the power of bull****

Sun, 26 Jun 1994 01:01:45 EDT

range wars of the old West. No, it's a matter of complementarity in
exploitation. Let us say that cattle are so important that the possession
of cattle confers Noble status. This was the case in Early Christian Ireland,
for example. The Chief owned the cattle, which he [deliberate] distributed
among his tenants. They would feed the cattle with grain grown on their plots,
which had to be ample for this purpose, and which would be manured in turn
by the beasts. The chief and tenant would split the proceeds of increase in
the herd.

The Gaelic chiefs even had a tradition to the effect that they originated
in Spain, and invaded and conquered Ireland long before. The parallels with
*ubuhake* are really quite amazing. How the Nobles could regard themselves
as a different race or of separate and distinct ethnic origin might have,
in Rwanda and Burundi, have made easier by the comparison with pastoral
peoples in nearby Uganda who affect to despise the cultivators they live
among. But the hostility there is reciprocal.

Daniel A. Foss