Barbuda remains little developed and sparsely populated relative to its neighbors in the Leeward Lesser Antilles, a rather extraordinary and relatively unknown Caribbean place. Much of its distinctiveness derives from the communal land-tenure system, itself rooted in three centuries of open-range cattle herding. Yet, as revealed through interviews, newspaper archives, and landscape observations, openrange cattle herding has declined over the past three decades, with related changes in land tenure. As the new Barbuda Land Act came into effect in 2008, codifying the communal tenure system, the very landscape elements that manifest open-range herding have become obscure. In particular, the rock-walled stockwells have become largely defunct, many of the walls lie in ruins or have been entirely consumed by the crusher that converted them into gravel to surface roads. With the principal land use that had supported communal control largely out of practice, usufruct access to land now largely obsolete, the new act might have little actual impact in preserving Barbuda’s uniqueness.
Sluyter, Andrew and Potter, Amy E., "Renegotiating Barbuda's commons: recent changes in Barbudan open-range cattle herding" (2010). Faculty Publications. 24.
Taylor & Francis
Journal of Cultural Geography