Sharon Elaine, 1952-
Nuer dilemmas: coping with money, war, and the
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
xvii, 408 p.: ill., maps
By line: Sharon E. Hutchinson
HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.:
HRAF, 2002. Computer File
Age stratification (561);
Informal in-group justice (627);
Ecclesiastical organization (790);
This is a remarkable account and analysis of the
changes that have occurred in Nuerland in the colonial (1929-1955) and
postcolonial period (1955-present). War, state, trade, money, wage labor, and
Christianity have all had an impact on Nuer life and culture, and challenged
the central role cattle have played in it. Traditionally cattle were a medium
of exchange, constituting the bulk of both bridewealth and blood money. Also,
the control of cattle was the basis of age and gender hierarchies. However, in
recent years, guns and cash have become competing mediums of exchange.
Hutchinson shows how Nuer reconcile old and new forms of value, and how this has
affected filiation, marriage patterns, gender relations, and age hierarchies.
Her analysis of Nuer gender relations based on complimentary notions of the
blood of humans and cattle is especially good. She also recounts the awful toll
Sudan's civil war (1955-1972, 1983-present) on the Nuer.
Document ID: fj22-018
references (p. 363-381) and index
Ian Skoggard ;
Nuer (African people)