Contents - Previous - Next
Chapter 3: The evolution of Kikuyu land tenure
3.1 Trees and land tenure
3.2 The sub-clan holding (gėthaka) as the basic land unit
3.3 Changing tenure and land use systems
3.4 Changes in land tenure and their impact on tree tenure
3.5 Summary: Changes in land tenure and the impacts of consolidation
3.1 Trees and land tenure
Tree cultivation and management in Kenya can only be understood within the context of land tenure. Land tenure systems in Murang'a had been in a state of change long before the Colonial Administration sought to limit the dynamics of the process. The Administration's adamant support for a static system of traditional land tenure sought to institutionalize what David Throup called the "moral economy of 'Merrie Africa' "(Throup 1987:4) rooted, in the Colonial mind, in a mythical, egalitarian past. Over the last 50 years, the traditional system of communal tenure has eventually evolved into a system of private tenure but one which incorporates the community trust obligations inherent in indigenous law (Okoth-Ogendo 1987).
Traditional law in many areas of Kenya generally recognized a distinction between rights of control of land (which are usually held by a lineage authority) and rights of use and access (often determined by the needs of individual members of a community). Because of this distinction, in pre-Colonial times, rights of private land ownership by a single individual - ownership of the land and everything on it were not generally a feature of traditional law. That is, in traditional tenure systems, rights of tree ownership and exploitation could be held separately. In English law (which provided the basis for much of the land tenure legislation of the late 1950s and early 1960s) trees are considered part of the land; the control of things on the land, such as trees, cannot be vested in someone other than in the landowner (Onalo 1986).
Early settlement in Murang'a
Murang'a is, roughly speaking, in the centre of Kikuyu country although the Kikuyu are relatively recent occupants who settled there in the sixteenth century (Muriuki 1974). They emerged as a group which shared common agro-ecological survival strategies, developed in part as a result of their movement from arid and semi-arid areas into the high potential agricultural areas on the eastern slopes of the Aberdare mountains.
The centre of Kikuyu country is traditionally associated with the area around the town of Gakuyu of Murang'a District. Gakuyu is a form of the name for the mukuyu tree from which the name Gėkuyu (or Kikuyu) is also derived (Kenyatta 1938). Another site, Mukurwe wa Gathanga, is named after another tree (Albizia sp.), and is where, we are told, God appeared to the man, Gėkuyu, and allotted him all the land south and west of Mount Kenya to the edge of the forest. The site was the location where Gėkuyu, and Mumbi, his wife, made their home and raised their nine daughters who became the forbearers of the nine Kikuyu clans. Few trees, in any society, have such important cultural associations as these two have for the Kikuyu.
Fig. 3.1 Muringa (Cordia africana) and Mugumo (Ficus thonnongii) trees growing together at the site of Mukurwe wa Gathanga in Murang'a District
Sub-clan boundaries, and subsequent political and economic divisions, were largely dependent on the physical geography. Much of Kikuyu land, particularly in Murang'a, is characterized by a series of ridges and deep river gorges running from west to east. This extensive system of ridges and valleys strongly influenced patterns of settlement and the emergence of systems of land tenure. Ridges, for the most part, tended to be cleared and cultivated first, and became the basis for the holdings of a sub-clan (mbari) which could trace its origins to a common male ancestor.
Kikuyu agricultural expansion had long been limited by periodic wars with the Maasai. A forest belt acted as a buffer between the Maasai and the Kikuyu, concealing a series of fortified Kikuyu villages. European intervention put an end to Maasai and Kikuyu raids, and as a result the buffer forests were no longer needed. Between 1900 and 1910 there was a period of intensive forest clearance and cultivation by the Kikuyu.
Fig. 3.2 Fortified Kikuyu Forest Village in the Nyandarua Forests, 1909.
Photo: Consolata Fathers, Turin
Provincial Commissioner S.L. Hinde estimated that during this period, the Aberdare forests were being cleared at a rate of a half mile a year (Government of the United Kingdom 1909). Hutchins speculated that between the early 1890s and 1909, around 350 square miles of forests on the slopes of the Aberdares had been cleared (FD 1909/1910:5). The demarcation of Forest Reserve boundaries, well underway in 1910, put an end to further clearance and expansion of Kikuyu areas. The Administration's land policy put limits on Kikuyu settlement practices and systems of land tenure that were. quite, fundamentally, expansionist.
3.2 The sub-clan holding (gėthaka) as the basic land unit
Origins of the sub-clan land holding
Acquisition of land in the earliest Kikuyu settlements was based on the rights of first use, defined originally by the exercise of hunting and trapping rights. As described by a Kikuyu elder in the late 1920s:
In those days we did not cultivate so much as we do now. A man trapped animals and his hunting area became his Ngundu [land claim]. His descendants became his clan. Each father had his own hunting area where he set his traps and he would show the boundaries of it to his sons... In the course of time by a natural process the Estate breaks up and each branch of the family gets control of its own Estate... [They] still recognize the eldest son of the eldest branch as the head of the family. (Colony and Protectorate of Kenya 1929a:8).
Hunting rights were strengthened by forest clearance and cultivation. The basic land unit was known as the sub-clan holding (gėthaka) or estate. (Technically, as it refers to uncleared bushland, its basis is in hunting rather than in cultivating traditions.) It was reported in the late 1920)s that most sub-clan holdings ranged in size from about 20 ha to nearly 2,500 ha although they generally were between 80 and 120 ha in size (Colony and Protectorate of Kenya 1929a:9).
Tenancy and the sub-clan holding
Cultivation rights of the sub-clan holding belonged to families with lineage rights, and were held in perpetuity. People without lineage rights could obtain temporary rights of cultivation to sub-clan lands through redeemable sales, from land lending and tenancy (discussed in Chapter 2).
Land lending to people outside the sub-clan took several forms. A muhoi or tenant, for instance, could be lent land for cultivation, usually on the basis of friendship. Subject to the approval of the sub-clan leader (muramati), these rights could be granted. In certain circumstances, the rights of a tenant could be passed from generation to generation. Although no rent per se featured in this type of tenancy agreement, occasional gifts were expected.
The cultivation of the sub-clan holding was the clearest means of retaining land tenure rights. In the event that lineage rightholders were not able to fully cultivate the sub-clan holding, temporary tenants would be sought to clear and cultivate underutilized land. As land became more scarce and labour more abundant, these tenancy arrangements became less common and were often cancelled. Although in principle a temporary tenant still held lineage rights to his own sub-clan land, in practice it was very difficult to return and regain cultivation rights. Occasionally, a temporary tenant might become a resident tenant (muthami) who was allowed the right to cultivate and to build a homestead.
Fig. 3.3 Gathering of Kikuyu elders at a Beer Fest (Tuthu Village, 1908)
Photo: Consolata Fathers, Turin
So within the system of traditional Kikuyu land tenure, there were precedents for tenancy and land lending arrangements. Resident tenancy allowed the building of a homestead, while land lending expressly prohibited it. Land lending thus encouraged the formation of a class of non-resident farm labourers, but it was dependent in part on there being holdings which could not be successfully cultivated by the right holder. Resident tenancy and land lending arrangements could be inherited. Rights of use were distributed to male descendants of the first owner, while a non-distributed right of control was held by the eldest son of the senior branch of the sub-clan or family who was its trustee (or muramati).
Pressures on the system
Until the time of European settlement, the sub-clan land holding system was reasonably secure. It continued to function in varying degrees in Central Province as late as the mid-1970s, although most traditional rights were extinguished during the period of land consolidation and registration in the early 1960s. The earliest pressures on the system became evident when the Colonial Administration attempted to resolve disputes involving customary law and land tenure - something it did not fundamentally understand. In 1914, for instance, it was argued that the Crown's responsibility was to develop "a system of tenure for natives...giving them real and definite rights to the land" (Colony and Protectorate of Kenya 1929a:63) - as if these rights did not already exist. Later, however, the 1929 report of the Committee on Native Land Tenure in Kikuyu Province recommended that customary laws be accepted as the basis for Kikuyu land tenure and that specific practices regarding the demarcation of holdings - which involved the planting of trees on farm boundaries -be included as rules under the pending Native Lands Trust Ordinance. Draft rules were prepared but never enacted (Fazan undated).
Any possibility for allowing a system of private land tenure for Africans was greatly resisted by the Government (Ainsworth undated: 497). The 1932 Kenya Land Commission had recommended that tenure systems in Kenya "be progressively guided in the direction of private tenure, proceeding through the group and family towards the individual holding. "(Government of the United Kingdom 1934). Largely because of the strength of European settler opinion, the recommendation was ignored. Instead, it was legislated that native tenure systems not be modified. This meant that customary tenure, however the Colonial Administration chose to define it, was to guide the resolution of land disputes. Customary tenure in Kikuyu areas, however, had never been static, but was itself derived from a body of precedents and practices that evolved as new pressures presented themselves. By locking customary tenure practices in place, there were increased pressures on the native tenure system. Land disputes were inevitable.
The Administration was particularly opposed to the rise of capitalism which would accelerate if private tenure were granted (Throup 1987:63). But privatization was taking place anyway. By the early 1930s, the difference between communal and individual tenure was, in many areas of Kikuyu country, mostly semantic. Inherited exploitation rights, although there may have been communal obligations associated with them, would seldom be revoked by the sub-clan leader, whose power had decreased with time. The establishment of permanent crops or plots of trees was also an important mechanism for asserting individual, rather than communal. rights of ownership (Colony and Protectorate of Kenya 1929a:39).
Accompanying the emergence of "private" land rights was the breakdown of the system that granted tenancy rights and, particularly, allowed these rights to be inherited. By the late 1940s, extensive land litigation was common between sub-clan members and third or fourth generation descendants of the original tenants with whom the tenancy agreements had been made. The considerable time which had passed made it extremely difficult to resolve the litigation. Because of the uncertainty of tenure, it was argued that tenants would be hesitant to make long-term improvements in the holding (Simmance 1961: 75- 81).
In 1948 the Fort Hall Law Panel, comprised of chiefs, councillors, and court presidents of the District, initiated reforms to make some types of land transactions, particularly land that had been acquired through redeemable sale agreements (aguri), no longer redeemable. The move to scrap land redemption and tenant eviction practices gained momentum in the early 1950s. The problem of insecure tenure was large. In the mid-1950s, it was estimated that between 10 and 50 percent of the total land in Murang'a District was still, technically, redeemable.
3.3 Changing tenure and land use systems
Villagization and the Emergency
The 1952 State of Emergency, called in response to the growing civil turmoil that would eventually lead to Independence, had a far-reaching impact on land tenure. One of the measures mounted during the Emergency was "villagization." Originally the programme was intended to isolate Mau Mau fighters in the forests from material and food supplies that were being provided by their sympathisers. The programme also provided protection for Kikuyus who remained loyal to the Government and who could be more easily guarded in these armed and barricaded sites. Others saw it as an opportunity for providing central educational, agricultural and health services.
The villagization programme introduced unprecedented forms of social organization. Families that had formerly lived on isolated homesteads with 10 to 20 other individuals were forcibly moved into villages with an average of 1200 residents. By 1956, 272 villages had been established in Kiambu District, 235 in Murang'a District, and 169 in Nyeri District (Thurston 1987:85).
As a result of the Emergency, over 100,000 people were moved to the Reserves from towns and from European farms where they had farmed as squatters. In every sense, these were displaced persons who had no connection with the Reserves as they had often been working as squatters for several generations. They too were placed in villages and were given plots. Their return often created suspicion and resentment amongst the long-time residents of the Reserves. The villages provided everyone with a twentieth of a hectare (around 500m˛) and was partly an attempt to solve the problem of squatter landlessness. Those who had land use rights were allowed to continue cultivating their holdings. Those who had no land except for their 500m˛ plot were expected to seek wage labour on the larger holdings. There was, however, neither the capital nor the means of production to support a class of wage labourers (Sorrenson 1987:147).
Consolidation of fragmented holdings of agriculture
Villagization was closely linked with land tenure reform, particularly the consolidation of fragmented holdings. From the times of earliest settlement in Kikuyu country, landholdings became progressively and extensively fragmented. Most households had several distinct and geographically separate plots within the sub-clan holding. This was partly because of the inheritance of exploitation rights, which basically meant that lineage holdings would become progressively smaller over time. When land holdings became too small given family size (usually when a man married another wife) the man would try to obtain rights to another plot for cultivation. The new plots were seldom contiguous with plots the household was already cultivating. Fragmentation was also a product of the system of land lending and redeemable sale which encouraged tenant farmers to cultivate fragmented sub-clan lands.
One result of fragmentation was that, by cultivating different plots spread over several agro-ecological zones, farmers could spread out their environmental risks. In the event of drought, for instance, crops on a few plots would fail, but not all of them would fail. The cultivation of multiple plots could also even out seasonal patterns of labour demand because cultivation and harvesting tasks could be staggered, depending on where the plots were located. Fragmentation as an unwitting, though adaptive, land use made tremendous sense in areas of huge agro-ecological variability like Murang'a. Even so, the Administration consistently chose to ignore these types of benefits. The arguments against fragmentation were usually based on the notion that it was detrimental to agricultural practices: fragmentation hindered modernization, it generated inefficiencies in the use of factors of production, and it would be costly to change (McPherson 1983:10, Binns 1950:15).
The extent of fragmentation varied widely. In Kiambu, for instance, it was reported that one farmer held a total of four hectares made up of 20 plots within a radius of 14 miles (Homan and Sands undated :5). The record was probably in Murang'a though, where district reports noted that one man had 108 fragments spread over 17Ha (KNA 1958). The norm in Murang'a was probably that a single farmer would have around five or six holdings totalling around two hectares. Households which held only one plot were the exception.
Consolidation was thought to be the key to an agricultural revolution in Kenya, and the granting of individual title was seen as a mechanism for channelling loan funds, and other resources, to smallholder agriculture. It particularly affected land and labour use patterns. In economic terms, its impact is surprisingly often understated; few efforts have been mounted to evaluate the effects of consolidation on agricultural production specifically, and on the rural economy in general.
Momentum for change gathered from around 1950, with the appointment of Roger Swynnerton as an Assistant Director for Agriculture. In 1953, the Swynnerton plan made consolidation a key feature of agricultural development in Kenya. Consolidation, however, could not have been accomplished without the Emergency (Swynnerton undated). Villagization removed people from the land which meant that the Administration could initiate consolidation without the problem of having to deal with established homesteads. Secondly, consolidation was seen as a mechanism for rewarding loyalists with economic patronage.
Fig. 3.4 Land consolidation committee meeting (Thuita, late 1950s)
Photo: Ministry of Agriculture
Consolidation was carried out in blocks of between 800 and 1,600 ha, about the size of a sublocation. Redemption of every plot of land from the temporary purchasers (aguri) was a prerequisite to consolidation (Wilson 1956:146). Generally, the objective was to include a proportion of arable, cash-crop and grazing land within each consolidated holding. The extent of existing cash crops and other improvements was recorded so that compensation for permanent improvements could be paid by the new owner.
The smallest holdings were grouped around villages and larger holdings were sited beyond these (Pedraza 1956:85). The landless were given plots in villages, from where they were expected to seek wage labour in agriculture or to become shopkeepers and artisans. Consolidated holdings generally ran in strips from ridges to valleys giving a right holder a range (albeit limited) of agro-ecological conditions and soils in which to farm (Wilson 1956:149). Consolidation was followed up by boundary marking and farm planning. Basic farm layouts were made for all farms as soon as they were consolidated. They included recommendations to cultivate food crops on land with a slope of less than 20 percent, to cultivate grass or trees on land with a slope of greater than 35 percent, and to cultivate permanent crops on slopes between 20 and 35 percent (Brown 1962:297). Farmers who requested it could benefit from more detailed farm layouts. By 1961, detailed plans had been prepared for around 18 percent of the holdings in Murang'a District (and 10 and 21 percent of the holdings, respectively, in Kiambu and Nyeri Districts) (Brown 1962:284).
Despite the proliferation of farm plans, the Colonial Department of Agriculture was inexperienced when it came to smallholder farming.
Despite the fact that the whole purpose of agriculture is to produce, you will not find production. Agriculture is limited to the production of terraces. There are no decent crops to grow on them.... There are a few beautiful to look at smallholdings, which have cost the earth to make. They are surrounded by miles of barbed wire and are good as show places for VIPs. They are not, however, economic. (Thompson undated:9)
There was no legal basis for consolidation, nor were consolidated holdings recognized in law. Consequently, the Administration imposed a moratorium on all land cases, and drafted and passed legislation that provided for consolidation, the registration of titles and inheritance. The outcome was the Native Lands Registration Ordinance of 1959 which, for the first time, legalized private land ownership in the Reserves.
That legislation formed the basis for the legislation that now comprises the accepted body of land law. The 1963 Registered Land Act (Cap. 300) is the primary legal instrument controlling land transactions. Under its terms, customary land rights were extinguished in areas which had been consolidated and registered, as in virtually all of the high potential agricultural areas (Allot 1988[II]:2). Rights of control and rights of access or use were equated with ownership rights. Land is consequently inherited by the sons of each house of a rightholders' wives. For instance, if a man with three wives died, the land was split equally into three; each third was then split equally amongst the sons within each line. Women had rights of use, by marriage, but were unable to inherit land.
African agriculture had, for the most part, been ignored by the Colonial Administration. At the urging of the European settler community, most Africans were prevented from growing any of the better paying export crops. By the mid 1940s, African agriculture was in a fairly bad state. It was seriously undercapitalized and development in the Reserves had come to a virtual standstill. Still clinging to the notion that the problem was linked to the growth of "individualism" and the soil degradation which had allegedly resulted, the Administration embarked on a massive programme of communally-based soil conservation that relied on reviving the traditional use of communal labour supervised and controlled by tribal elders.
One of the few cash crops which Africans in Murang'a were actively encouraged to grow was black wattle. It was introduced into the district around 1902 and had a major social, economic and political impact on the area. (Black wattle is discussed in detail in Chapter Five.)
The Administration did, however, recognize a serious need for land reform. Norman Humphrey, for instance, argued that parts of Kikuyu country were completely unable to provide even a subsistence standard of living, and that each household needed a minimum of around 4.8 ha, in comparison with the 2.6 ha of land the average household had access to at the time. Humphrey proposed a massive programme of resettlement, recommending that "14,000 families must come off the land as soon as possible." What Humphrey and others had chosen to ignore in their calculations of land requirements in Reserve areas was the potential for cash cropping (Humphrey 1945a:10 and 1945b:52).
The reversal of policies toward communal development began around 1947 after the breakdown of the soil conservation programme. That year, the Director of Agriculture announced that the European coffee growers had abandoned their objections to smallholder coffee production, provided that it was adequately supervised and cultivated away from European farms. Two years later, the Tea Growers' Association abandoned their objections to smallholder tea production (Thurston 1987:30-31).
3.4 Changes in land tenure and their impact on tree tenure
The Registered Land Act (Cap.300) of 1963 specified that, for holdings registered under the act, customary law would no longer apply. The result was that rights of control, and rights of use both became vested in the landowner, rather than in lineage authority or lineage right holder. The legislation introduced important changes affecting tree tenure. Trees, as well as "all things growing on the land...and other things permanently affixed to the land" were the property of the registered landowner. Rights of control, then, were vested in the landowner, rather than in a lineage authority, and it would be up to the landowner to determine if an individual could use the trees growing there. The effects of the legislation, like much of the land-related legislation of the 1950s and early 1960s, were most profoundly felt by the landless, who may have had rights of use to trees growing on sub-clan land guaranteed to them by the sub-clan leader, but who lost these rights as sub-clan land was registered in the names of private land owners.
Sub-clan lineage land use right holders (who were probably less likely to need other tree-use rights on sub-clan lands) lost exploitation rights to communal tree resources as well. Landed farmers, however, were far more able to respond to the tree scarcities brought about by consolidation and registration than were the landless. Farmers who might otherwise have relied on sub-clan trees for timber and fuelwood supplies, but who no longer had access to them, were able instead to grow trees on their own consolidated holdings. Indeed, they were already doing so from the 1940s, as real physical scarcities of trees were developing both on right holders' lands and on communal lands.
Controls on tree planting
While the impression given might be that farmers are freely able to plant and harvest trees as they choose, this is not exactly the case. Several pieces of legislation place some controls on tree planting and other land uses and bear mention here. These are the Chief's Authority Act (Cap.128), the Agricultural (Basic Land Usage) Rules and the Agricultural Act (Cap.318) from which they were derived.
The Chief's Authority Act was first introduced in the 1920s as the Administration sought to develop a framework of local government. The chiefs were widely enlisted in the Government's various agricultural campaigns, and in the process were empowered to regulate a wide range of land uses.
The current Chief's Authority Act is extremely wide ranging. Chiefs are able to require,
...persons to plant any specified crops for the support of themselves and their families when the area concerned is suffering from or threatened with a shortage of foodstuffs.
The Act also allows a chief to prohibit grazing in areas that are being rehabilitated or have been planted with fodder crops. Finally, it also gives chiefs the power to employ compulsory labour in the event of natural catastrophies or other emergencies, and for "the conservation of natural resources" (a euphemism for compulsory tree planting and soil conservation work).
With regard to tree harvesting, Section 10 of the Act specifies that,
Any chief may from time to time issue orders to be obeyed by the persons residing or being within the local limits of his jurisdiction for...[the purposes of ] regulating the cutting of timber and prohibiting the wasteful destruction of trees...or for any other purpose appointed by the Minister in writing. [emphasis added]
This last provision gives broad authority to chiefs to enforce any land use practice which the Government wishes to introduce.
The provisions of the Chief's Act are strengthened by the Agricultural Act and the Agricultural (Basic Land Usage) Rules which empower the Minister to require afforestation reforestation. The Agricultural Act also makes provision for the regulation of the planting of cash crops such as coffee and tea. These crops can neither be planted nor taken out without a permit.
The Land Usage Rules also regulate hillside cultivation. They prohibit the cuffing of trees and the grazing of livestock on hills with slopes of greater than 35 percent. They empower Agricultural Officers to prohibit cultivation on land that is greater than 20 percent slope, and to require soil conservation measures on any cultivated land between 12 percent and 35 percent in slope.
There is no consistency whatsoever in the extent to which controls on farmer tree growing are enforced. Chiefs may require a farmer to obtain a license before trees can be harvested in exchange for a payment of one form or another. In some areas, this requirement has acted as a disincentive to plant trees because there is no assurance that the trees can be harvested. Indeed, the general practice of requiring licences to plant or harvest particular crops acts as a disincentive to alter patterns of land use in response to changing economic conditions.
Rules and regulations about tree planting are introduced and enforced with great irregularity and as it becomes politically expedient to do so. In 1985, for instance, eucalyptus came under heavy attack in Parliament following the head-of-state's vocal concern about the possible negative impact of these trees on the environment. A ban on the planting of gum trees was very nearly introduced. Since then, the discussion about eucalyptus has been greatly tempered in part, because of growing recognition of the economic value of the tree to the rural economy.
More generally however, potential problems with the authorities are reduced by the discrete harvesting and management of trees. Trees are sometimes harvested and managed individually or in small blocks, rather than as an even-aged group: if a few poles are harvested from a woodlot and sold, no one really notices, if the woodlot is entirely cleared, there may be problems. Where permits are not generally required, it is more common to see entire stands of trees or windrows felled at the same time.
3.5 Summary: Changes in land tenure and the impacts of consolidation
Patterns of land use, defined as a result of the farm planning exercises that followed consolidation, are easily recognized in current land use practices. Villagization and consolidation also clustered smaller holdings around villages.
Consolidation strengthened the African middle peasantry, but largely at the expense of the landless. The people whose position was most seriously damaged by consolidation were the tenants (temporary and resident) and those making redeemable land purchases (muguri). As plots were consolidated, land lending and tenancy arrangements were cancelled and land sales were redeemed. While it was assumed that the landless would form a labouring class engaged in employment on larger holdings or in villages, these opportunities were not extensive enough (Sorrenson 1967:221).
Patterns of labour organization were radically changed as well. The process freed up enormous amounts of household labour, formerly used for the cultivation of fragmented holdings. No analysts of the economics of smallholder agriculture in post-independent Kenya have ever assessed (or even speculated upon) the dramatically changed patterns of labour use resulting from consolidation. A reliance on labour-extensive land uses (or tenancy arrangements) to keep distant holdings productive was simply no longer necessary. The fact that household labour became more available partly disproved the hypothesis, that consolidated holdings would provide good opportunities for employment of the landless.
The shift in patterns of labour availability was accompanied by shifts in patterns of land use. In Murang'a District prior to consolidation the dominant cash crop was black wattle. As labour was freed up by consolidation, there was no longer the need to cultivate fragmented holdings with labour extensive crops like trees. This created an overwhelmingly positive environment for the introduction of other cash crops such as coffee and tea. Consolidation, the Swynnerton Plan, and the liberalization of agricultural policies in the Reserves brought about large increases in income from smallholder agriculture. However, the immediate benefits were not evenly distributed and if consolidation could be judged to have been a failure, it was in this respect.
Finally, consolidation greatly changed the relationship between the rights of control of land and rights of use. Contemporary land tenure practices no longer assured people of customary rights of access to trees growing on sub-clan lands. Tree resources which could be managed and utilized on a communal basis were no longer accessible to people who may have needed them. The long-term impacts of this change are related to the widespread cultivation and management of trees on private lands, where rights of ownership and control are one and the same.
Contents - Previous - Next