Nilo-Ethiopian Studies No.3&4 (1996)
- Conflict as a Leveling Mechanism Analysis of Cattle Composition and Raiding among the Narim in Southern Sudan-
The present paper intends to make an analysis on the cattle composltwn and raiding among the Narim, one of the Surmic peoples, in Southern Sudan, and to introduce a hypothesis that their repeated cattle raiding against their neighboring peoples brings an economic leveling to their soicety. The paper also describes in detail the management of cattle, their folk categories for conflict, the strategy and tactics of their cattle raiding, and their distribution of cattle after raiding.
Key words: cattle raiding, pastoral society, ethnic conflict, leveling mechanism, Narim, Sudan.
In Nilotic studies, the image of cattle-obsessed Nilotes, in terms not only of their economy but also of their culture and religion, has been dominant. The Pari of southeastern Sudan offer us an interesting case to counter this dominant view. Pastoralism shares only a limited role in their subsistence economy, and goats, which are not considered substitutes for cattle, are usually victims in sacrifices. They have no “personal oxen” and hunting wild animals has a great significance in achieving and displaying manhood.
This paper will highlight the hunting culture among the Pari, with a special focus on Nyalam, a New Year hunting ritual, in which the first game is sacrificed. Then I will try to account for the ritual both in regional and Nil otic contexts. The aim of the paper is, instead of treating the Pari as being marginal or exceptional to the mainstream Nilotes such as the Nuer and Dinka, to set and evaluate their hunting culture among the Nilotes and to reconsider the dominant pastoral image of the Nilotes.
Key words: ritual hunt, sacrifice, multiple subsistence, Pari, Nilotes.
- Maintaining Continuity in a Dualistic World: Symbolism of the Age Grade Succession Rituals among the Hoor (Arbore) of South-Western Ethiopia
This paper illustrates age grade succession rituals of a society that has a dualistic world view. The Hoor are Cushitic agro-pastoralists who dwell along the Weito River in south-western Ethiopia. The Hoor have a developed age grade system, on which their political activities in local communities are founded. The age set is organized at an interval of 8 to 10 years, and four adjacent age sets are put together and organized into a generation set. The generation set is a unit which takes responsibility for administration of a territorial group. Once every 30 to 40 years, they have two successive rituals, in which a senior generation set transfers political authority to a junior generation set.
The society of the Hoor is saturated with a dualistic world view which consists of binary symbols. This dualistic world view is especially apparent in the arrangement of their settlement, where symbolic orientations permeate every corner of their social life. The age grade system has anomalous effects on the binary symbolism since the former is associated with the concept of continuity. Based on research on the Gandarab, one of the northern regional groups, this paper attempts to show how the rituals
transform dualistic symbols and introduce a concept of continuity into the dualistic world of the Hoor.
Key words: Hoor, Arbore, age grade system, succession ritual, symbolism.