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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Local Trends and Perceptions of Processes of Commoditisation in Central Sudan: The Response of the Ahamda Pastoral System to State Pressures and Capitalist Dynamics
Author:Casciarri, Barbara
Periodical:Nomadic Peoples
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:social change
dual economy
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Abstract:The Ahâmda are a Muslim and Arabic-speaking people. They live on the Butâna plains of Central Sudan and obtain most of their subsistence from extensive herding complemented by the rain-fed cultivation of sorghum. In the last two decades this community has experienced a general crisis, with increasing sedentarization, a shift from nomadism to transhumance, the forced switching to new sources of income, a general proletarianization and continuous marginalization. The extreme rapidity of these changes has had a strong disruptive impact on the entire society. This paper presents examples that illustrate some domains of Ahâmda life in which the influx of consumer goods from the market and industrial production has involved changes, which have gone far beyond a mere transformation of economic activities to touch the core of Ahâmda social relationships. The paper discusses the arrival of modern transportation; the transformation of nutritional patterns; the replacement of handmade objects by industrially produced ones; and the commoditization of marriage. The Ahâmda offer an example of the importance of examining and understanding processes of commoditization from an emic perspective. Fieldwork was carried out between 1989 and 1995. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French and Spanish. [ASC Leiden abstract]