Remembering Londósa : mediator and counterpoint in a "violent" society

TitleRemembering Londósa : mediator and counterpoint in a "violent" society
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsG.J. Abbink
EditorV. Böll
Secondary TitleStudia Aethiopica : in honour of Siegbert Uhlig on the occasion of his 65th birthday
Pagination371 - 382
Date Published2004///
PublisherHarrassowitz Verlag
Place PublishedWiesbaden
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsbiographies (form), Continuity, Ethiopia, Ethnic groups, social conditions, Suri, traditional rulers, violence

This chapter briefly presents the biography of Londósa, a ritual leader or 'komoru' of the Chari Suri people in southwestern Ethiopia and shows how a personal case study can highlight the social problems of an ethnic group. Suri face a crisis of security and of social continuity. Both their physical security and their food security are at risk, and they have enduring tense relations with neighbouring peoples and with the Ethiopian State. Like other ethnic groups (e.g. Nyangatom, Toposa, Anywaa, Meen) they use armed force to defend themselves or contest resources. The relatively quick "militarization" of societies like the Suri in the last 15 years has brought new problems and challenges. Londósa, as the Suri ritual mediator and leader, recognized the problems emerging and called for restraint to Suri exercise of violence but with little effect. He was powerless to prevent the gradual deterioration of internal social relations in Suri society resulting from this militarization. Feelings of powerlessness and deception with the way Suri society was developing undoubtedly contributed to his early death in June 2000. Notes, ref., sum. [Book abstract]

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