Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tribal Politics

Hi. I am trying to explain to my pen pal from America why there is trouble between tribes because of politics. in America they don't have anything like it, its hard for me to tell him. My teacher said to look up info on the internet to help but how can I explain it to him?

Most people have difficulty understanding 3 things in tribal politics.

  • They don't understand what a tribe is
  • They view the tribe as a simple collective group and cant comprehend the tribe being an independent and self-aware entity
  • They don't see any relative worth that can be gained with tribal politics and don't know why these tribes don't just get along

Americans basically have very little understanding of a tribe or even an indigenous group is. They simply haven't had no exposure to them. The Indian American tribes are small obscure groups with that have no real group identities. Most of them come together only to invest in casino's and such.Try and clearly outline the tribe as an entity, it has a culture, has religious structure, has different lifestyles altogether, . A Tribe is a complex communal organism, and the more clearly you can explain this, The better the understanding.

A lot of people don't see any difference between one tribe and another and simply cannot imagine that one given tribe can act independently of its neighbours or political and social environment. To them being in a tribe is like the same thing as being part Irish or like when one of them is 1/24 Jewish or 1/16 Indian. It is a vague and inconsequential tie that at most serves as a feather for your good genes or something, how can such a thing affect daily life?.But in reality, Tribal identity affects family,community and society, Tribal ties affect who you trust, who you marry, who you do business with, How you feel, treat and live with other people, from your tribe or from other tribes. If you are able to impress the weight associated with a tribal identity, it would increase understanding of the tribal environment.

To many people outside Africa, tribal politics simply has very little merit due to the fact that most preconceptions they have of it assumes that most of the tribal bickering is primitive, "Ape with rock" type disagreements,Analogous to children fighting for candy. "If these tribes are trying to do something important, they would cooperate more". This type of statement has some truth but such a picture increases misunderstandings on the tribes and their dynamics. You have to point out that tribal politics is not just useless bickering. You could point to cases like the 2008 election or the Constitution reform or other cases. You don't have to restrict yourself to Kenya, you can use examples from other countries like south Africa Boers and apartheid, you could also use similar analogues from India, Pakistan and other countries out of Africa to show that tribal politics are used to obtain given objectives and can produce real and substantive consequences.

If the people get these three things, They should have a clear picture of tribal politics.

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