In this unique and unprecedented study of birding in Africa,
historian Nancy Jacobs reconstructs the collaborations between
well-known ornithologists and the largely forgotten guides, hunters
and taxidermists who worked with them. Drawing on ethnography,
scientific publications, private archives and interviews, Jacobs
asks: How did white ornithologists both depend on and operate
distinctively from African birders? What investment did African
birders have in collaborating with ornithologists? By distilling
the interactions between European science and African vernacular
knowledge, this work offers a fascinating examination of the
colonial and postcolonial politics of expertise about nature. It is
also a riveting history of the discovery of certain bird species.
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