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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Raiders and Elders: A Confrontation of Generations among the Dassanetch
Author:Almagor, Uri
Periodical:Senri Ethnological Studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:generation conflicts
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:Three interconnected features of tribal warfare in East Africa emerge from the vicious circle of reciprocal raiding which leads to the escalation of hostilities between neighboring pastoral tribes. Firstly, the age system functions to control the use of force by young warriors. Secondly, homogeneous strata based on common age are incompatible with the differentiated power structure of Dassanetch society, and with the economic and social independence of newly married men. This further prevents the institutionalisation of militarism in a professional military class of warriors. Thirdly, in times of escalation, the opposing interests of elders and warriors are brought to the fore in public debate, each side being temporarily united on the basis of common age and political and economic interests, which cut across the dividing lines of generation-set affiliation. The process of change from a 'routine' state of affairs, when raiding is an integral part of intertribal relations, to escalation and back again, provides a better opportunity to observe the nuances of power relations between elders and warriors than does a period of all-out war, Bibliogr., diagr., notes, photogr.