National Geographic : 1953 Feb
ehA 272 C. '. A. Strome and Harry lioogstraal Like a Barnyard Rooster, a Tame Ostrich Wanders Past the Men's Club Male Lotuka reserve special club areas into which they seldom allow women. Only persons of higher rank may sit on or under this platform. Poles in lower left will support conical roofs, as in the background. interred and placed in a clay pot in a special grave near the village. The open grave is revered for two more months, then closed. A common characteristic of African society is the individual's desire to belong to a group or a number of interrelated groups. In such a society the individual is ruled by the customs and interests of his community. Traveling elsewhere in Africa, I saw numer ous pitiful examples of detribalized, aimless people bereft of the intimacy of their old societies. By contrast, I found the south eastern Sudan undergoing a relatively painless transition to 20th-century progress. Here the slow, planned intrusion of civilization has not created tribal disruption. Southeastern Sudan has been administered only since the 1920's, First emphasis was placed on eliminating tribal fights, protecting life, and designating chiefs to regulate com munities. Sorcery and witchcraft and their overpowering fear are being extirpated. Schools have been established for the rudi ments of learning. Now more advanced schools meet growing needs. Free hospitals are maintained in large vil lages, dressing stations in hamlets. Some of these are staffed by Sudanese trained in Khar toum and the United Kingdom. The need for curative and preventive medicine is, of course, infinitely greater than available facilities. In order to gain additional benefits, a pro gram of interesting natives in the use and value of money has been inaugurated. Mar kets for barter and sales, in which almost no interest was formerly shown, are gradually becoming popular. Twenty-two thousand adult Lotuka men now contribute an annual tax amounting to a dollar each for governmental services. Western laws cover only such nontribal matters as vehicular offenses, smuggling, for gery, and embezzlement. Chiefs decide most legal cases; English experts try the more diffi cult ones, including murder. The Lotuka loves litigation; one out of every three taxpayers brings a case to court each year. Local government is directed either by British district commissioners or by district councils of elected chiefs. District councils replace commissioners when the people have enough experience to govern themselves. This already has happened in northern districts, but in the south progress is slower.