Volume 4, Issue 1, June 2020, Page: 27-36
A Political and Economic History of Ethiopian Nuer from the 1890s - 1991
Shimels Ayele Yalew, Department of History and Heritage Management, Faculty of Social Science, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Received: Mar. 12, 2020;       Accepted: Jun. 15, 2020;       Published: Aug. 4, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijes.20200401.14      View  81      Downloads  26
Abstract
The Nuers are among the diverse ethnic groups of Ethiopia who live in its southwestern periphery. But there was limitation in recording historical experiences of the Nuers. Thus, this research attempts to record an economic and political history of Ethiopian Nuers. Methodologically, it tended to use narrative history. It has arranged chronologically and attempted to explain how and why events occurred. A qualitative interpretation and analysis of primary sources collected from interviews and archives were undertaken. In addition, critical cross checking of books, journals, reports, and other relevant documents supplemented primary sources. Accordingly, the Nuers had indigenous political tradition. They practiced egalitarian form of political structure. Economically, they were predominantly pastoralists. However, political and economic changes commenced after the arrival of Ethiopian state representatives to the region. Politically leaders with newly introduced political titles had emerged among the Nuers. Those political leaders served as intermediaries between the government and the people. An average degree of diversified economic activities also introduced. Human induced and natural factors eroded reliability of cattle herding. As a result, they began to cultivate crop in some areas of the Baro Salient. Besides, the 1974 Ethiopian revolution brought political reorganization. Some Nuer elites nominated as real government functionaries.
Keywords
Nuer, Politics, Economy, Egalitarian, Feudalism, Pastoralism, Changes
To cite this article
Shimels Ayele Yalew, A Political and Economic History of Ethiopian Nuer from the 1890s - 1991, International Journal of European Studies. Vol. 4, No. 1, 2020, pp. 27-36. doi: 10.11648/j.ijes.20200401.14
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Reference
[1]
Hutchison Sharon Elaine. “Violence, legitimacy and prophecy: Nuer struggles with Uncertainty in South Sudan.” Journal of American Anthropological society, 42, 3, 415-430, 2015, http://www./0.1111/amet.12138. Accessed on December 21, 2017.
[2]
Gatwech tut riek. “Resource and political conflicts in Gambella Peoples National Regional State: The case of Itang Woreda,” MA. Thesis, Addis Ababa University, 2016.
[3]
Yonas Adaye. “Conflict complexity in Ethiopia: case study of Gambella regional state.” Phd. Diss., University of Bradford, 2014.
[4]
Hassen Nur Teha. “The Sudan Ethiopian boundry: a study in political geography.” Phd. Diss., Durham University, 1971, http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/7922/. Accessed on January 10, 2018.
[5]
Derege Feyissa. “Power and its discontent in Ethiopia’s western periphery. Anwaas reaction to the consolidation of Ethiopian state in the Gambella region (1941-1991).” Addis Ababa Addis, Ababa University.
[6]
Ojulu Ojot Miru. “Large scale land acquisition and minorities’ indigenous people right. under ethnic federalism in Ethiopia: A regional case study of Gambella Regional State.” Phd. Diss., University of Bradford, 2013.
[7]
WRITENET, independent analysis. (2004). Ethiopia: The Gambella conflict – Structure and Prognosis, UK, http://www.refworld.org>pdfid, Accessed on January 24, 2018, p. 2.
[8]
Mossa Hamid. “Conflict Dynamics in a Three-Level Game: the Conflict Formation in Gambella, Southwest Ethiopia.” MA thesis, Addis Ababa University, 2014.
[9]
DSA report. Expenditure Management and Control Program Assessment Report of Gambella Region. February, 2005.
[10]
Koang Koang Kuch. “The role of multipurpose cooperatives in social and economic empowerment, in Gambella Town, Ethiopia.” MA thesis, Mekelle University, 2013.
[11]
Levin Donald N. Greater Ethiopia. Chicago and London, University of Chicago press, 1974.
[12]
Pankhurst Richard. The Ethiopian border lands. Red sea pr. ltd, 1997.
[13]
Evans E. Pritchard. The Nuer. Britain, At the Clarendon press, 1940.
[14]
Evans E. Pritchard. Nuer Religion. Britain, At the Clarendon press, 1956.
[15]
Stringham Noel. “Marking Nuer histories: Gender, Gernotocracy, and the politics of Inclusion in the upper Nile from 1400- 193.” Phd. Diss., University of Virginia, 2016.
[16]
Falge Christian. “The Nuer as Refugees: a study of social adaptation.” MA thesis, Addis Ababa University, 1997.
[17]
Dereje Feyissa. “The Nuer between Ethiopia and the Sudan”. Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, ed. By Svein Ege, Harald Aspen, Birhanu Teferra and Shiferaw Bekele, Trondheim 2009 and “The Pur, the real, and the chosen: the encounter between Anywa, the Nuer and Highlanders in Gambella,” Flix Girke (ed). Ethiopian images of self and other, Germany, universitatsveslag Have –Wittenberg, 2014.
[18]
Temesgen Gebeyehu. “Identity, centralization and resistance in Ethiopia: the case of Nuer And Anywaa.” African journal of political science and international relations, 2014. http://www.academic journals.org /AJPSIR. Accessed on September 15, 2017.
[19]
Temesgen Gebeyehu. “Ethnic conflict, interaction and cohabitation in Africa: the case of Nuer and Anuwak.” Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review, Volume 29, Number 2, June 2013, pp. 97-112.
[20]
Gatluak Boum. interviewed by the author, Gambella town, December 14, 2017. He was born and grown in Nuer zone. He is one of the grand sons of Qegnazmach Pal Chay. He has MA degree.
[21]
Zewude Dubale. Ilubabor. Addis Ababa, 1976.
[22]
Medhane Tadesse. “Gambella: the impact of local conflict on regional conflict.” Institute of Security studies, Pretoria.
[23]
Endalkachew Girma. “Assessing impact of south Sudanese refuges on the host community of Itang woreda: a case study of Tierkidi refugees camp in Gambella regional state.” MA thesis, Addis Ababa University, 2016.
[24]
Regassa Bayissa. “The Derg-SPLM/A Cooperation: An Aspect of Ethio-Sudan Proxy Wars”. EJOSSAH Vol. V, No. 2 pp. 19- 44. December 2007.
[25]
Dereje Feyissa. “The cultural construction of state borders: the view from Gambella”, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 4: 2, (2010), DOI: 10.1080/17531055.2010.487341.
[26]
Changing Ethnic Relations. A Preliminary Investigation of Gambella, Southwest Ethiopia Alexander Meckelburg, Asien-Afrika-Institut der Universität Hamburg.
[27]
Medhane Tadesse. Gambella: the impact of local conflict on regional conflict and Dereje Feyissa, “A National Perspective on the Conflict in Gambella.”
[28]
Bol Bouny, interviewed by the author, Gambella town, December 10, 2017. He was born and lived in Nuer Zone. He is lecturer at Gambella teachers college and has MA degree in social work. He has also better understanding about Ethiopian Nuer. He wrote Nuer English dictionary.
[29]
The ancient History of Nuer and their advantage from EPRDF constitution. Presented to the tenth Ethiopian nations nationalities and peoples day. Gambella, 2015.
[30]
Bol Bouny, and Sharon Elaine Hutchison, “Violence, legitimacy and prophecy: Nuer struggles with Uncertainty in South Sudan.”
[31]
Bahiru Zewude. “Relation Between Ethiopia and the Sudan on the western Ethiopian frontier, 1898 – 1935.” Phd. Diss., University of London, May 1976.
[32]
Jacob Babouth interviewed by the author on December 27, 2017 in Itang Town. He has good memory of oral Traditions.
[33]
Tasew Gashaw. “Cross-Border Intergroup Conflicts in the Horn of Africa: A Case Study of Ethiopia-South Sudan Borderland People”. Southern Voices Network for Peace building Scholar, November 2017. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/the-southern-voices-network-for-peacebuilding. P. 39.
[34]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. A memo written from ministry of interior to Illubabour province regarding about the people. April, 1977.
[35]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. A memo to the V/prime minister of Ethiopia in June 1990 and Ministry of interior to Illubabour province, regarding shortage of rain, on August 16, 1990.
[36]
Kawich Puok. “The subject matter of Nuer proverbs: Lare community of Gambella.” MA thesis, Addis Ababa University, 2012.
[37]
Siwan Anderson. “The economics of dowery and brideprice.” Journal of economic perspectives, 2007. Volume (4) p. 151-174.
[38]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. A memo written from the delegate office of ministry of agriculture at Metu to Gambella regarding the climate changes in Gambella awraja. July, 1982.
[39]
Bol Kiet, interviewed by the Author, Gambella town, December 19, 2017. He was a teacher during the Derg regime. He has good memory about the events among Nuer. He is among Yehager shimagele now.
[40]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. Gambella sub province, 1982, report on drought in the sub province (Gambella, August 29, 1982).
[41]
Cascao Ana Elisa. Resource based conflict in South Sudan and Gambella (Ethiopia): when Water land and oil mix with. Center of African studies. University institute of Lisbon, 2013. 143-165.
[42]
Gatluak Ruon Jal. “The Roots Cause of Cross Border Conflict in Gambella Regional State between Jikany-Nuer and Lou-Nuer.” Public Policy and Administration Research. Vol. 4, No. 8, 2014.
[43]
Phillip T. Manyok. “Cattle rustling and its effect among the three communities (Denka, Murle, And Nuer) in Jonglei state South Sudan.” Phd. Diss., Nova Southestern University, 2017.
[44]
Tut Pal interviewed by the author, Gambella town, on February 13, 2018. He is the son of Qegnazmach Pal Chay. At the time of interview he was a judge at Gambella national regional state.
[45]
Caplan Caplan Aadrew Stephen. “British Po1icy towards Ethiopia, 1909-1919.” Phd. Diss., University of London, 1971.
[46]
Collins Robert. O. Land Beyond the Rivers: The Southern Sudan, 1898-1918, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971.
[47]
Beyene Hamere Tibeb, interviewed by the author, Gambella town, December 10, 2017. He lived in the area for more than 20 year and has been serving as a teacher. He has MA degree in history and currently working in Gambella teachers college.
[48]
Zewude Dubale. Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. 1963/4, Annual report. (Gambella, Gambella sub-province, in 1965).
[49]
Mawut Lazarus Leek. “The southern Sudan under British rule 1898-1924: the constraints Reassessed.” Phd. Diss., Durham University, 1995, http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/971/. Accessed on May 5, 2018.
[50]
Dereje Feyissa. “A National Perspective on the Conflict in Gambella.” In: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies. Svein Ege, Harald Aspen, Birhanu Teferra and Shiferaw Bekele (Eds). Trondheim, 2009.
[51]
Bol kiet. Interviewed by the author on December 19, 2017 at Gambella Town. He was a teacher during the Derg regime. He has good memory about the events among Nuer. He is national elder.
[52]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. The memo Ekube Mikael Alem Birhan to Gambella Sub Province, concerning the conflict between Balabats, may8, 1974.
[53]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. Blata Tsehay Desta to Ministry of Interior, memorandum regarding the way of life of Gambella people, August 31, 1957, Gambella sub-province administration.
[54]
Diedrich westernman. Some notes and short vocabulary of the Anywak. Berlin, 1912.
[55]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. Lemma G/Mariam to Bitwoded zewude G/Hiwot, memo concerning the existing situations of Gambella sub-province, March 3, 1970, Ministry of Interior from Gambella sub-province.
[56]
An application letter from local Balabats to Jikow district governor in August 1974.
[57]
Thuwat Pal, telephone conversation, February 13, 2018. Tut was born and lived in Jikow. One of the sons of Qegnazmach Pal Chay. He was also chairman of EWP, and secretary of Gambella administrative region during the Derg.
[58]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. Gambella sub-province Governor, 1958 annual report (Tsehay Desta, Gambella, June 24, 1958).
[59]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. Abera G/Egzibher to ministry of interior, A memo regarding pastoralists, Illubabour province, on October 18, 1983.
[60]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. Fitawurari W/Semayat Tesema to L/General Abiy Abebe, memo regarding flooding of Pibore River, Ministry of Interior from Illubabour province, on January 2, 1962.
[61]
Belete Belachew. Ethiopia’s Role in South Sudan’s March to Independence: 1955 -1991. African Studies Quarterly | Volume 14, Issues 1 & 2 | November 2013. http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v14/v14i1-2a3.pdf. Pp 36-54.
[62]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. Fitawurari, Zewude Otore to ministry of interior. Memo concerning infrastructure in Gambella. On December 6, 1974 Illubabour province v/c governor.
[63]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. M/General Dires Dubale to the minister of Ministry of Defense. A memorandum regarding security. On October 23, 1968 Ministry of Interior Department of Public Security. Addis Ababa.
[64]
Derege Feyissa. “The Pur, the real, and the chosen: the encounter between Anywa, the Nuer and Highlanders in Gambella,” Flix Girke (ed). Ethiopian images of self and other, Germany, universitatsveslag Have –Wittenberg, 2014.
[65]
Ethiopian National Archives and Library Agency. Legesse W/Mariam to Illubabour province. General information on the people of Gambella. Minister of the ministry of interior, April 28, 1977.
[66]
Gatluak Tut interviewed by the author in lare, on December 18, 2018. He has blood relation with Girazmach Tongik Tenjah.
Browse journals by subject