The Social Life of Wild-Things: Negotiated Wildlife in Mali, West Africa
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Two markets located in Bamako, Mali, West Africa specialize in the commodification of wildlife, and in so doing contest western-centric notions of globalization. Founded in traditional medicine, the Marabagaw Yoro sells wildlife to serve the needs of the local community, while the Artisana, a state sponsored institution, manufactures fashion accoutrements from wildlife and is oriented towards meeting the demands of tourists. Actors in both markets effectively curb the impact of national and international forces and demonstrate the necessity of putting local-global relations at the heart of transnational studies. Malians are not weak and reactive, but potent and proactive. They become so by engaging in networks that move out from the two markets and that intersect to a degree. Through these networks, local actors negotiate and/or manipulate national and international forces for personal benefit for example, using wildlife for profit, despite national and international sanctions. As such, these markets are sites of articulation, where local resource users engage the world at large and actively negotiate a myriad of values as well as mediate political and economic pressures. Investigating these networks helps us understand the actual, empirical complexities of globalization while allowing for the agency of local actors. Supplemental File: Wild Species of the APT and their Conservation Status This file is an Excel spreadsheet of all wild species recorded in association with the Animal Parts Trade (APT) of Mali. It includes the following classes of vertebrates: Pisces, Aves, Reptilia, and Mammalia, as well as provides their conservation status and additional details.