The History and Expressive Cultures of the Acholi of South Sudan

Onyala Cultural Consultancy Association (Verlag)
  • erschienen am 26. September 2018
  • Buch
  • |
  • Softcover
  • |
  • 658 Seiten
978-0-6484367-0-6 (ISBN)
Customarily, young men from the Acholi tribe of South Sudan learnt their traditional histories and cultural stories from elders at the fire place. Such histories and culture is passed orally from generation to generation as the men of a village gathered together of an evening. With the Sudanese civil war spreading Acholi populations across the globe, and with the onset of globalisation and the demise of traditional village life, the Acholi histories and culture are being slowly lost to younger generations.
While there are some written histories of the Acholi, most cover only Acholi of Uganda and share only scarce details of Acholi of South Sudan. This has prompted Saturnino Onyala to document the rich histories and cultures of the Acholi of South Sudan. Onyala interviewed over one hundred elders from Acholi communities living in South Sudan and worked with two focus groups of elders in South Sudan to develop this book, a first of its kind.
Onyala begins this work by tracing the origin of each of the nine clans of the Acholi tribe who settled in South Sudan. Onyala reveals that Acholi people of South Sudan are not the Aboriginals of the present Acholi land; they migrated from different places from within and outside Sudan and came and settled in their present homelands. The book identifies the place of origin of each clan and explains how and why each group decided to move away from traditional lands and into what is now Acholi land in South Sudan.
The book then examines in depth the beliefs and religion of the Acholi people. While traditional histories explain that the white men, the missionaries and colonialists who arrived in Africa in the 19th and 20th Centuries claimed the Acholi were pagans or animists, without God; this book proves them wrong. The book examines and how the white men turned Acholi religion into paganism, and the Acholi God into Satan.
The book further explores traditional initiation rites among the Acholi tribe, with an emphasis on how young people move from boyhood to manhood. This one of the most important parts of Acholi culture and the book examines the effects and importance of traditional initiation rites not only for young men, but among the community as a whole. The book highlights the ways in which the indigenous people use traditional initiation as tool to discipline their young ones and to run the community affairs. It is generally believed that the practice of traditional initiation instils in the young people the importance of respecting older men as their teachers and guides, and women as their mates. As young men become initiated, they also bear the responsibility of caring for and guiding those younger than them, formally shifting their place in the community.
As regards to the coronation of the chief, the book describes how the people organise and send a person to someone they want to become their chief. The chief to be is then captured and taken to the home of an old woman, who couldn't bear children. The book explains step by step how the coronation of the chief usually take place.
The book also describes other aspects of traditional Acholi culture and society including the choosing of wife and procedures in marriages, Elopement and the shift from arranged marriages in traditional times to modern marriages in the present day. The book also describes practices around birth and its ceremony, farming, death and its requirements, and kinship among the Acholi people of South Sudan.
This historic work - the first of its kind - is an essential part of the modern Acholi story and a must read for historians, Anthropologists, sociologists and of course those from Acholi backgrounds living around the world.
  • Englisch
  • Broschur/Paperback
  • |
  • Klebebindung
49 Illustrations
  • Höhe: 229 mm
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  • Breite: 152 mm
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  • Dicke: 38 mm
  • 995 gr
978-0-6484367-0-6 (9780648436706)

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