What are the problems of rural food supply in southern Africa today, and how have they arisen historically? This major study of household production, gender, and nutrition traces detailed changes in the agricultural system of Zambia's Northern Province over a period of one hundred years. The authors combine historical, anthropological, and developmental approaches to the study of a rural society undergoing rapid change, and provide a critical reassessment of Audrey Richards' classic work, Land, Labour and Diet: An Economic Study of the Bemba Tribe. The authors assess the ecological, social, and political changes affecting the region, and provide one of the first studies to integrate contemporary development initiatives with long-run interventions. Drawing on their extensive research experience in Africa, Henrietta L. Moore and Megan Vaughan have produced a detailed examination of the changing nature of gender relations and household production. They also draw on recent theoretical developments in anthropology and cultural history to explore the construction of colonial and postcolonial identities in the region. Cutting Down Trees is about local responses to global processes of change. It will be of special interest to anthropologists, historians, and social scientists, as well as those in the fields of development studies, economics, and environmental management.