Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 January 2009
Administrative commitment to customary law among the Nuer wavered under British rule. Its value was first briefly appreciated as a means of obtaining the effective submission of the people to government authority. By igio dissatisfaction with the rate of progress of submission led provincial officials to abandon active involvement in the settlement of internal disputes among the Nuer, but in doing so they ceased to have any real contact with the peoples they tried to govern. Withdrawal from settlement of internal cases made it impossible for administrators to arbitrate external disputes between the Nuer and their neighbours. In the 1920s government supervision of the settlement of disputes once again became a central part of administrative policy, and by the end of that decade customary law and leaders were subordinated to government control. Innovations from the 1920s to the 1940s were concerned mainly with procedure and enforcement. By the last decade of Anglo-Egyptian rule in the Sudan the administration of law had become the main function of Nuer administration, and reforms in the legal procedure meant reforms in the administrative structure.
3 Such a study is currently being undertaken by Sharon Hutchinson.
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22 Struve, ‘Report on administrative boundaries’.
25 P. Coriat, A/DC Lau to governor Upper Nile Province, 30 June 1926; DC Bor to DC Lau Nuer, 7 April 1936, both in SRO BD 66.8.3.
27 A. H. Alban, DC Pibor to DC Bor, 26 November 1941, SRO BD 66.8.3.
28 See above, note 19.
29 Matthews, ‘Report on journey up the Zeraf valley to visit Nuer chief Diu’.
30 O'Sullivan, ‘Lau Nuers’.
31 Angus Cameron could report some thirty cases of bridewealth heard during a visit to the Khor Fullus Dinka (Cameron to Wilson, SIR 130 (May 1905), Appendix B). Woodward complained that on a tour of the Sobat Nuer he was able to hear only two cases, but he really heard the same case twice (Woodward, ‘Report on patrol in the Nuer country’, SIR 153 (April 1907) Appendix A.)
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46 Governor, Upper Nile Province, to Civil Secretary, 18 Feb. 1929, NRO UNP 1/44/329.
48 K. C. P. Struvé to Civil Secretary, 2 December 1922, NRO Civsec 1/2/6, and ‘Annual Report. Upper Nile Province, 1925’, 414.
49 Sudan Monthly Intelligence Report 343 (February 1923), 4.
52 Percy Coriat, A/DC Lau, to governor Upper Nile Province, 30 June 1926, SRO BD 66.8.3.
53 ‘Précis of information concerning Gwep [sic] of Dengkur’, January 1921, NRO Dakhlia I 112/13/87; H. C. Jackson to Butts, 1927, in Johnson, Conquering the Nuer; Governor Upper Nile Province to senior inspector, 17 Jan. 1921, SRO UNP SCR 14.
54 K. C. P. Struve to Civil Secretary, 2 Dec. 1922, NRO Civsec 1/2/6.
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70 ‘Extract from Zeraf Rural District Council Meeting held on 25.3.51’, SRO BD 66.8.3 (II).
73 J. Winder, ‘Some aspects of the administration of the Nuer tribes in the Zeraf District of the Upper Nile Province of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1938–42’, March 1978 (unpublished).
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85 ‘Nuer district commissioners' meetings, February 1st-5th, 1943’, NRO Civsec 66/13/137, and ‘Nuer district commissioners' meeting’, (draft minutes).
86 B. A. Lewis, ‘The Nuer political problem’, December 1944, SRO UNP 66.G.3/3.
87 Extract from private letter from Mr B. A. Lewis to Mr J. W. Robertson, dated 17 July 1944, NRO Civsec 66/13/137.
88 Lienhardt, Godfrey, ‘The Sudan - Aspects of the South: Government among some of the Nilotic peoples, 1947–1952’, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, xii, iii (1981), 193–196.Google Scholar
89 Roussel, ‘Some difficulties facing the establishment of local government among the Nuer’.
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