The Azande Culture

Topics: Azande, Luck, Male Pages: 4 (1266 words) Published: February 9, 2012
The Azande from an inside perspective:
Editor’s notes: Azande culture is surprising simple in structure, or at first glance from a western perspective, it appears to be simple. This culture is very different from what Americans or even Westerners experience on a day-to-day basis. The Azande culture is hierarchal and patriarchal, and has many actions, beliefs, and superstitions that have manifested themselves out of centuries of attempts to justify natural occurrences with a logical, understandable, and believable explanation. What follows are Azande observations concerning American society. American culture has many beliefs and activities that are completely without reason. They torture their male babies when they are born by circumcising them, instead of waiting until the boy has grown to be an adult age 19, and can understand the importance of the circumcise. They give their female children away as if they are no value, not asking even a single ax-head or spear for the females. At least we allow marriages to be prearranged, sometimes as young as at birth, and allow the male to pay for his wife over time. (According to “Traditionally, in order to marry, an Azande male had to present the bride's family with a payment (called bridewealth), normally consisting of a certain number of iron spears. Today, the bride-wealth is usually paid in cash or in the form of material goods such as cloth, cassava, or goats”.) Americans live in housing clusters of individuals they are not related to, appear not to welcome, and treat as strangers, not offering them anything of value or sharing any of the material possessions they attain. They also live in sterile stone buildings void of the familiar sheltering trees and growth that most Azande enjoy. The most surprising difference is the way they go to something they call Church, depend on some unseen God to protect them from bad things, and do not believe in the occurrence of Mangu or witchcraft such...

References: Evans-Pritchard, E. E. The Azande: History and Political Institutions. Oxford, England:
Clarendon Press, 1971. (Retrieved on the
web from on 2/5/2012) (Retrieved on
the web from on 2/5/2012)
Peters-Golden H. (2011). Culture sketches: Case studies in cultural anthropology. 6th edition.
Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education ISBN-13: 9780078117022
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