ANTH 1102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Social Anthropology, Stateless Society, Bantu Kavirondo

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Concept of tribe in africa tribal divisions were the deliberate creation of a machiavellian colonial policy of divide and rule. Bantu kavirondo were very loosely organized politically, each sub-tribe consisting of a number of more or less sovereign clans. Luyia became a super tribe which was closely linked to the colonial administrative framework; never conformed to the criteria of a tribe. The difficulty of identifying one tribe clearly and distinctly from another is often represented as a troublesome test which the anthropologist must pass; hard when they are stateless societies. Attempts at establishing unequivocal, all-purpose, one-dimensional classifications of socio-cultural groups involve grave danger of misrepresenting the nature of societies. Three sets of problems associated with the tribal concept: problems of definition, problems of illusions, and problems of transition and transformation. The analysis and comparative study of tribal society should proceed on the basis of more specialized categories in the fields of kinship, ritual, politics, economics, and language.

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