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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Atuot age categories and marriage
Author:Burton, John W.ISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Sudan
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1159008
Abstract:The Atuot are a group of approximately 35,000 Nilotic speaking pastoralists of the Southern Sudan. Certain aspects of Atuot age categories and how these are related to processes leading to marriage are considered here, preceded by some brief comments regarding eastern African age set systems and a synopsis of the ethnography on this topic for a number of the Nilotic speaking peoples of the Southern Sudan. In the Atuot case, the term ric could be translated to mean 'age-grade' or 'age-set'. However, any political or military significance they had in the past was secondary. In lieu of any specified political function, the author suggests their purpose can best be understood as a 'marriage class' or 'marriage set', i.e. a temporary grouping of persons considered mature enough for marriage. A description of Atuot initiation and engagement, which precede marriage, offers evidence of the fact that age classification has a great deal to do with access to, and manipulation of, wealth, which is both acquired and re-generated through the institution of marriage. Notes, ref., French sum.