Property and age organisation among an East African pastoralist group<a NAME="top1"></a>

Studies of age systems in eastern Africa have focused mainly on the rules that govern recruitment, with an emphasis on the way in which political offices and authority are held and the non-military and non-political nature of age systems. While the studies have greatly contributed to our understanding of age organisations in the region they do not deal with the issue of property explicitly and how it forms a major focus for the activities of the age organisations. In fact where mention is made, property is considered to be a matter linked to families and hence pertaining to the domain of kinship. Discussing a range of cases in which property is handled and dealt with by leaders of a generation/age set and Hor and non-Hor residents of Hor country, this paper concludes that ownership, use and control of resources, is not exclusively a matter for kinship groups but also a central concern of the age organisation. Although there appears to be some ambiguity that emerges from the balanced emphasis Hor put on kinship and age categories and their complementarity in economic, religious and legal matters, data on the Hor show a bias towards age organisation in matters related to (the use of) crucial resources. The study focuses on the Hor (Arbore), a pastoral people of Southwest Ethiopia.

Hor; Property; age-organisation; kinship; Pastoralism

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