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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cattle Raiding and Household Demography among the Kuria of Tanzania
Author:Fleisher, Michael L.
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Tanzania
international trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161024
Abstract:Among the Kuria, who straddle the border between Tanzania and Kenya, many young men are actively engaged in an illicit livestock trade in which cattle stolen in Tanzania are sold to buyers, mainly butchers, inside Tanzania or else run across the border for cash sale in Kenya, where the demand for beef is greater and beef prices are considerably higher. This article, which is based on field research carried out from August 1994 to March 1996 among 64 cattle raiders in a village of the Nyamongo clan in Tarime District, examines the motives for cattle raiding. The author argues that Kuria cattle raiders are mainly in it for the money, and have been for approximately the past eighty years. But this does not rule out the use of some or all of the cash proceeds from raiding to attain such 'traditional' objectives as amassing bridewealth. The author further argues that cattle theft is overwhelmingly the 'occupation' of choice of those young Kuria men who are 'sister poor', i.e. those whose natal household lacks a sufficient number of daughters to bring a large enough number of bridewealth cattle into the household to enable all the sons of that household to acquire their first wives. Bibliogr., ref., sum. in English and French.