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Aspects of Labour in An Agro-pastoral Economy: The Northern Beja of Sudan

Research reports

This paper discusses for the case of the Beja agro-pastoral society, the interconnections between different aspects of labour, which include techniques of production, division of labour by gender and age, paid labour and labour migration, and the cultural and political ramifications of different sorts of labour. All these aspects are considered in an attempt to explain why Northern Beja farmers feel they have insufficient labour to cultivate properly. The present paper cannot hope, and does not set out, to provide a general theory of labour for the Beja, still less for pastoral or agro-pastoral societies in general, but is intended to show that agro-pastoral labour cannot be understood from a purely technical, nor from a purely economic, viewpoint.

John Morton