Age-sets have often been understood as fundamentally male institutions, and to some extent this is true. However, women also belong to age-sets, first their father’s and eventually their husband’s. They are also the mothers of boys and men who are themselves from age-sets and that gives women, especially as mothers, a very powerful and influential role.
At first sight, it appears that Murle women have traditionally been excluded from public involvement in conflict management institutions and processes. However, in reality, married women, especially mothers and aunts, hold individual influence with sons and nephews. The recent phenomena of the Kabarze, literally translated from Murle language as ‘an unmarried girl’ or ‘virgin who is yet to marry’, that emerged in mid-2017 and have spread across many rural areas in the Lowlands to address age-set conflicts, is a noteworthy example of this influence. The Kabarze have offered Murle women a platform where their presence becomes more visible, their voices louder and their influence noted clearly.
Fundamentally a rural phenomena where the state does not reach, the Kabarze are composed of older women that may have sons that are members of the two (or three) youngest age-sets that are fighting themselves and are thus both personally vested in solving the conflict as well as having the status of speaking as mothers. The social implications for changes in gender relations and potential of the Kabarze are yet to be understood, and due to its decentralised nature, each Kabarze in each village will evolve differently. However, they serve as a powerful example of women’s roles and power in local conflict management.
Below are some photographs and videos of Kabarze groups in different villages in Pibor singing, and in some instances, dancing.
The website has became very organized.
Good job Dr Diana, we are going on well.
I just want to correct the name written above “manyirang” the correct spelling is “Manyirany”.
Thank you Johnson, I’ve corrected the spelling. Keep on contributing!
This is wonderful job done Mrs.Diana,all is going well.this indeed tells how knowledgeable you are in murle dialect.keep the good job.The correct spellings are kurenen,lanngo,bothothnya,thithi,muden generation among others.kindly check on thithi and lanngo.thank you
Thanks Alex. Would you be interested in contributing with a post on any dimension of keer ci Murlo you think is worth sharing and discussing more about?