Transformation Of The Livelihoods Of The Karamojong Sociology Essay Example
Transformation Of The Livelihoods Of The Karamojong Sociology Essay Example

Transformation Of The Livelihoods Of The Karamojong Sociology Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 8 (4133 words)
  • Published: August 15, 2017
  • Type: Essay
Text preview

To critically prosecute modernist interlocutions in item, I analyze the ambiguities and contradictions that have been engendered by the noncritical building and allotment of modern lodging units to ordinary Karamojong, as an indicant of the transmutation which the authorities so thirstily desires for the people of Karamoja. In reviewing modernness, this essay besides examines the extent to which a postmodern discourse is relevant, in raising cardinal inquiries about the discourse of development while deconstructing the apprehensions entailed in descriptions of modernness.

The Modernism of Government attacks for Transforming Karamoja:

The undertaking of modernisation in Karamoja has a concrete historical context dating back to Karamoja 's brush with colonialism. The colonial province, under the misguided belief that Karamojong were incapable of rational economic determinations due to an emotional/cultural fond regard to their farm animal, and their perceptual experience of Karamojong either as inherently 'conservative ' or incapable of mind, pursued steps to overhaul the Karamojong. The colonial policies adopted in the name of modernisation served alternatively the expropriation and appropriation of economic excess from Karamoja. It has been right argued by dependence bookmans ( e.g. Rodney, 1972 ) that through colonialism, settlements such as Karamoja were underdeveloped as a deliberate project by the more economically advanced European states.

After independency, many of the economic constructions and policies put in topographic point by the colonial province continued, which farther perpetuated Karamoja 's underdevelopment. The coming to power of the National Resistance Movement ( NRM ) in 1986, for the first clip, marked a interruption with the yesteryear, with authorities coming out bo


ldly to proclaim its desire to truly develop Karamoja. Over the past 26 old ages, many positive intercessions have been undertaken by authorities, which have set Karamoja on a route to recovery. This notwithstanding, the NRM had maintained a acerb disapprobation of mobile inclinations associated with Karamojong pastoralism. The word picture by the authorities of mobile patterns associated with pastoralism as ancestors of tradition subsumed in the advanced civilisation of the twenty-first century is an inherently modernist discourse to the extent pastoralism is depicted as being in passage from a still 'backward ' civilization to settled signifiers of farm animal production which are considered conformable to commercialisation ( read modernisation ) .

Government has openly proclaimed a entire rejection of pastoralism for perpetuating nomadism among the Karamojong, on evidences that in the twenty-first century, the Karamojong can non be encouraged and assisted to populate mobile life styles as their ascendants did, forever rolling with their cowss, from one topographic point to another, in hunt of H2O and grazing lands. Government has openly proclaimed that the transmutation of Karamoja is possible, and go forthing the Karamojong marginalised and isolated would take to their eventual extinction.

Modernity is a philosophical discourse of western Europe that concerned the conditions of life imposed by the socioeconomic procedure that were associated with the development of productive forces of capitalist economy which was characterized by mechanisation. It represented a interruption with the pre-industrial epoch which was associated with the enlightenment period. Modernity is deployed to epitomize a interruption with tradition, and a rejection of everything that was associated with the yesteryear. The

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

thought of modernness was bound up with the impression of critical ground, which was associated with a tradition that questioned anything, including everything that was nonnatural about the period before the present. Under modernness, no status was lasting, and modernness was invariably in struggle with tradition as it strived to make a new cosmopolitan morality.

In a modernness discourse, pastoralists are viewed as possessing a psychological attractive force to cattle. Due to this cultural affinity to big herds, pastoralists will be given to overstock, which leads to overgrazing. This statement was advanced by calamity of the parks theoreticians, who argued that the behaviour of pastoralists were influenced by the picks open to them, and that pastoralism could merely be developed if there was a stimulation to liberate the pastoralists from their cultural bondage through constitution of new establishments of ownership of land that privatized and individualised rights, which compelled them to internalise their outwardnesss, therefore bear the cost of every excess caput of cowss they kept, intending that they were compelled to sell some of their animate beings and invest in purchasing land and bettering in livestock production substructure.

A modernness discourse would see tradition as impairing to rational idea, which through ground provides the lone believable attack to get at the truth. For rationalism, ground was non dependent on experience, history or anything handed from the yesteryear, therefore the authorization of tradition, for illustration, in explicating the behaviour of pastoralist was challenged. Rationalism was embodied in the doctrine of Descartes, who put his assurance in 'the operation of rational head which is non encumbered by the 'dead manus of the yesteryear ' , and for whom traditions, when carefully analyzed, 'amounted to nil but a pandemonium of imposts and unverified sentiments which largely fail the trial of ground ' ( see Gross, 1992: 25 ) .

For modernness, there was no topographic point for traditional patterns and establishments. A interruption with the yesteryear was smartly pursued, in both temporal and spacial footings, in order to encompass something wholly more advanced than pastoralism, such as farm animal ranching and dairy agriculture, or settled harvest farming. Changes were introduced in land usage and belongings dealingss in cowss maintaining countries non merely to stop nomadism, but besides to transform the Karamojong. The individualised land ownership, which commenced during the colonial period continued through constitution of relocation strategies, which replaced common belongings systems. Most of these strategies nevertheless failed to happen.

Modernity did non assail tradition for the interest of it, but an assault on tradition enabled the cultivation of something new that authorized the present in an wholly different manner from that in which it had been ordered in the yesteryear ( Gross, 1992: 28 ) . It is in this context that this essay wishes to utilize a postmodern discourse to review the efforts to transform Karamoja and the Karamojong through one of the legion intercessions being undertaken under the NRM authorities, viz. , the debut of modern houses.

A Post-Modern review of Modernity Discourses on Karamoja Transformation:

Modernity set the scenes for its ain ruin. Specifying modern in footings of what was current could non go

on undisputed, particularly after inquiries began to be raised about the unrealized promise of modernnesss, which set the phase for a hunt of an alternate to modernness. As clip went by, the much anticipated obliteration of everything that was associated with traditional signifiers was ne'er to be. This set the foundation for a postmodern discourse, for which, there were really no walls between tradition and modernness in the ways in which this was claimed by the modernists. Modernity was non able to build a whole new aesthetic universe in which all jobs of pastoralists were solved by modernisation. In fact modernisation did non work out the jobs it set out to, such as enhanced felicity and improved public assistance, allow entirely agitating a whole new set of challenges that needed to be addressed.

There is a sense in which modernness was perceived as an independent thrust towards come on off from tradition, which signified a cyclical motion from one crisis to another until even the kernel of the advancement that was anticipated could no longer be sustained, and as modernness became associated with aesthetics of alteration for the interest of alteration, a rupture occurs whose understanding necessitated an alternate discourse of the postmodern. Modernity generated contradictions and ambiguities in the modern life-worlds of pastoralists.

Unlike modernness which was unpretentious in its leitmotiv to disown any association with anything traditional, postmodernism recognized that modernness was so engrained in modern society, that there was barely any facet of life that was non touched by it. It was for this ground that postmodernism pre-eminenced diverseness and pluralities of life-forms and societal dealingss, in contradistinction to modernness 's cosmopolitan morality. Such acknowledgment holds true for pastoralists who do non populate in a delimited society. The universe around them which they interface with on a uninterrupted day-to-day footing entailed high degrees of technological development of forces of production and abstraction of labour. The high degrees of specialisation of production and resulting division of labour associated with late capitalist economy resulted in namelessness in the societal organisation of production, in ways that did non go forth pastoralism unharmed.

Modernity freed pastoralism from the restraints that non merely tradition but besides, to a big extent, the physical environment imposed on its productive potency, without needfully enabling it to reconstitute itself to react adequately to the challenges this generated. For illustration, commercialisation of production that comes with modernisation of pastoralism agencies pastoralists can take part in the market to sell farm animal merchandises and purchase other necessities they do non bring forth at the family degree, and yet they are unable to efficaciously vie in the livestock merchandise market because of rigorous phyto-sanitary conditions and demands, for beef and dairy merchandises in the more moneymaking exports markets.

Case Study: From the Traditional 'manyattas ' to Modern Housing estates in Karamoja

The traditional scene in Karamoja is characterized by a really specific signifier of lodging that entails the building of little unit of ammunition huts that are thatched with grass and have walls made out of clay and lappet, with no Windowss and a individual door ( see figure 1 ) . For beautification,

the hut floor and walls made out of dirt, are smeared with cow droppings and sometimes forms made on black clay dirts utilizing white/grey ash and ruddy dirts. The Pokot hut ( see figure 3 ) varies somewhat from the hut in other parts of Karamoja ( see figure 1, 5, 6 ) , merely like the Karamojong hut varies from that in Turkana ( see figure 4 ) .

The debut and publicity of modern houses ( see figure 2 ) in Karamoja is portion of the authorities 's scheme to supply nice adjustment and transform the life conditions of the people of Karamoja, including civil retainers but more specifically ordinary Karamojong in the small towns. Government has been explicit about its committedness to transforming Karamojong manyattas into modern and better topographic points to populate in. Each unit of a modern house comprises three room ( two sleeping rooms and one sitting room ) , plus an outside kitchen and shop, and a solar panel for electricity. The houses were besides furnished with bedclothess and cooking utensils, among other things. Model houses have been constructed in Nakapelimen ( Camp Swahili ) small town in Moroto municipality and at Nadunget, in Nadunget sub-county, among others. The modern low cost houses constructed utilizing hydra signifier engineering imported by authorities from South Africa. The stimulation for the alteration in lodging was external, although it should be recognized that modern lodging had already been introduced in many parts of Karamoja, particularly in the urban countries, and in some small towns, even if the hut is the chief signifier of lodging.

This transition from the traditional manyatta to the modern lodging units embodied a meaning of thoughts that would assist us understand non merely the ideological foundation of authorities 's modernisation discourse in Karamoja in general and pastoralism in peculiar, but besides the contradictions that this entailed, and their deduction for the ordinary people of Karamoja. Government 's perceptual experience of modernness with regard to the alteration desired in Karamoja embodied a interruption with the yesteryear, in both temporal and spacial footings, to encompass something wholly new. This transmutation in the country of lodging entailed forsaking of the manyatta and its incarnation of cognition and history, and building modern houses next to the manyatta ( see figure 2 ) , thereby, come ining an unoccupied infinite and set uping a new presence to represent a new beginning on the route to modernness.

The physical spending of huts inside the manyatta ( see figure 1 ) was ne'er a representation of a free signifier of rural-space organisation. The nature of traditional huts in which the bulk of the Karamojong live, and their physically agreement socially represented a materialisation of infinite inhabited by the dwellers of the manyatta. Even when the manyatta grows spontaneously, the agreement of huts is ne'er haphazard. A passage from the manyattas to modern houses surely signifies a alteration in this materiality which informs the spacial and temporal organisations of the huts. Consideration of felicity and security are paramount to the Karamojong, and this was every bit much a proficient inquiry as it was an

aesthetic 1. This sort of logic appeared missing for modern houses that were built outside urban Centres, such as those at Nadunget ( see figure 2 ) . The historicity of organisation of colonies in Karamoja was non extended to building of modern houses.

In an effort to mime the traditional manyatta scene, the modern houses were built in some kind of a circle, but which failed to picture the structural agreement of the huts internal to the huts inside the thorn stockade enclosure. Each modern house was allocated to a family caput, constantly male, the modern manyatta represented an effort to re-engineer gender relationships, because in polygamous brotherhoods, families that take up abode in the houses would hold to busy more than one married woman in each house at any one minute, or one of the married womans would stay in the manyatta. The traditional scene, where a place comprised multi-unit homes, with each married woman being in ownership of her separate hut, is, under the new construct of the modern manyatta being superseded by the humdrum of individual unit homes.

The Karamojong huts and manyattas are non merely a ocular look of aesthetic beauty of Karamojong lasting homesteads, but besides an incarnation of societal values that define the Karamojong in footings of who they are, and what they think about others around them. The traditional manyatta had a really specific form of busying infinite. That is why the irritant stockade, which is so thick that a slug would non perforate its inside, exists around most colonies. The enclosed infinite gives a ocular look of an ideal Karamojong community. The sprinkling of modern houses, covering about twice the country of the manyattas, epitomizes a sense of solitariness and fright, which in the past insecurities was an invitation to an onslaught, even by accustomed felons. The infinite left in the center of the manyatta is non simply anon. infinite. It is intended as a dark kraal ( Atamanawi ) , and its cardinal location in center of all huts in the colony means that to acquire to the cowss, one has literally to hold gone through all the mode of defence at manus in the manyatta. It was non an guiltless infinite. There is a infinite for caprine animals ( anok ) or calves, a chief gate that ushers one into the manyatta ( epiding ) . Inside the manyatta, huts that belong to a individual household unit, of a adult male, his married womans and grownup kids are normally clustered together with a common gate that leads to the outside of the thorn stockade ( ekidori ) . The more the figure of farm animal possessed by the members of the community, the big this infinite. The modern houses represent `` the worst characteristics of a heartless useful rationalism '', since consideration was chiefly on the fact that Karamojong had to get down to appreciate life in better adjustment, which is less crowded. And I am non entirely in believing like this. The New Vision column squad described these modern houses as `` merely an alibi for a house''.

The Karamojong huts

are built by Karamojong adult females, utilizing local stuffs and the fundamental engineering available to them. The traditional division of labour in Karamoja is such that the work forces cut and repair the poles. Womans collect the grass and vines, every bit good as edifice and thatching the huts, on occasion assisted their kids and fellow adult females. The building of huts is a societal procedure, whose completion is celebrated as a meaning of the beauty of capable. In the eyes of their hubbies, a good thatched hut is a manifestation of the interior beauty of the handy-woman by which her gender is celebrated by an full community. With the modern houses, the Karamojong, like argued by Schorske ( 1967: 64 ) , 'lost a sense of relationship to their houses ' , and with it, the integrating of colony with their delicate environment had besides been interfered with.

There is frequently more to the locationality and siting of huts inside the enclosure than simply a spacial projection of societal values through the building of huts. The locating on the manyattas depended on several factors such as propinquity to chief route, entree to H2O and graze grazing lands, defence of the herd from timeserving onslaughts. The houses could be dismantled with easiness and stuffs still in good conditions moved to a new location. The cause of motion could be associated with unexplained decease of members of the households or increased exposure to onslaughts from farm animal plunderers, or loss of farm animal. This is about impossible with the modern houses, which constantly intended as a mark of sedentarization of the beneficiary community.

The Karamoja heat ( which averages 45°centigrade during dry conditions ) means that the traditional huts were designed to offer a natural chilling consequence during the twenty-four hours ; while safeguarding the people from the utmost coldness at dark, a characteristic which is missing with the ill ventilated modern houses. These houses were built with three little Windowss. The huts are short and little because of trouble accessing building stuffs, and besides a signifier of version to strong air currents that seasonally blow from the mountain escarpment to the East of Karamoja. Puting corrugated Fe on the roof of a construction a few metres from the land surface makes these modern houses highly uninhabitable when the Karamoja heat sets in. In many ways these houses do non make out to their users, who prefer alternatively to lease them out and gain some income to prolong their households. These houses are called 'modern ' by their purveyors, a word picture which I do non hold with, mostly on history of the discordances referred to above. Apart from merely being different from the Karamojong huts in footings of stuffs used and being fitted with a solar panel, there is nil significantly modern about their air circulation system.

The traditional huts are impermanent constructions with a grass-thatch and clay and wattle walls. The modern houses are lasting constructions made out of hydraform brick walls, with cement floor, and roofed utilizing corrugated Fe sheets. The houses have besides been fitted with solar panels to provide

electricity, a kitchen for cookery and a pit latrine. These modern houses embellished the beginning of the terminal of traces of tradition as characterized non needfully in the nature of lodging, but all facets of their lives. It represented a motion towards individualized ownership vested in the caput of the families when in the traditional scene ; the ownership of huts was vested in the adult females who each constructed her huts where her hubby would come to happen her. The huts have no beds, may be a mattress, although frequently it was a fell. The modern houses were in all respects a representation of modernness. They are houses for houses ' interest, and yet to reason as such agencies to acknowledge that there was some reason to traditional huts, their architecture, location, size and form. There was a morality associated with these types of huts. Is the scene in the modern houses non hard to support in instance of an external foray? What maps are represented in the manner the traditional huts were spatially organized? Do they hold what Schorske ( 1967: 36 ) termed as 'ideational significance ' ?

The distance from one household to another and from one hut to another is purposeful. The traditional Karamojong society comprised rational persons, whose manyattas were an version to nature. The short distance from the traditional huts in the manyatta into the modern iron-roofed houses represents a sensed incongruence between the traditional and the modern, from which the Karamojong, merely like their system of farm animal production is expected to transition at the behest of the province that seeks an individualised articulation of the population, in their transmutation. It is a representation of mutual exclusiveness between the traditional and the modern. An embracing of the modern lodging is epitomized by the decomposition of the traditional society and its buildings, in every bit much as the drama of traditional authorization and power dealingss may be affected. The passage represents the terminal of an epoch, and for me, presents a symbol of a review of the type of modernness being purveyed in Karamoja.

There is an incarnation of cognition in the traditional manyatta that the modern houses are incapable of meaning. The people were asked whether they appreciated the modern houses, and of class they said they did. Who would non accept a free gift? Whether the donees of the modern houses were prepared for the modernness can be revealed from the handling of the houses. Whether they really stayed in the houses during the twenty-four hours and slept in them at dark was contestable. Many of those allocated houses had n't moved entirely to the modern houses. They stay in the modern houses whenever it was convenient. When visitant come, they will demo you their modern houses, and at dark most return to the huts nearby to kip. The modern houses have hapless airing, and sing the heat in Karamoja, they are really hot during the twenty-four hours and cold during the dark, unlike grass thatched and clay and wattle huts.

The aesthetic beauty of the full manyatta puting merely becomes evident when contrasted

with the modern houses, without whose presence next to the manyatta, it would non hold been easy to grok the enforcing beauty of the landscape that the presence of the manyattas creates. The contrasting position from the sky as one lands it at the Nadunget flight strip in Moroto is at that place for any one to lay eyes on. There is a sense of stiffening[ 6 ]imposed by the modern houses that merely those who have lived in the traditional huts can appreciate.

It is Eagleton ( 2006: 12 ) who argued that at the tallness of twentieth century modernness, modernism ever displayed some primitivist characteristics akin to the pre-modern - a crudeness which went hand-in-hand with the growing of modern cultural anthropology that led to the outgrowth of a postmodern pretense. Yes it did, at least to the extent that the traditional refused to shrivel off ; and this was to go a signifier of sentimentalization of popular civilization, which now plays the expressive, self-generated, quasi-utopian function which 'primitive ' civilizations had played antecedently.


My purpose in deconstructing modernism associated with the transmutation discourse in Karamoja was, non to seal it in its ain restrictions, but to open it up to heterogenous possibilities by destabilising its maestro narrations. In Karamoja where traditions, imposts and values from the yesteryear are still really much alive, the building of modern houses for distribution to ordinary Karamojong was inherently a really good gesture, although it is surely debatable. The design and building of these houses does non incorporate the history of the people every bit good as their other experiences, particularly on affairs of location and aesthetics. The houses did non take into history the value of re-creating the diverse experiences of communities, which is normally embodied in the building of traditional colonies. As it is, the traditional impressions of physical planning of colonies have been more or less ignored.

The mode in which local communities are being transformed is the incorrect manner. The communities have non been empowered to transform themselves, and this means that they will non be able to construct these houses for themselves. They will ever wait for the province to come and construct houses for them. While welcomed by donees, these low cost houses were still unaffordable for the bulk to build them on their ain. The construct of modern houses for urban countries demands to be differentiated from modern houses for rural countries. I would wish to reason that it would be worthwhile sing utilizing grass to thatch unit of ammunition ( or even square ) huts constructed utilizing hydraform bricks, as this constitutes a meaning of the traditional interfacing with the modern.

While utile to understand the bounds of modernism, the postmodern discourse besides has its ain challenges. For illustration, there is a morality associated with Karamojong lodging, that is non single, but influenced by traditions, which are dynamic. Blending the traditional and the modern on affairs of morality offers the biggest challenge for a post-modern discourse where the lesson is personal, in so far as it justifies diverseness. As a western construct, I therefore happen it utile

chiefly to the extent that it does imply western universalism.