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Title: Rules and Negotiations: Livestock Ownership among the Turkana in Northwestern Kenya
Authors: OHTA, Itaru
Keywords: Property relation
Property right
Bundle of rights
Daily practice
Issue Date: Oct-2019
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African Study Monographs
Volume: 40
Issue: 2-3
Start page: 109
End page: 131
Abstract: This paper examines how the Turkana follow (and do not follow) rules and norms in negotiations about their livestock entitlements. Previous studies on livestock ownership in African pastoral societies tended to concentrate on the ideological and legal levels of property relations, namely, norms, rules and institutions. Although these rules and norms indicate what actions are appropriate and desirable, people do not necessarily follow the rules and norms unconditionally, because they are effective only in specific contexts. The metaphor of "bundle of rights" has been utilized in the literature to describe how people have overlapping, complicated and multiple rights in livestock. However, the "bundle of rights" has been examined only on the ideological and normative levels. This paper demonstrates how the Turkana tenaciously negotiate in daily practice to persuade others of their legitimate entitlement to livestock. Rules and norms are only evoked to assert the logic and explanation in these negotiations. Likewise, the "bundle of rights" does not exist as a tangible, unchanging entity. It always emerges "performatively" in the process of a negotiation at a specific time and place. This author advocates the position that it is essential to thoroughly scrutinize the Turkana daily practice of negotiations in order to understand livestock property rights in the Turkana and other African pastoral societies.
Rights: Copyright by The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, October 1, 2019.
DOI: 10.14989/244853
Appears in Collections:Vol.40 No.2, 3

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