University of Khartoum

Sudan's Prominent Tribes

Sudan's Prominent Tribes

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Title: Sudan's Prominent Tribes
Author: Yousif, Abou Grooun
Abstract: • The status of women in Beja Tribes in Eastern Sudan (p. 76). The author argues in this book that women are most respected among the Beja tribes and according to their traditions and customs women shall not be beaten or receive inhumane or cruel treatment. For example, the crime of adultery only the accused or adulterous male who commit the act of adultery will be punished. The rationale behind non-criminalization of women is based on the believe that women are weak by nature and subject to manipulation or sedition by men. Then, the burden is on men not to commit adultery. • Illegitimate Children (p.68): Children born outside wedlock are recognized (particularly in Bushareen tribe) and their legitimate status will not be affected or stigmatized in the future merely because they are illegitimate. Generally women confess about the illegitimate relationship and in most occasions they end up getting married but in this case only third of the dowry is payable. • Dowry and Divorce in Dinka Tribes in Southern Sudan (p. 138): Dinka pay 100 cows as a dowry when they get married. In case of divorce dowry (whether money or cows) shall be returned. However, if the woman has a child from this marriage the husband is under obligation to leave part of the dowry to pay for the maintenance or upbringing of the child. However, if the child is female the husband (unlike the case of a male child) shall leave larger amount of the dowry for her upbringing. This is because under the customary law of the Dinka women bring cows to the family when get married, therefore more valuable than men. • Zandi Tribes (p. 154): the author of the book highlighted the customs and traditions of the Zandi tribes and the social classes which consist of upper, middle and lower classes. He argued that the younger generations of expected rulers are normally receive teachings in order to acquaint them with the tribal customs and traditions. They also attend tribal and customary court sessions involving dispute resolutions or mediation so as to be prepared for future leadership roles in managing the tribal affairs and issues of tribal governance. • Marriage in Nuwer Tribes (p.151): One of the unusual traditions or customs of the Nuwer tribes in southern Sudan is that when a polygamous husband dies the older son has the right to inherit his father’s wives (with the exception of his mother). The newly born children of the son will not be regarded as his own but still considered as his brothers in accordance with the prevailing customary laws of the tribe. • The Baria Tribes in southern Sudan (.142-145): The author argues that Baria tribes have a unique system of tribal dispute resolution. Elders of the tribe carefully examine the dispute in question, reach a decision and submit it to the Chief of the tribe for assent. The author argues that the Baria tribes employ certain methods of enquiry and investigation such as requesting the accused person to jump over a sharp metal (harba) or licking the metal by his mouse or swear by putting his hands on the head of a dead body or corpse. Regarding criminal investigations of murder cases, the author argues that accused normally asked to bring soil from the grave of the dead person and mix it with water and makes him drink it. Regarding land ownership, every clan allocated a demarcated piece of land for the purpose of dwelling and cultivation. Land can also be acquired through usufructuary rights (hyaza) and not through marriage. Regarding pasture rights, each clan has its own pastures and trespassing is prohibited. The same applies to rivers or water sources which are carefully demarcated and allocated to each tribe for the purposes of fishery and other practices. Tribal boundaries are well-known and accordingly no tribe or clan is allowed to trespass into the area of the other unless authorized or permitted to do so.
Description: This paper had been presented for promotion at the University of Khartoum. To get the full text please contact the other at babiker69@hotmail.com
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/6239
Date: 1969


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