Evans-Pritchard, E. E., (Edward Evan) 1902-1973. The Azande: history and political institutions

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Publication Information


Title: The Azande: history and political institutions

Published By: Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971. xviii, 444 p., plates: ill., maps

By line: E. E. Evans-Pritchard

HRAF Publication Information: new haven, conn.:: hraf, 1998. computer file

Culture: Azande (FO07)

Subjects: Clans (614); Ethnic stratification (563); Historical reconstruction (174); Traditional history (173); Tillage (241); Acculturation and culture contact (177); Warfare (726); Executive household (644); Chief executive (643); External relations (648);

Abstract: This book brings together a series of previously published articles in presenting an admittedly piecemeal history of the Azande. The history is essentially based upon the study of one kingdom, the old kingdom of Gbudwe in the most north-easterly extension of Zandeland in the valley of the Sueh in Sudan. The history ranges in time from ca. 1863 to the time of Evans-Pritchard’s field research between 1926-1930. It is based upon a survey of the available European literature (travel accounts, missionary reports, scientist’s diaries and military and colonial government records of the Belgians and the British) and his own field interviews. Included in the study is a critical review of some of the literary sources used. The book covers historical surveys of the clans and their associated totems, with a sample distribution from Tembura to Merdi; the ethnic distribution of the independent clans and tribal groups that merged to form the Azande; a summary of the Zande culture (based upon Gbudwe’s kingdom); ethnic (tribal and clan) origins of the royal and commoner classes; a description of court life; a history of warfare, inter- and intra-clan, and with the Belgians and British; and a history of Gbudwe’s kingdom. Numerous distributional maps and genealogies of the clans and kingdoms are used to illustrate the political hierarchies and territories; these are based upon both the documents and mythological texts. In the appendix, Evans-Pritchard analyzes various versions of one of the origin myths, The Origin of the Ruling Clan, the Avongara. Chapters 9, 12, 13, and 17, seem to correspond to four documents already in the Azande file, viz. 67, 64, 57, and 65, respectively, with alterations from the original published text.

Document Number: 68

Document ID: fo07-068

Document Type: monograph

Language: English


Includes bibliographical references (p. 463-439)

Field Date: 1926-1930

Evaluation: Social Anthropologist-5

Analyst: Sarah T. Bridges; Sigrid Khera; 1973

Coverage Date: ca. 1863 - 1930

Coverage Place: Gbudwe Kingdom, Valley of Sueh, Sudan

LCSH: Zande (African people)


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