Originally published in 1989, this book examines how the inter-ethnic relationships of the clans of the pastoral Rendille, Gabbra, Sakuye and some Somalis of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia came about. It also examines the uses to which these inter-ethnic relationships are put: for example in managing herds. Oral history is combined with cultural comparison and the analysis of social structure. Blending synchronic and diachronic perspectives, the book synthesises historical ethnology in the Continental tradition with social anthropology. Historically it overturns some established ideas about how the Horn of Africa was settled. Anthropologically it shows how relations may exceed the bounds of the ethnic group as the conventional unit of study.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Clan, Phratry, Tribe, Ethnic Group as Defined by Empirical Findings 3. The Historical Frame 4. Elements of a Proto-Culture: a Comparative Approach to History 5. The Inter-Ethnic Clan Clusters 6. Conclusion. Appendix: Interviews and Their Locations
'...this book has shed light on cross-cutting ties or overlapping identifications and has inspired research demonstrating their importance for theories of conflict and integration.' Günther Schlee, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology