Age systems are involved in the competition for power. They are part of an institutional complex that makes societies fit to wage war. This book argues that in postcolonial North East Africa, with its recent history of national political conflict and civil and regional wars, the time has come to reemphasize the military and political relevance of age systems. Herein is new information about age systems in North East Africa, setting them firmly in a wider spatial and temporal context. Topics examined are regional age systems, the decline of some systems and the persistence of others, the way women are included or excluded, and the politicization and militarization of age systems in national political conflicts and civil wars.
Eisei Kurimoto is an associate professor at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.
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