Cohen, Ronald. Some aspects of institutionalized exchange: a Kanuri example

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Title: Some aspects of institutionalized exchange: a Kanuri example

Published in: Cahiers d'etudes africaines -- Vol. 5

Published By: Cahiers d'etudes africaines -- Vol. 5 Paris: Mouton, 1965. 353-369 p.

By line: Ronald Cohen

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1998. Computer File

Culture: Kanuri (MS14)

Subjects: Gift giving (431); Medium of exchange (436); Social relationships and groups (571); Ethics (577); Household (592);

Abstract: This is an historical account of the Kanuri economy. The nineteenth- century Kanuri economy was a peripheral market economy in which there was no universal form of currency and only some goods and services entered into the marketplace, for example agricultural surpluses and craft work. Other types of exchanges were embedded in the sociopolitical structure of society. Higher status persons received gifts, services and tributes from subordinates and redistributed them in a show of generosity during rites of passage ceremonies. The legitimate route for social mobility was for any individual to enter into a patron-client relationship with the head of a more powerful and wealthier household. An important ingredient of this relationship was BERZUM, discipline and trust. Cohen suggests that BERZUM could be considered the currency of the Kanuri political economy.

Document Number: 8

Document ID: ms14-008

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 369)

Field Date: 1955-57

Evaluation: Ethnologist-4,5

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ; 1996

Coverage Date: 1800s

Coverage Place: Borno State, Nigeria

LCSH: Kanuri (African people)


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