Markus Höhne and Virginia Luling (Editors)

Milk and Peace - Drought and War: Somali Culture, Society and Politics

2010, Hurst

I. M. Lewis, anthropologist and historian, is widely considered to be the greatest researcher to chart the origins and development of Somalia. In this volume, established and emerging scholars review Lewis's work, along with the findings of others, and advance new, groundbreaking methods and unprecedented topics.

Contributors tackle the impact of colonial powers, such as Britain and Italy; Somali poetic heritage and its relationship with politics; variations between northern/pastoral and southern/agropastoral populations within Somali culture; the significance of clanship, including its influence on livestock trading networks; the origin and nature of Somali "total genealogy"; the political future of the country following the breakdown of the centralized state; and the role of the Somali diaspora. Chapters explain "spirit possession cults," the study of which Lewis helped to establish, and the intricacies of Somali language, names, and terms of kinship. A thorough introduction details the trajectory of Lewis's career and the extent of his legacy after five decades of scholarship.


Annette Veit

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