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The Nuer Notes.docx

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Donna Young

The Nuer Notes  The book described the domestic life and the Nuer people’s government and other institutuions  Nuer people are from Southern Sudan and are more similar to people of Dinka who live in East Africa  Nuer people are mostly fishermen, gardeners, herdsmen  Political institution are the main theme yet can’t be accounted until you also consider the environment modes  The nuer and the dinka people are divided into a tribe  Nuer’s biggest political system is a tribe  Nuer people have chiefs are have no laws until the chief doesn’t make it, which shows the idea of not the ideal type of society  Lineage is shown to be from the male side, no mention of women, male dominated society  Nuer social organization is simple and their culture bare-pg 9  The Nuer people are very hostile due to the defeat of their government and therefore for Evans it was hard to do his research  Evans was not allowed at the cattle camps, and the Nuer people showed disgust upon when he was around  He was always out casted when it came to serious matters, and tribal traditions  Between Nuer people Evans was considered equal and between Azande he was considered superior pg 15  Evans had to perform several intimate action in front of an audience  Cattle is important in terms of relationships, especially for men and for brothers  For men, the cattle is a form of going from boyhood to manhood  All the conversation in the end or somehow always leads to cattle  The moment a herd becomes big in the Nuer family life, one of the family member marries  Milk and Millet are the important foods of Nuer, and cows are actually judged good or bad depending on how much milk they provide  Most herd animals are also sacrificed for ritual purposes such as ghost or spirit catching or contacting them  Nuer rarely kill oxen to eat the meat, they only eat the meat if any animals die naturally  Everything in Nuer activities has some type of ritual associated to it  There is ritual associated with the birth of the calf where a man always have to be present  There is certain type of intimate relationship between a cow and man and that is because how they assist each other  When it comes to milking the cow, the kids are taught at a young age on how to do it 1  A boy remains owner of the herd while a girl gets separated from it once she gets married  There is difference between how the herd is essential for a Nuer boy and girl  Linguistics is important when it comes to naming the cow  Every men in Nuer have a ox-name which they acquire at an early age  Nuer people have a tradition of singing when they are happy and they praise their cattle or their herd or their ox/cows  The people of Nuer mostly die because of the cattle, and have rarely been dead because of any other cause  The nuerland is the best place to raise cattle  The main problem in Nuerland is the shortage of rain which can damage the millet  Each house in Nuerland have their own wells, and are watered three times a day  Water supplies and vegetations has a great influence on the movement of the Nuer people  The mosquitoes or the insects in Nuerland is of the major problems in the Nuerland  The Nuer main weapon is a Harpoon  The institution that actually binds Nuer together is fight/war since there the inter marriages takes place  Nuer don’t eat any type for carnivores as a source of food  Nuer don’t eat eggs  The people of the Zeraf river are known for their hunting skills of elephants  Wild dates is probably one of the foods that Nuer depend on the time of sever hunger  Millet is the main crop for Nuer  Milk is the staple food all around for the Nuer people  Milk, millet and fish are the main foods of Nuer depending on whether its a dry or rainy/drought season  Nuer people lack two primitive tools which are iron and stone  The products of animals such as the skin of wild animals are great use to Nuer people like for the use for rugs  Nuer never sell their labour and only the process of trade or exchange takes place and that rarely happens when it comes to cattle  Materials culture is an important way when it come to establishing social relations, and the simpler the material culture is the stronger the social relationship you make  The nuer do all the work in a productive system where it benefits the whole community  Lack of technology makes Nuer a bit hard  Even though there is no hierarchy, the chiefs are there in Nuer life  Structural Time vs Oecological time  Nuer months are classified in two categories one is Tot & Mai  Tot is from middle March to middle September and Mai is half of the year, from middle sep to middle march 2  Nuer have a transitition of time for day till night and have names for each time of the day-pg 101  For Nuer each year is defined through the order of the events which can be from camps, to cattle or to a wedding which took place  The Nuer have age sets for which they categorize each event  Relationships are explained in terms of the past  The size of each camps depends on the area on how much water it has and how much space it has for grazing the cattle  District is the word that is used to define a man social contact in Nuerland  Inter-tribal wars are when women and children are not hurt and the huts are not destroyed  Blood Wealth in pg 121  Dinka people are the immemorial enemies of the Nuer because everything of these tribes are the same therefore in the end when the Nuer get the dominant fusion, class structure happens and that creates hostility  Nuer actually raid the Dinka every two year or three years  Even though Dinka and Nuer are hostile towards each other they have joined forces together to fi
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