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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:History, ethnicity, and agriculture in the Sudan
Authors:Kapteijns, LidwienISNI
Spaulding, JayISNI
Book title:The Agriculture of the Sudan
Year:1991
Pages:84-100
Language:English
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:ethnicity
agricultural history
Abstract:This chapter delineates in broad terms some aspects of the Sudanese historical and cultural experience that are relevant to agriculture. The following paradigm of the history of the Sudan between the adoption of food production and the rise of the State is offered: pastoral livelihood strategies expanded at the expense of systems based upon sedentary mixed agriculture, and within the community of pastoral emphasis, a further series of innovative refinements gave new advantages to some groups at the expense of others. The development of food production and of pastoral strategies of livelihood accounts for much of the modern distribution of peoples in the Sudan. The rise of kingdoms in several parts of the Sudan modified the organization of agriculture and transformed the political and social setting within which ethnicity would henceforth be defined. British rule revolutionized Sudanese agriculture and developed an orthodoxy about ethnic identity which considered the 'tribe' as the most significant social unit of Sudanese society. Already before the First World War several irrigated schemes were under way, and the Gezira Cotton Scheme existed in blueprint. The Gezira Scheme became the prototype for many other agricultural projects in the Sudan. The development of irrigated cash crop agriculture led to an underclass of people who were ethnically labelled Fellata and whose corporate identity derived from their common experience as immigrant wage labourers. Bibliogr., notes.