Pigs: the democratic philosophers of the medieval Sudan
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The pig is not a popular animal in the Sudan today, and the idea of eating one is a notion equally repugnant to most people of the north and the south. The historical record seems to indicate, however, that this has not always been the case in times past; indeed, swine are still kept by a limited number of small communities who live across a belt extending from the Nuba Mountains eastward to the Ethiopian border. The demise of a once significant domesticated animal is a theme worthy of careful historical analysis, for food - the production, distribution, storage and preparation of food - occupies a very important position in any cultural system, and a major change in the definition of what is, or is not, food, constitutes a benchmark in the periodization of social history. This study explores one such cultural watershed, in addressing the questions of when and why the mainstream of the northern Sudanese cultural community rejected the pig.
African Studies Center Working Paper No. 134
RightsCopyright © 1989, by the author.