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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Origins and Culture of Blacksmiths in Kuku Society of the Sudan, 1797-1955
Author:Poggo, Scopas
Year:2006
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Volume:18
Issue:2
Pages:169-186
Language:English
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:iron forging
social status
social history
1800-1899
1900-1949
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13696810601104734
Abstract:The Kuku are an ethnic group in the southern region of the Sudan. This paper examines the roles played by blacksmiths in Kuku society, covering the period 1797-1955. It shows that the acquisition of the knowledge of iron-smelting by the Kuku blacksmiths had far-reaching impact on the Kuku political, economic and social institutions. Iron brought about a revolution in agriculture, marriage and warfare. The Kuku iron blacksmiths created their own unique subculture within Kuku society that reflected the nature of their materially rewarding yet difficult occupation. They wielded enormous economic power and enjoyed social prestige because of their extraordinary innovative skills, but their exceptional social behaviour rendered them outcasts. The arrival of British officials in 1909 and the subsequent establishment of the Anglo-Egyptian administrationmarked a new era for the Kuku. By the 1930s, the introduction of new British goods had led to the development of new tastes and preferences among the Kuku and they gradually lost interest in the blacksmiths' products. The institution of blacksmithing became insignificant in political, economic and social terms. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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