did not prove suitable for European methods of large-scale mechanized production.

Notwithstanding the Meru land case and numerous other protests, Tanganyika’s colonial administration further tightened forest laws during the 1950s. The colonial government amended the Park Ordinance in 1954 to specifically prohibit cultivation by people who occupied parcels within reserved forests. But even while the National Park Board of Trustees wrote in 1955 that the Serengeti region was “reserved as a natural habitat both for the game and human beings in their primitive state,”105 at least eighty-two Maasai families continued cultivating land in the region’s Ngorongoro Crater area. The director of national parks argued that occurrence of farming proved that the Maasai had been “adulterated with extra-tribal blood.”106 Eventually, they were evicted through a combination of political maneuvering and coercion. The colonial administration signed a treaty with the resident Maasai, who agreed to give up their land rights in the area set aside as the Serengeti National Park in return for limited land use rights in the Ngorongoro highlands. But this (p.50) treaty was signed by a dozen laibon, or traditional medicine men, who did not have the authority to sign the land away on behalf of the Maasai, a majority of whom have always thought of the treaty as a treachery.107

The eviction of the Maasai paved way for the 1959 National Park Ordinance (Amended), which the chairman of the National Park Board of Trustees characterized in the following authoritative statement: “Under this ordinance the Tanganyika National Parks become for the first time areas where all human rights must be excluded thus eliminating the biggest problem of the Trustees and the Parks in the past.”108 The ordinance also established the organization now known as Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA).109 Serengeti became the first national park, leading to the establishment of one of the strongest wildlife conservation regimes in modern history.

The discussion above demonstrates that Tanganyika’s forest reserves had their roots primarily in conservationist concerns, which dominated the thinking of an influential group of British colonial elites. While conservation was a concern in India as well, India’s imperial forest department focused mainly on securing strong legal and territorial control over large areas, which were devoted to the production of commercially valuable timber. Moreover, India’s princely rulers and regional elites collaborated to control local peasant populations. In Tanganyika, on the other hand, a number of factors prevented British colonial administration from securing unchallenged authority over the region’s forests. They include the presence of a substantial settler economy, stronger inter-elite competition among Tanganyika’s native elite, and the limitations imposed by the League of Nations mandate.110 Despite these important differences, however, a large number of poor peasants and agro-pastoralists in both India and Tanzania were deprived of their means of subsistence livelihoods when colonial administrations consolidated their control over these colonies’ forestlands.

2.3 Spanish Colonialism in Mexico

Spanish conquistadors’ first forays into the Mexican countryside in the sixteenth century were intended to capture land and natural resources such as timber, which ultimately depleted Mexican Indians’ subsistence base.111 The conquistadors’ takeover of land, combined with the estate grants approved by the Spanish crown, led to the emergence of the landed estates in Mexico that (p.51) are often grouped together as haciendas.112 Over time, haciendas emerged as “the most comprehensive institution yet devised for Spanish mastery.”113 Day laborers called peones, who worked the haciendas, were paid either in tokens valid for purchases at hacienda stores or in subsistence farming permits.114 Haciendas played host to a variety of activities touching upon the entire life of peones, ranging from baptisms to weddings to harvest festivals.115 Hacienda owners also established an extensive network of intermediaries, often referred to as caciques, who managed the peones’ lives.

Hacienda regimes and exploitative networks of caciques are often singled out as defining aspects of Spanish colonialism, yet haciendas did not enjoy the Spanish crown’s unconditional support. The interests of the conquistadors were sometimes at loggerheads with the values and the interests of the Spanish crown.116 The philosophy of property rights that the Spanish crown drew upon was remarkably different from the justifications rooted in Lockean property rights that colonial powers used in India and Tanzania. Although a detailed discussion of these differences is beyond the scope of this book, a brief summary follows. The sole authority for the possession of land in the Castilian jurisprudence of property in Spain and in pre-conquest Mexico was the notion that the land was being used for a socially productive purpose.117 The same philosophy of property rights enshrined in the Brazilian constitution has been instrumental to the success of the landless workers’ movement in Brazil.118 Such norms made the Spanish crown’s outlook regarding New Spain qualitatively different from British and German perspectives on colonial administrations in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. As early as 1541, King Carlos I declared that all forests, pasturelands, and waters in the New World were held in common. As the wealth and power of the estate owners multiplied during the sixteenth century, the royal administration in Madrid enacted laws to recognize the Indians’ rights to town sites called fundo legal, which the crown recognized as ejidos, or communal property. The crown recoded these protections in cédulas reales (royal decrees), which gave legal protection to the establishment of new Indian villages called pueblos with sufficient lands for the maintenance of its inhabitants.119

(p.52) The Spanish Crown also had material interests aligned with the protection of indigenous property rights. Though many Indian villages were part of the encomiendas—a royal grant of authority given to Spanish settlers to collect tribute from indigenous people—many others remained independent and functioned as tribute-paying direct vassals of the king of Spain.120

The crown’s resolve to protect Indian territorial rights waned during the financial crisis of the 1590s, as Spanish kings began accepting payments in return for the regularization of estate holdings that Spanish settlers had occupied illegally. Even though the percentage of territories regularized in this manner was not very high, these policies created perverse incentives for conquistadors to indulge in land grabs and hope that future financial crises would force the crown to legalize their illegally occupied estates.121 Economic imperatives drove the colonial promotion of intensive agriculture that the estates were well-equipped to pursue, but noneconomic factors also affected Spanish officials’ ability to protect the interest of natives. For example, milpa, the swidden farming of maize that the natives practiced, ran counter to the crown’s nascent efforts to protect forests, which were motivated by commercial and strategic interests.122 In addition, familiarity with the pasture-based Castilian economy led Spanish officials to think of ejidos as village grazing lands. However, they failed to appreciate the idea that each village should have a “large stretch of wild and overgrown land,” which is how Mexican Indians viewed ejidos.123

Perverse incentives inherent in Spanish settlers’ methods for extracting natural resources, coupled with the conquistadors’ ignorance about the true productive capacity of the pastures in New Spain, led to the degradation of these pastures.124 Indians and peasants who were deprived of their territories, but were forced to pay tributes and taxes in cash, had few options but to rely on forests for additional income. The dramatic reduction in the size of Indian territories also led to the shortening of swidden cycles, which added to the pressure on remaining forests. In the middle of the eighteenth century, Spain’s Bourbon kings recognized the threat to forests and introduced policies to secure control of the colony’s timber resources. These policies culminated in a comprehensive colonial forestry law in 1803, which was intended to secure the strategic defenses that the crown needed to prevent foreign powers’ access to coastal hardwoods.125 The Spanish forestry regulations were designed to prevent the transport and sale of timber, not to secure exclusive territorial (p.53) jurisdiction for the crown or its administration, as was the case in colonial forestry policies in Africa and Asia.

In 1813 the Spanish parliament declared that all lands (with or without forests) in the New World would become private property. This decree was intended to promote intensive agriculture and industry, to help citizens without property, and to reward the Spanish pioneers who served the country at home and in the New World. Communal lands used by Indians were excluded from the purview of this decree. Subsequently, oversight of forests was transferred to local officials, thereby foreshadowing “the principal course of Mexican land policy up to the revolution [of 1910].”126 These colonial policies precluded the creation of a regime of state forests that was an important outcome of the German and British colonial presence in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The Spanish crown’s legal protection of Indians’ rights is attributed to three key factors. First, while Spain’s primary objective in its colonial territories was to exploit gold and other natural resources, it was not the only objective. The political goal of “extending the realm of the crown” and the mission of Christianizing the “pagan nations” of New Spain were also motivating factors. Second, from a purely fiscal perspective, the crown wanted to maximize the number of pueblos that paid tributes to the royal treasury.127 Pueblos’ relative stability also helped maintain the steady, healthy labor force needed for colonial commercial enterprises.128 Third, neither the pre-conquest Mexican traditions nor the Spanish political system supported the Lockean argument extended by British colonial officials in India that conquest gave the conqueror full rights over the conquered territory.

Two key findings emerge from the discussion of Spanish colonial policies and institutions. First, contrary to the cases of India and Tanzania, Spanish colonialism did not establish a well-organized forestry service or territorial jurisdiction over forest reserves. The net effect of Spanish colonial policies was the concentration of social, political, and economic powers in the hands of local elites and intermediaries. The emphasis on de facto power of local elites, which persisted into the twentieth century in Mexico, has arguably detracted attention from a proper examination of the nature of legal infrastructure put in place during Spanish colonialism. The Spanish crown enacted policies that not only afforded legal protection to Indians, but also reinforced rural and indigenous communities’ claims over farmland and the village or the town centers. Third, even though the Spanish crown opposed the traditional milpa system of swidden agriculture in Mexico, the crown did not pursue overzealous anti-milpa measures, as colonial forestry agencies did in India and Tanzania. (p.54)

Table 2.1 Key Effects of Colonial Rule in India, Tanzania, and Mexico

Settler/ plantation economy

Colonial philosophy of property rights

Agency/actors with territorial control in the hinterlands

Regime of exclusive forest/wildlife conservation

Territorial rights for local communities




Forestry service

Strong forestry regime

Not recognized*




Multiple forestry agencies and settler estates

Strong wildlife regime

Not recognized+


Very strong





(*) Except in the specific cases in northern India and the cases of active rebellion in peninsular India.

(+) Except in cases such as the Meru land struggle.

2.4 Conclusion

Agrarian environments—the landscapes that dotted the precolonial societies in India, Tanzania, and Mexico—provided the basis for multiple types of claims on forests, land, and other natural resources. Such claims were tied closely into the local authority relations often dominated by chiefs or local leaders. These authority relations mediated local access to resources and allowed leaders to capture surplus from local production. In all three case study countries, the emergence of European-ruled colonial regimes amounted to a significant shift in the control and exploitation of natural resources in the hinterlands. However, the comparative analysis presented above and summarized in Table 2.1 points to important differences of institutional effects of colonialism.

In both India and Tanzania, the colonial administrations by and large wrote off forest-dependent peoples’ claims to land and forests. Such an approach to territories previously used by pastoralists, agro-pastoralists, and forest-based peasant groups was not a mere coincidence. In both India and Tanzania, colonial administrators explicitly drew on the Lockean notions of waste and value to annex territory. In both these cases, the colonial administration justified the takeover of land on the pretext of improving productivity and conserving natural resources. Even more importantly, both of these colonial governments created and then controlled territorially defined and legally enforceable forestland jurisdictions.

The colonial forestry regimes in India and Tanzania differed in two significant ways. First, colonial forestry operations in India constituted a nearly monolithic forestry regime because there were few settlers establishing (p.55) plantations. The colonial forestry department, one of the strongest forestry departments in the world at the time, wielded firm control over the territories set aside as forest reserves, especially in the Adivasi-dominated areas of the hinterlands. On the other hand, forest departments in colonial north India faced stiff competition from the revenue authorities.129 However, many of these differences have leveled out in independent India, as forest departments have tightened control over any areas that could be brought under the jurisdiction of the forest department.

In Tanzania, on the other hand, the landed estates allotted to European settlers occupied a significant portion of the territories appropriated by the colonial administration. The colonial forest regime in Tanzania was thus more fragmented than the regime in India. Such fragmentation was arguably instrumental in the Merus’ eventually regaining their land, a situation that was unimaginable in India.130 Second, while India’s colonial forestry administration focused on securing territorial control for facilitating logging, colonial Tanganyika’s forestry laws focused mainly on wildlife conservation. As I show in the following chapters, these differences influenced the forestland regimes in these two countries in the decades following their independence.

Spanish colonialism in Mexico differed from British colonialism in India and Tanganyika on account of the political and economic arguments used to justify colonial control, including the incipient recognition of the social functions of property. By abdicating responsibility for forest conservation to local governments, the Spanish parliament precluded the emergence of a strong forestry regime with a broader territorial jurisdiction. This can be explained partly by the fact that Spanish colonial regime ruled Mexico from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century, long before the agenda of conservation had become part of “empire forestry” in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In another importance difference from British colonial practices, Spanish colonial laws in Mexico specifically attempted to secure Indian territorial rights. The conquistadors’ and the crown’s competing interests—coupled with the Spanish legal regime’s acceptance of the integrity of existing indigenous landholding-villages in Mexico—helped protect both the political identity and the territorial organization of villages and towns in the Mexican hinterlands. This was especially true of places such as Oaxaca, where the Spanish colonists did not have a major impact.

(p.56) There can be no doubt that, legally speaking, the Spanish crown did more in Mexico than the British and German colonial administrations did in India and Tanzania to safeguard indigenous and peasant land rights. While this thesis of colonial difference proposed in this chapter requires further research, a group of sociologists and historians argue that “mercantilist Spain tended to colonize most extensively precolonial regions that were populous and highly developed … liberal Britain tended to colonize most extensively precolonial regions that were sparsely populated and underdeveloped …”131 From the vantage point of indigenous and forest-dependent groups, Spanish colonialism left a relatively less constraining institutional legacy, compared with the former British colonies, which inherited a legacy of state-led landlordism in the hinterlands.


(1.) Peluso and Vandergeest 2001, italics added by this author for emphasis.

(3.) For an examination of how precolonial authority relations shaped the colonial experience, see Gupta 2014; Mamdani 1996; and for arguments about how colonialism represented a clear break from the past, see Gadgil and Guha 1992; Peluso 1992.

(7.) For a review of the debates about the ecologically noble savage, see Hames 2007.

(11.) Flannery and Marcus 1976. Exceptions included the Zapotec-speaking native nobility in the isolated Sierra Zapoteca Mountains of northern Oaxaca, which was poorer and less fortunate, and their level of intra-group inequality was significantly lower (Chance 1996, 477).

(13.) Ibid., 172.

(18.) Sunseri 2009, 14–16.

(19.) Doniger 2010, 37–39.

(21.) Thapar 2001: 46. For an extensive analysis, see Ray 1996.

(22.) Prasad 1999. See also Scott 2009.

(24.) Ludden 1999, 105–6.

(25.) Bhukya 2013, 102.

(30.) See Rose 1985.

(31.) Locke 1690, Chapter 5, section 27.

(32.) See Cronon (1983) for a discussion of the similar ideas and ideologies that the early English settlers of New England used to take control of Indian lands.

(34.) Locke 1690, Chapter 5, section 37. Italics added by this author for emphasis.

(35.) Locke 1690, section 26; see also Rose 1985.

(37.) Ludden 1999, 79, emphasis added.

(38.) Ibid., 96.

(41.) Sivaramakrishnan 1999, 279; Menon 2004. For similar analyses in the context of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, see Melville 1994.

(42.) Cited in Guha 1983, p. 1884.

(45.) For insights about the effects of the variation in land tenure system on contemporary economic outcomes, see Banerjee and Iyer 2005.

(46.) Rangarajan 1996b; Sivaramakrishnan 2009; see also J. Scott 2009.

(48.) Barton 2001, 531.

(53.) Vasan 2009, 115–16. Italics added by this author for emphasis.

(55.) Krishan 2005: 143.

(58.) Prasad 2006; Moosvi 2011. For a detailed documentation of dozens of types of bonded and unpaid labor from different parts of the country, see Nagesh 1981.

(60.) The taungya system was practiced throughout colonial Asia and Africa (Peluso and Vandergeest 2001). A modified form of taungya continues to be practiced in Latin America (Larson et al. 2010).

(61.) Bryant 1994; for a discussion of taungya in Tanzania, see Conte 1999; Sunseri 2005.

(62.) Press Trust of India, “Centre Asks States to Convert Forest Villages to Revenue Villages,” The Indian Express, May 2, 2016. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/centre-asks-states-to-convert-forest-villages-to-revenue-villages-2780435/.

(65.) Skaria 1997, 736.

(73.) Prasad 2006, 237, citing a regional newspaper.

(74.) Sundar 1998, 2009; Upadhyay 2009.

(77.) Conte 2004, 101.

(83.) Conte 2004, 99.

(84.) Neumann 1996, 1998; Johansson 2008.

(85.) Vihemäki 2009.

(89.) For detailed examination of the case, see Spear (1997) and Neumann (1998), the main sources I have used for the discussion of the case below.

(90.) Neumann 2000, 120.

(92.) Neumann 2000, 120.

(93.) Ibid., 120.

(95.) Levine 2002, 1045, quotation marks in the original.

(97.) Neumann 1997, 1998.

(98.) Sunseri 2005, 611.

(99.) Ibid., 620

(100.) Conte 1999, 300–2.

(104.) Spear 1997, 229.

(105.) Neumann 2000, 124–25, emphasis in the original.

(109.) Tanzania National Parks, “Corporate information,” http://www.tanzaniaparks.com/corporate_information.html#2.

(110.) For the data on settler populations, see Lange 2004.

(112.) Lockhart 1969, 527, refers to hacienda as a “scholarly convention.” Similarly, Taylor (1974, 388) refers to hacienda as an “abstraction, tacitly taken to symbolize landed society and the colonial heritage of Spanish America.”

(115.) Tim Street-Porter, “Architecture of Mexico: the hacienda” http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1928-architecture-of-mexico-the-hacienda.

(119.) McBride 1923, 123–24.

(121.) MacLeod 2008, 222–23.

(122.) Simonian 1995, 36–38

(127.) Gomez 1985, 1045–46, 1054–55; McBride 1923, 123–24.

(129.) See Rangan (1997) and Saberwal (1999). In addition, there were some instances of resistance in peninsular India, such as Bastar’s Bhumkal rebellion and the rebellion led by Birsa Munda in the Jharkhand (Sundar 1997).

(130.) In one particular case, adivasi groups in central India forced the colonial forestry department to legally remove the Halon valley part of the landscape from the forest reserve that later became the Kanha National Park (Gaikwad 1995).