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Subterfuge in the Domestication of the Date Palm (Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria)

Lecture Nov. 2002

Vincent Battesti

Subterfuge in the Domestication of the Date Palm (Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria)

Original title:
Le subterfuge dans la domestication du palmier-dattier (Tassili n’Ajjer), Lecture given at the Conference Animal Domestications: social and symbolic dimensions (Domestications animales: dimensions sociales et symboliques, Hommage à Jacques Cauvin), VIIth colloque international de l’association “L’Homme et l’Animal” (Hasri) with the collaboration of the Maison de l’Orient méditerranéen-Jean Pouilloux (FR 538 CNRS – Université Lumière Lyon 2), November 21st-23rd, 2002, Villeurbanne (Lyon, France).

- Abstract:
The Kel Ajjer Touaregs of Djanet cultivate date palms in their oasis grove as practised elsewhere in the Sahara, but with one difference: subterfuge. This is not simple plant domestication in which humans deal with insensitive biological material shaped by generations of oasis dwellers, but a kind of interaction as in animal domestication; people use subterfuge so as not to clash with the temperament of the species, which shuns the sui generis smell of humans.

- Access to the conference documents on the web site of the Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée [pdf in French].

- Read the published version: an article for the Anthropozoologica journal.

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Vincent Battesti, "Subterfuge in the Domestication of the Date Palm (Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria)" (online), Anthropoasis | vbat.org, page published 21 November 2002 (consulted 29 January 2022), available on: https://vbat.org/article140
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