lecture_14_2 - 21A.100 Prof Howe NUER FEUD VIOLENCE 1...

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21A.100 Prof. Howe NUER: FEUD & VIOLENCE 1. Strength and weakness of anthropology: Anthropologists are often swayed by a single key case a. Weakness in that this is an obviously inadequate sample. No way of knowing if typical or how typical. b. Strength in that rich analysis, really can tell you a lot. 2. As said before, ethnography of E.E. Evans-Pritchard (EP) is problem-oriented a. Zande cognition: question of mentality of natives. i. argued that they were rational ii. but systems of rationality were culture-specific, bounded 3. Nuer political system was seemingly anarchy a. No chiefs. No coercive power. b. Very aggressive, warlike. c. EP argued that nonetheless was order, system, not chaotic. 4. EP's Answers: Why there was “order in the feud” a. Nesting hierarchy of groups. From tribe down to local sections. b. No one of them got absolute loyalty, but relative loyalties. c. Also nesting hierarchy of patrilineal kinship. i. Clans divided into subclans divided into maximal lineages divided into minor lineages d. Relative loyalties: brothers, close cousins, distant, i. These loyalties were not identical with tribal. ii. This got messy. Dominant lineage in section, but then others attached. 5. EP noted that gradations existed with their actions. Hutchinson discusses: i. Gradation of violence: 1. Clubs instead of spears when fighting people who are fairly close. 2. Rape and plunder and drive off only with non-Nuer. 3. The Dinka are a marginal case. ii. Gradation of readiness to resolve the conflict 6. So there is some peace in feud. a. Violence is not total or constant. b. There are checks and limits. i. What imposes the limits? 1. Environment. a. Mauss wrote about seasonal variations among Inuit or Eskimo, probably influenced EP
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i. Certain times of year people could come together in larger groups. Intensification of social life, practice religious rituals. 2. EP noted that the Nuer had seasonal variations, with dry and wet seasons. a. During the flood seasons, they end up crammed onto little islands. b. Then in the dry season, they disperse to cattle camps. 7. So there are real incentives to resolve killing fast, especially when they take place within the same or neighboring settlements. a. This tapers off in conflict with more distant peoples in part because almost they never meet, and the conflict doesn’t disrupt subsistence b. Also because patrlineal kinship is not airtight. Cross-cutting ties. i. Have maternal relatives ii. Have others with whom one might be tied 8. There are mechanisms to resolve conflict, even without authoritative control. a. Bloodwealth. b. Compensation. i. Seen throughout European history. Celtic countries, including Britain, France & Germany. ii.
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lecture_14_2 - 21A.100 Prof Howe NUER FEUD VIOLENCE 1...

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