AGE SET ORGANIZATION IN AFRICA

This kind of socio-political organization based on age and sex. In order for one to fit in the society one was required to fulfill certain obligations. Often the main productive activity was based on the harsh environments. Such as arid grass land and semi arid, in these areas poor soil could not support agriculture economy but vegetation could be used for animal husbandry.

 

Age set organization was the determinant form of organization in pastoral societies. The best example of these societies were the Maasai , Nyakyusa of East Africa, Hausa in West Africa and the Khoi Khoi of South Africa. The division of responsibilities and duties was based on age and sex and was usually done during intuition ceremonies. Youth were taught special responsibilities. Age set covered a specific group of years for example;

 

  1. Children group aged 0-8years were regarded as non producers group. They were not directly involved in production.

 

  1. Youth group 8-18 years their main responsibility was to graze animals, trading young animals and milking cattle they were assisted by women.

 

  1. Moran group( people between youth and adults aged between 35yers) and above these were soldiers of the society and the main responsibilities of the Moran were as follows;

 

  1. To protect the whole society as trained

 

  1. To protect live stock against dangerous animals and raiders

 

  • To increase the number of animals through raiding their neighbours

 

  1. To travel with their herds in search for water and

 

  1. Laibons this is the group of elders aged 40years and above it consisted of elders who were divided in groups namely;
ALSO READ:  METHODS/TACTICS/ WAYS OF ESTABLISHING/IMPOSING COLONIAL RULE

 

  • Junior elders
  • Elders
  • And senior elders

 

1.1.1. Responsibilities of elders

  1. To control live stock and all the properties on behalf of their
  2. To enable norms and ethics to govern the
  3. They were top overseers of all the spiritual and political matters of the
  4. They were responsible for counseling other members of the
  5. To settle disputes among the society members
  6. They were regarded as retired producers of the society but their ideas and skills were highly appreciated.

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