12/03/2015
lisa monaghan

D.H. Johnson (1980). Evans Pritchard, the Nuer and the Sudan Political Service.

TOWARDS THE END of 1928, as E. E. Evans-Pritchard was completing his first year of study among the Azande, he wrote to various of his friends in the Sudan Government in Khartoum, including the Civil Secretary, Harold MacMichael, outlining his plans for the immediate future. He intended to return to England for a year to write up his material on the Azande and various other peoples he had visited. Then he hoped to return to the Azande about May 1930, so that he could complete his study there, having mastered the language in his first year and having clarified his thoughts during the intervening period in England.

At the time Evans-Pritchard wrote this proposal the Sudan Government had been embroiled for nearly a year in a punitive campaign against the Nuer of Upper Nile Province, the last of its type in the Sudan. The campaign had begun badly in December 1927 when an attempt to use airplanes to overawe the prophet Guek Ngundeng and his Lou followers failed. Government actions in the neighbouring Gaawar territory during the dry season of 1928 alienated the Gaawar prophet Dual Diu and brought him into open rebellion during the
rains. In its attempt to capture the main leaders of these risings the government had to send troops throughout the Nuer country east of the Nile. It planned a full scale 'settlement' in 1929, aimed at concentrating the Lou and Gaawar in specified areas where they would be isolated from their Dinka neighbours and other groups of Nuer. The prophets were to be rooted out of their hiding places, and once military operations had been successfully completed, a vigorous new attempt to administer the Nuer would begin, with the building of roads, dispensaries, and administrative centres, and the organization of the Nuer into a new administrative system under government appointed chiefs.

Category: Anthropology and History

Sub-category: National, Socio-Cultural Groups and Practices