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Birders of AfricaHistory of a Network$
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Nancy J. Jacobs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300209617

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300209617.001.0001

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The Honor of Collecting

The Honor of Collecting

(p.148) Chapter 6 The Honor of Collecting
Birders of Africa

Nancy J. Jacobs

Yale University Press

This chapter presents the life of Jali Makawa, a celebrated collector whose grounding in the world of vernacular birding appears to have mitigated his experience of exclusion. He first met birds as a boy in rural Mozambique and Malawi, and as a young man demonstrated an exceptional interest and knowledge of them. His extraordinary expertise began in the well-established vernacular birding and hunting traditions of south central Africa, but he also developed ornithological skills. As C.W. Benson's collector, Makawa learned to prepare the skins for their afterlife as specimens. In working with Benson and other ornithologists, he became familiar with the species as defined by ornithologists. No one ever recorded him explaining what birds meant to him, but Makawa expressed that they held his attention.

Keywords:   Jali Makawa, vernacular birding, hunting traditions, south central Africa, C.W. Benson, ornithologists, bird specimens

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