Articles

Cultural Values of Trees in the East African Context


Abstract


Certain trees have a sacred status, are used in rituals, and have symbolic importance for ethnicity, identity and connection to a place. In this paper I will explore the values that some East African ethnic groups attribute to trees and their symbolism through an interdisciplinary point of view. Several literary works, have been penned and highlighted the relationship between man and nature: tree’s metaphor and symbolism have been used in both Tanzanian and Kenyan literary production; and symbols are also an aspect of East African agrarian history because production, exchanges, and consumption are mediated by systems of meaning.

Keywords

ethnobotanics; Swahili; symbolism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13135/1825-263X/3290

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