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Living on Earth in the Sky: The Anyuak. An analytic account of the... / Anyuak Histories

English · Hardback

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About the author

The Author
Conradin Perner is a Swiss scholar with professional
experience in the fields of literature, ethnography,
peacebuilding and humanitarian work. He has
lectured at a number of African and European
universities and has worked as a delegate of the
International Committee of the Red Cross in Africa,
the Indian sub-continent, Afghanistan and Central
Asia, as an advisor and consultant for the ICRC,
UNICEF and UNESCO and as a peace advisor for the
Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs. In recognition
of his scientific and humanitarian work, Perner was
awarded with the first honorary citizenship of South
Sudan on the day of independence in July 2011.


Oral Traditions to Modern History

The monograph on the history and culture of
the Anyuak is the result of more than five
years of fieldwork (1976–1983). It is a well-documented,
detailed and passionate description
of an African people’s spiritual and
material world, their culture and history.
Myths, oral traditions, stories, maps, genealogies,
recordings of tales, songs and music
as well as a great number of photographs invite
the reader to join in the journey through
the universe of the Anyuak in order to make
their own discoveries or simply to participate
in the spiritual adventure.
The Anyuak live on both sides of the
between South Sudan and South-western
Ethiopia. They are relatives of the
better known Shilluk, Dinka and Nuer, but
have turned from cattle herders into fervent
agriculturalists. The Anyuak are a highly intellectual,
strong-minded and well-organised
people who have created, in the middle
of so-called wilderness, a centre of human
civilisation. If their socio-political system is
of a particular interest, their philosophy is
equally fascinating: it centres on the human
person and governs his or her relationship
not only within human society but also with
animals, earthly matters and spiritual forces.
Thanks to their stubborn, almost desperate
belief in the essential goodness of existence
and the positive forces of life, the Anyuak
have – in spite of all pressures from outside –
up to now succeeded in preserving their cultural
identity and maintaining their pride
of being «pure human beings».
The first four volumes of the monograph
describe the sphere of the above (the sphere
of transparency), the sphere of the below
(the sphere of material existence, the earth)
and the space between them (the sphere of
human self-awareness and the period of personal
existence). Volumes V and VI focus on
the Anyuak village and its physical, social,
judicial and political structures, and examine
the lively sphere of collective experience
under a forceful leadership, which embodies
the community’s self-awareness. Volume VII
focuses on the daily or seasonal activities of
the Anyuak and investigates their economic
and material values, in particular the social
aspects of labour, such as solidarity, sharing
within the community and cooperation. The
book ends with a chapter on art which illustrates
the Anyuak artistic self-awareness in
all aspects of life.
Volume VIII on the Anyuak History is the
last part of the monograph. The narrative in
this volume moves from mythological times
to the times of migration. It explains reasons
for the separation from relatives and explores
the process of settlement. The modern
part of history starts with the stories related
by early travellers, describes the times of
slavery, the relationship between the Anyuak
and their neighbours and provides documents
on the impact of foreign governments and the consequences of the first and the
civil wars in the Sudan. Myths, oral
information and official records are significant
documents for understanding the Anyuak
historically as well as their relatives and
indeed the colonial powers of the time. An
extensive bibliography on the entire monograph
concludes the information provided
in this volume.

Product details

Authors Conradin Perner
Publisher schwabe
Languages English
Product format Hardback
Released 28.02.2017
EAN 9783796535529
ISBN 978-3-7965-3552-9
No. of pages 399
Dimensions 215 mm x 303 mm x 35 mm
Weight 1920 g
Illustrations Karten
Subjects Humanities, art, music > History > Cultural history
Social sciences, law, business > Ethnology

Gesellschaft und Kultur, allgemein, Kulturwissenschaften, Cultural Studies, Africa, Ethnology, auseinandersetzen, Colonialism, Slavery

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