Re: The Ik

Opiowade (
9 Oct 1995 12:06:21 -0400

I'm afraid I have no good source material to refer you to, but this group
has interested me for some time. I have spent the last three year and a
half travelling back and forth between Uganda and the States doing
cultural research on traditional performing srt. I work with many
Ugandans from regions throughout the country and NONE of them knew about
the Ik.

I had read about these people in a general anthro survey book and have
actually never read Turnbull's work. My understanding was that he
identified them as a group that had been forcibly removed from their
homeland by the government (I think the colonial British gov't sometime
before independence) and had consequently lost all sense of morality and
social structure. Naturally, this fatalistic perspective seemed a bit
suspect, so I tried to find out a bit more. Easier said than done - I
found nothing (although admittedly I didn't devote my life to this
pursuit). My guess is that they "disappeared" because they assimilated
with another related group in Northern Uganda. I think Turnbull didn't
account for the fact that this type of thing (groups being forced out and
wondering about to find new land) has been happening for quite some time
on the continent and that this example may not be that unusual.

I realize I didn't really give you much to go on here, but I would be
interested in hearing what you find out if you have the time to drop me a

Wade Patterson
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