lisa monaghan

Muller- Dempf (2008). The Ngibokoi Dilemma. Generation Sets and Social System Engineering in Times of Stress

The Toposa are an agro-pastoral people living in the south-eastern corner of the Republic of Sudan who organise themselves by a system of generation- and age-sets. The layout of this system is not governed by fixed time intervals as in some other generation-set systems. It is argued that the layout of the Toposa generation-set system partly reflects internal conflicts within the male part of the society, and that in times of stress this layout is deliberately changed in an act of social system engineering. Evidence and the logic background are presented for such a change that has actually taken place about 130 years ago following a centennial drought, which had put the generation-set system into disorder.

Category: Anthropology and History


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