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RE: [SACC-L] Interesting article and a question about Luo(Kenya) culture

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  • Deborah Shepherd
    Well, at least it isn t ambiguous! Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D. Anthropology Anoka-Ramsey Community College Coon Rapids Campus deborah.shepherd@anokaramsey.edu
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 14, 2008
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      Well, at least it isn't ambiguous!

      Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
      Anthropology
      Anoka-Ramsey Community College
      Coon Rapids Campus
      deborah.shepherd@...
      http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
      http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc
      phone number: 763-433-1195


      >>> "Johnson, Ellen C. K." <Johnson@...> 2/14/2008 12:39 PM >>>

      "Refer back" is redundant, to get technical. "Re-" means "back."

      ________________________________

      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of Deborah Shepherd
      Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 12:37 PM
      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting article and a question about
      Luo(Kenya) culture

      OK, I'll agree. The fact that the journalist made a point of adding
      "Gibbs said Odinga and Obama's father are from the same tribe, though he
      was not aware they are related." was confusing. She made it sound like
      it really mattered! And her use of pronouns was sloppy (one of my
      pet-peeves). The "his" in the statement, "Obama's father was his uncle"
      should refer back to the subject of the clause, not of the previous
      clause. Harumph.

      >>> Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...
      <mailto:lloyd.miller%40mchsi.com> > 2/14/2008 12:10 AM >>>
      Deborah, I think Odinga meant that Obama's father was his (Odinga's)
      uncle, and that Obama called him (Odinga) during the campaign (since
      he-Odinga-is the opposition leader) and that Obama plans also to call

      President Kibaki. In other words, Obama is trying to negotiate a
      peace between the factions and is trying to influence his relative,
      Odinga. Judging from the NYT op ed piece that Ann Popplestone
      posted, I think it'll be an uphill battle.
      Lloyd

      On Feb 13, 2008, at 4:32 PM, Deborah Shepherd wrote:

      > First off, I'm primarily an archaeologist and am the first to admit

      > that
      > I didn't do all the cultural anthro study I could have when I was in
      > school. The following article talks about Obama's Luo kinship ties.
      > There's a comment about midway through:
      >
      > "Odinga, a Luo, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that Obama's
      > father was his uncle, and that Obama called him "in the midst of his
      > campaigning ... to express his concern and to say that he is also
      > going
      > to call President Kibaki so that Kibaki agrees to find a negotiated,
      > satisfactory solution to this problem."
      > Gibbs said Odinga and Obama's father are from the same tribe,
      > though he
      > was not aware they are related."
      > I've checked an ethnography on the Luo and couldn't find any strong
      > emphasis on the mother's-brother relationship in the Luo family.
      > Basically, the traditional culture practices bridewealth and accepts
      > polygyny. Husbands have strong authority over wives. In rural areas,
      > when a woman refuses to accept a marriage offer, it is possible to
      > "ambush" one's desired wife, even against her will, and once she has
      > been in the possession of the man's family, her own family will not

      > want
      > her back. They will only want the bridewealth payment.
      > Nevertheless, I understand Odinga's comment to mean that after
      Obama's
      > father showed little inclination to raise his son, the uncle stepped
      > forward to be a moral influence in the boy's life. The journalist
      just
      > didn't understand the African metaphorical way of speaking.
      > Does anyone have an opinion?
      > Deborah
      >
      >
      > http://abcnews.go.com/International/WireStory?id=4102638&page=2
      <http://abcnews.go.com/International/WireStory?id=4102638&page=2>
      > Obama Family in Kenya Watches US VoteBarack Obama's Family in Kenya
      > Watches New Hampshire Vote, Expresses PrideBy KATY POWNALLThe
      > Associated
      > Press
      > KOGELO, Kenya
      >
      > Sitting in plastic chairs surrounded by chickens and barefoot
      > children,
      > Barack Obama's Kenyan relatives rejoiced in the early results from
      the
      > New Hampshire primary.
      > The candidate's uncle was pleased but cautious when he heard news on
      > the radio of the initial encouraging signs for the family's favorite
      > son.
      > "Ah, that's wonderful," Said Obama declared, breaking into a wide
      > grin.
      > "But I don't want to jump just yet."
      > Even after the results in New Hampshire showed Obama finishing a
      close
      > second to Hillary Clinton, Said Obama remained optimistic.
      > "He still stands a good chance. I don't think it's too much of a
      > setback because there was a time he was trailing Hillary and if he
      was
      > the kind of man who gives up, he would have given up then," the
      uncle
      > said Wednesday.
      > Kogelo, the western Kenyan village of Barack Obama's father, has
      been
      > spared the political and ethnic violence that has erupted in Kenya
      > after
      > last month's disputed presidential election. But it's just 90
      minutes'
      > drive from a town where torched and looted buildings bear testimony
      to
      > the clashes that have left more than 500 people dead, and the
      > turmoil in
      > Kenya, as well as his nephew's political success, were on Said
      Obama's
      > mind.
      > While the dispute is political, violence has pitted other tribes
      such
      > as the Obamas' Luo against the Kikuyu of President Mwai Kibaki, who

      > have
      > long dominated politics and the economy in Kenya.
      > If Barack Obama were in Kenya today, he would "work with the
      > leadership
      > to bring them to a round table and find a solution to the problems
      > that
      > have been ravaging the country," his uncle said.
      > In fact, Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed the senator spoke
      to
      > opposition leader Raila Odinga for about five minutes Monday before
      > going into a rally in New Hampshire.
      > Odinga, a Luo, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that Obama's
      > father was his uncle, and that Obama called him "in the midst of his
      > campaigning ... to express his concern and to say that he is also
      > going
      > to call President Kibaki so that Kibaki agrees to find a negotiated,
      > satisfactory solution to this problem."
      > Gibbs said Odinga and Obama's father are from the same tribe,
      > though he
      > was not aware they are related.
      > Obama, speaking Tuesday in New Hampshire, said he urged that "all
      the
      > leaders there, regardless of their position on the election tell
      their
      > supporters to stand down, to desist with the violence and resolve in
      a
      > peaceful way in accordance with Kenyan law."
      > Obama was coordinating his efforts with the State Department, his
      > advisers said, and has discussed the situation with Secretary of
      State
      > Condoleezza Rice.
      > He has also spoken with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
      calling
      > him during last week's Iowa caucuses in between satellite interviews
      > with local Iowa stations. Tutu has been in Nairobi, the Kenyan
      > capital,
      > trying to secure an end to the violence.
      > On his last visit to Kenya, in August 2006, Obama touched on themes

      > not
      > normally debated openly here, criticizing the high-level corruption

      > and
      > the tribal politics that have dominated the country since its 1963
      > independence from Britain. Both have played a role in the post-
      > election
      > violence.
      > "Very many people sat up and listened, but the government didn't
      like
      > it," Said Obama said of his nephew's speech, which was televised
      > nationwide. "It touched a nerve they didn't want touched. The
      > corruption
      > is endemic here and tribalism cannot escape your eyes you just have
      to
      > look at the government ministries."
      > In his speech, Barack Obama said: "Corruption is not a new problem;
      > it's not just a Kenyan or African problem. It's a human problem. ...
      > While corruption is a problem we all share, here in Kenya it is a
      > crisis
      > robbing an honest people of the opportunities they have fought for
      and
      > deserve."
      > "Ethnic-based tribal politics have to stop," he said, to applause
      from
      > university students and staff.
      > Obama's relatives, gathered Tuesday in the family compound at the
      end
      > of a dusty dirt road lined with mimosa and mango trees, listened for
      > news of their American relative's election fortunes.
      > Inside his grandmother's cinderblock home, framed photos of Obama's
      > 2006 visit and an earlier one in 1987 lined the walls, alongside a
      > signed election poster from his Senate race. Sarah Hussein Obama,
      > wearing a brightly patterned dress and sandals decorated with
      > shells and
      > beads, sat in a wooden chair in the immaculate living room, waiting

      > for
      > news of her grandson.
      > Obama's father, also named Barack Obama, won a scholarship to a
      > university in Hawaii, where he met and married the candidate's
      > American
      > mother. The two separated and Obama's father returned to Kenya,
      > where he
      > worked as a government economist until he died in a car crash in
      1982.
      > His white-tiled grave is located in a secluded corner of the family
      > compound.
      > The younger Obama was mostly raised in Hawaii and did not know his
      > father well, but his presidential bid has sparked excitement in
      Kenya.
      > Thousands were drawn to his appearances during his 2006 visit.
      > Said Obama said his nephew "has proved to be a beacon of hope here
      and
      > shown that even in difficult circumstances you can make it to the
      > highest height of achievement with just determination and hard
      work."
      > If Obama is elected, he would improve relations between Africa and
      > America because he had his roots in Africa, his uncle said.
      >
      > Associated Press writer Nedra Pickler contributed to this report
      from
      > New Hampshire.
      >
      > Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
      > material
      > may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
      > Copyright (c) 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures
      > Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
      > Anthropology
      > Anoka-Ramsey Community College
      > Coon Rapids Campus
      > deborah.shepherd@...
      <mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu>
      > http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
      <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/>
      > http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc>
      > phone number: 763-433-1195
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      Find out more at our web page :http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/
      <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/>
      Yahoo! Groups Links

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lloyd Miller
      Technically you are right, Ellen, but you d have to retrace the etymological line to Latin to get to that meaning. Many if not most people would likely
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 14, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Technically you are right, Ellen, but you'd have to "retrace" the
        etymological line to Latin to get to that meaning. Many if not most
        people would likely follow Deborah's usage because we use "refer" in
        the more general sense of "to allude to," etc. You'd be about as
        successful opposing this tide as you would trying to prevent people
        (including college professors and journalists) from splitting
        infinitives. I think we're simply the victims of Sapir's "language
        drift."

        Hang in there, though. After you retire, these kinds of
        technicalities will gently roll off your back without causing
        stress. After nearly 8 years, I'm even learning to boldly go and
        accept split infinitives!

        Lloyd



        On Feb 14, 2008, at 12:39 PM, Johnson, Ellen C. K. wrote:

        > "Refer back" is redundant, to get technical. "Re-" means "back."
        >
        > ________________________________
        >
        > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        > Of Deborah Shepherd
        > Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 12:37 PM
        > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting article and a question about
        > Luo(Kenya) culture
        >
        > OK, I'll agree. The fact that the journalist made a point of adding
        > "Gibbs said Odinga and Obama's father are from the same tribe,
        > though he
        > was not aware they are related." was confusing. She made it sound like
        > it really mattered! And her use of pronouns was sloppy (one of my
        > pet-peeves). The "his" in the statement, "Obama's father was his
        > uncle"
        > should refer back to the subject of the clause, not of the previous
        > clause. Harumph.
        >
        > >>> Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...
        > <mailto:lloyd.miller%40mchsi.com> > 2/14/2008 12:10 AM >>>
        > Deborah, I think Odinga meant that Obama's father was his (Odinga's)
        > uncle, and that Obama called him (Odinga) during the campaign (since
        > he-Odinga-is the opposition leader) and that Obama plans also to call
        >
        > President Kibaki. In other words, Obama is trying to negotiate a
        > peace between the factions and is trying to influence his relative,
        > Odinga. Judging from the NYT op ed piece that Ann Popplestone
        > posted, I think it'll be an uphill battle.
        > Lloyd
        >
        > On Feb 13, 2008, at 4:32 PM, Deborah Shepherd wrote:
        >
        > > First off, I'm primarily an archaeologist and am the first to admit
        >
        > > that
        > > I didn't do all the cultural anthro study I could have when I was in
        > > school. The following article talks about Obama's Luo kinship ties.
        > > There's a comment about midway through:
        > >
        > > "Odinga, a Luo, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that Obama's
        > > father was his uncle, and that Obama called him "in the midst of his
        > > campaigning ... to express his concern and to say that he is also
        > > going
        > > to call President Kibaki so that Kibaki agrees to find a negotiated,
        > > satisfactory solution to this problem."
        > > Gibbs said Odinga and Obama's father are from the same tribe,
        > > though he
        > > was not aware they are related."
        > > I've checked an ethnography on the Luo and couldn't find any strong
        > > emphasis on the mother's-brother relationship in the Luo family.
        > > Basically, the traditional culture practices bridewealth and accepts
        > > polygyny. Husbands have strong authority over wives. In rural areas,
        > > when a woman refuses to accept a marriage offer, it is possible to
        > > "ambush" one's desired wife, even against her will, and once she has
        > > been in the possession of the man's family, her own family will not
        >
        > > want
        > > her back. They will only want the bridewealth payment.
        > > Nevertheless, I understand Odinga's comment to mean that after
        > Obama's
        > > father showed little inclination to raise his son, the uncle stepped
        > > forward to be a moral influence in the boy's life. The journalist
        > just
        > > didn't understand the African metaphorical way of speaking.
        > > Does anyone have an opinion?
        > > Deborah
        > >
        > >
        > > http://abcnews.go.com/International/WireStory?id=4102638&page=2
        > <http://abcnews.go.com/International/WireStory?id=4102638&page=2>
        > > Obama Family in Kenya Watches US VoteBarack Obama's Family in Kenya
        > > Watches New Hampshire Vote, Expresses PrideBy KATY POWNALLThe
        > > Associated
        > > Press
        > > KOGELO, Kenya
        > >
        > > Sitting in plastic chairs surrounded by chickens and barefoot
        > > children,
        > > Barack Obama's Kenyan relatives rejoiced in the early results from
        > the
        > > New Hampshire primary.
        > > The candidate's uncle was pleased but cautious when he heard news on
        > > the radio of the initial encouraging signs for the family's favorite
        > > son.
        > > "Ah, that's wonderful," Said Obama declared, breaking into a wide
        > > grin.
        > > "But I don't want to jump just yet."
        > > Even after the results in New Hampshire showed Obama finishing a
        > close
        > > second to Hillary Clinton, Said Obama remained optimistic.
        > > "He still stands a good chance. I don't think it's too much of a
        > > setback because there was a time he was trailing Hillary and if he
        > was
        > > the kind of man who gives up, he would have given up then," the
        > uncle
        > > said Wednesday.
        > > Kogelo, the western Kenyan village of Barack Obama's father, has
        > been
        > > spared the political and ethnic violence that has erupted in Kenya
        > > after
        > > last month's disputed presidential election. But it's just 90
        > minutes'
        > > drive from a town where torched and looted buildings bear testimony
        > to
        > > the clashes that have left more than 500 people dead, and the
        > > turmoil in
        > > Kenya, as well as his nephew's political success, were on Said
        > Obama's
        > > mind.
        > > While the dispute is political, violence has pitted other tribes
        > such
        > > as the Obamas' Luo against the Kikuyu of President Mwai Kibaki, who
        >
        > > have
        > > long dominated politics and the economy in Kenya.
        > > If Barack Obama were in Kenya today, he would "work with the
        > > leadership
        > > to bring them to a round table and find a solution to the problems
        > > that
        > > have been ravaging the country," his uncle said.
        > > In fact, Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed the senator spoke
        > to
        > > opposition leader Raila Odinga for about five minutes Monday before
        > > going into a rally in New Hampshire.
        > > Odinga, a Luo, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that Obama's
        > > father was his uncle, and that Obama called him "in the midst of his
        > > campaigning ... to express his concern and to say that he is also
        > > going
        > > to call President Kibaki so that Kibaki agrees to find a negotiated,
        > > satisfactory solution to this problem."
        > > Gibbs said Odinga and Obama's father are from the same tribe,
        > > though he
        > > was not aware they are related.
        > > Obama, speaking Tuesday in New Hampshire, said he urged that "all
        > the
        > > leaders there, regardless of their position on the election tell
        > their
        > > supporters to stand down, to desist with the violence and resolve in
        > a
        > > peaceful way in accordance with Kenyan law."
        > > Obama was coordinating his efforts with the State Department, his
        > > advisers said, and has discussed the situation with Secretary of
        > State
        > > Condoleezza Rice.
        > > He has also spoken with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
        > calling
        > > him during last week's Iowa caucuses in between satellite interviews
        > > with local Iowa stations. Tutu has been in Nairobi, the Kenyan
        > > capital,
        > > trying to secure an end to the violence.
        > > On his last visit to Kenya, in August 2006, Obama touched on themes
        >
        > > not
        > > normally debated openly here, criticizing the high-level corruption
        >
        > > and
        > > the tribal politics that have dominated the country since its 1963
        > > independence from Britain. Both have played a role in the post-
        > > election
        > > violence.
        > > "Very many people sat up and listened, but the government didn't
        > like
        > > it," Said Obama said of his nephew's speech, which was televised
        > > nationwide. "It touched a nerve they didn't want touched. The
        > > corruption
        > > is endemic here and tribalism cannot escape your eyes you just have
        > to
        > > look at the government ministries."
        > > In his speech, Barack Obama said: "Corruption is not a new problem;
        > > it's not just a Kenyan or African problem. It's a human problem. ...
        > > While corruption is a problem we all share, here in Kenya it is a
        > > crisis
        > > robbing an honest people of the opportunities they have fought for
        > and
        > > deserve."
        > > "Ethnic-based tribal politics have to stop," he said, to applause
        > from
        > > university students and staff.
        > > Obama's relatives, gathered Tuesday in the family compound at the
        > end
        > > of a dusty dirt road lined with mimosa and mango trees, listened for
        > > news of their American relative's election fortunes.
        > > Inside his grandmother's cinderblock home, framed photos of Obama's
        > > 2006 visit and an earlier one in 1987 lined the walls, alongside a
        > > signed election poster from his Senate race. Sarah Hussein Obama,
        > > wearing a brightly patterned dress and sandals decorated with
        > > shells and
        > > beads, sat in a wooden chair in the immaculate living room, waiting
        >
        > > for
        > > news of her grandson.
        > > Obama's father, also named Barack Obama, won a scholarship to a
        > > university in Hawaii, where he met and married the candidate's
        > > American
        > > mother. The two separated and Obama's father returned to Kenya,
        > > where he
        > > worked as a government economist until he died in a car crash in
        > 1982.
        > > His white-tiled grave is located in a secluded corner of the family
        > > compound.
        > > The younger Obama was mostly raised in Hawaii and did not know his
        > > father well, but his presidential bid has sparked excitement in
        > Kenya.
        > > Thousands were drawn to his appearances during his 2006 visit.
        > > Said Obama said his nephew "has proved to be a beacon of hope here
        > and
        > > shown that even in difficult circumstances you can make it to the
        > > highest height of achievement with just determination and hard
        > work."
        > > If Obama is elected, he would improve relations between Africa and
        > > America because he had his roots in Africa, his uncle said.
        > >
        > > Associated Press writer Nedra Pickler contributed to this report
        > from
        > > New Hampshire.
        > >
        > > Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
        > > material
        > > may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
        > > Copyright (c) 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures
        > > Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
        > > Anthropology
        > > Anoka-Ramsey Community College
        > > Coon Rapids Campus
        > > deborah.shepherd@...
        > <mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu>
        > > http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
        > <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/>
        > > http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc>
        > > phone number: 763-433-1195
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        > Find out more at our web page :http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/
        > <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/>
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • George Thomas
        Journalism has indeed gone the way of the split infinitive, having drifted that direction long ago. The Associated Press guide to usage provides the Star Trek
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 15, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Journalism has indeed gone the way of the split infinitive, having drifted that direction long ago. The Associated Press guide to usage provides the Star Trek example ("To boldly go..." it must be the universal example du every jour), and explains that in many cases splitting the infinitive (1) flows better and (2) is actually more understandable.
          Some, chiefly academics who write often and who correct papers regularly, become exercised over this, and choose boldly to go forth to champion excruciatingly correct grammar.
          I fall between the camps, choosing the diplomatic route.
          The original example appeared to illustrate a case of obscured/disrupted meaning, by which what was meant was not clearly conveyed. That's usually a more serious problem. It depends on what the meaning of "his" is.
          G


          Re: Interesting article and a question about Luo(Kenya) culture
          Posted by: "Lloyd Miller" lloyd.miller@...
          Date: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:08 am ((PST))

          Technically you are right, Ellen, but you'd have to "retrace" the
          etymological line to Latin to get to that meaning. Many if not most
          people would likely follow Deborah's usage because we use "refer" in
          the more general sense of "to allude to," etc. You'd be about as
          successful opposing this tide as you would trying to prevent people
          (including college professors and journalists) from splitting
          infinitives. I think we're simply the victims of Sapir's "language
          drift."

          Hang in there, though. After you retire, these kinds of
          technicalities will gently roll off your back without causing
          stress. After nearly 8 years, I'm even learning to boldly go and
          accept split infinitives!

          Lloyd



          On Feb 14, 2008, at 12:39 PM, Johnson, Ellen C. K. wrote:

          > "Refer back" is redundant, to get technical. "Re-" means "back."
          >
          > ________________________________
          >
          > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf
          > Of Deborah Shepherd
          > Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 12:37 PM
          > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [SACC-L] Interesting article and a question about
          > Luo(Kenya) culture
          >
          > OK, I'll agree. The fact that the journalist made a point of
          adding
          > "Gibbs said Odinga and Obama's father are from the same tribe,
          > though he
          > was not aware they are related." was confusing. She made it sound
          like
          > it really mattered! And her use of pronouns was sloppy (one of my
          > pet-peeves). The "his" in the statement, "Obama's father was his
          > uncle"
          > should refer back to the subject of the clause, not of the
          previous
          > clause. Harumph.
          >
          > >>> Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...
          > <mailto:lloyd.miller%40mchsi.com> > 2/14/2008 12:10 AM
          >>>
          > Deborah, I think Odinga meant that Obama's father was his
          (Odinga's)
          > uncle, and that Obama called him (Odinga) during the campaign
          (since
          > he-Odinga-is the opposition leader) and that Obama plans also to
          call
          >
          > President Kibaki. In other words, Obama is trying to negotiate a
          > peace between the factions and is trying to influence his
          relative,
          > Odinga. Judging from the NYT op ed piece that Ann Popplestone
          > posted, I think it'll be an uphill battle.
          > Lloyd
          >
          > On Feb 13, 2008, at 4:32 PM, Deborah Shepherd wrote:
          >
          > > First off, I'm primarily an archaeologist and am the first to
          admit
          >
          > > that
          > > I didn't do all the cultural anthro study I could have when I
          was
          in
          > > school. The following article talks about Obama's Luo kinship
          ties.
          > > There's a comment about midway through:
          > >
          > > "Odinga, a Luo, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that
          Obama's
          > > father was his uncle, and that Obama called him "in the midst
          of
          his
          > > campaigning ... to express his concern and to say that he is
          also
          > > going
          > > to call President Kibaki so that Kibaki agrees to find a
          negotiated,
          > > satisfactory solution to this problem."
          > > Gibbs said Odinga and Obama's father are from the same tribe,
          > > though he
          > > was not aware they are related."
          > > I've checked an ethnography on the Luo and couldn't find any
          strong
          > > emphasis on the mother's-brother relationship in the Luo
          family.
          > > Basically, the traditional culture practices bridewealth and
          accepts
          > > polygyny. Husbands have strong authority over wives. In rural
          areas,
          > > when a woman refuses to accept a marriage offer, it is
          possible to
          > > "ambush" one's desired wife, even against her will, and once
          she
          has
          > > been in the possession of the man's family, her own family
          will not
          >
          > > want
          > > her back. They will only want the bridewealth payment.
          > > Nevertheless, I understand Odinga's comment to mean that
          after
          > Obama's
          > > father showed little inclination to raise his son, the uncle
          stepped
          > > forward to be a moral influence in the boy's life. The
          journalist
          > just
          > > didn't understand the African metaphorical way of speaking.
          > > Does anyone have an opinion?
          > > Deborah
          > >
          > >
          > >
          http://abcnews.go.com/International/WireStory?id=4102638&page=2
          >
          <" target=_blank>http://abcnews.go.com/International/WireStory?id=4102638&page=2>
          > > Obama Family in Kenya Watches US VoteBarack Obama's Family in
          Kenya
          > > Watches New Hampshire Vote, Expresses PrideBy KATY POWNALLThe
          > > Associated
          > > Press
          > > KOGELO, Kenya
          > >
          > > Sitting in plastic chairs surrounded by chickens and barefoot
          > > children,
          > > Barack Obama's Kenyan relatives rejoiced in the early results
          from
          > the
          > > New Hampshire primary.
          > > The candidate's uncle was pleased but cautious when he heard
          news
          on
          > > the radio of the initial encouraging signs for the family's
          favorite
          > > son.
          > > "Ah, that's wonderful," Said Obama declared, breaking into a
          wide
          > > grin.
          > > "But I don't want to jump just yet."
          > > Even after the results in New Hampshire showed Obama
          finishing a
          > close
          > > second to Hillary Clinton, Said Obama remained optimistic.
          > > "He still stands a good chance. I don't think it's too much
          of a
          > > setback because there was a time he was trailing Hillary and
          if he
          > was
          > > the kind of man who gives up, he would have given up then,"
          the
          > uncle
          > > said Wednesday.
          > > Kogelo, the western Kenyan village of Barack Obama's father,
          has
          > been
          > > spared the political and ethnic violence that has erupted in
          Kenya
          > > after
          > > last month's disputed presidential election. But it's just 90
          > minutes'
          > > drive from a town where torched and looted buildings bear
          testimony
          > to
          > > the clashes that have left more than 500 people dead, and the
          > > turmoil in
          > > Kenya, as well as his nephew's political success, were on
          Said
          > Obama's
          > > mind.
          > > While the dispute is political, violence has pitted other
          tribes
          > such
          > > as the Obamas' Luo against the Kikuyu of President Mwai
          Kibaki, who
          >
          > > have
          > > long dominated politics and the economy in Kenya.
          > > If Barack Obama were in Kenya today, he would "work with the
          > > leadership
          > > to bring them to a round table and find a solution to the
          problems
          > > that
          > > have been ravaging the country," his uncle said.
          > > In fact, Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed the senator
          spoke
          > to
          > > opposition leader Raila Odinga for about five minutes Monday
          before
          > > going into a rally in New Hampshire.
          > > Odinga, a Luo, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that
          Obama's
          > > father was his uncle, and that Obama called him "in the midst
          of
          his
          > > campaigning ... to express his concern and to say that he is
          also
          > > going
          > > to call President Kibaki so that Kibaki agrees to find a
          negotiated,
          > > satisfactory solution to this problem."
          > > Gibbs said Odinga and Obama's father are from the same tribe,
          > > though he
          > > was not aware they are related.
          > > Obama, speaking Tuesday in New Hampshire, said he urged that
          "all
          > the
          > > leaders there, regardless of their position on the election
          tell
          > their
          > > supporters to stand down, to desist with the violence and
          resolve
          in
          > a
          > > peaceful way in accordance with Kenyan law."
          > > Obama was coordinating his efforts with the State Department,
          his
          > > advisers said, and has discussed the situation with Secretary
          of
          > State
          > > Condoleezza Rice.
          > > He has also spoken with South African Archbishop Desmond
          Tutu,
          > calling
          > > him during last week's Iowa caucuses in between satellite
          interviews
          > > with local Iowa stations. Tutu has been in Nairobi, the
          Kenyan
          > > capital,
          > > trying to secure an end to the violence.
          > > On his last visit to Kenya, in August 2006, Obama touched on
          themes
          >
          > > not
          > > normally debated openly here, criticizing the high-level
          corruption
          >
          > > and
          > > the tribal politics that have dominated the country since its
          1963
          > > independence from Britain. Both have played a role in the
          post-
          > > election
          > > violence.
          > > "Very many people sat up and listened, but the government
          didn't
          > like
          > > it," Said Obama said of his nephew's speech, which was
          televised
          > > nationwide. "It touched a nerve they didn't want touched. The
          > > corruption
          > > is endemic here and tribalism cannot escape your eyes you
          just have
          > to
          > > look at the government ministries."
          > > In his speech, Barack Obama said: "Corruption is not a new
          problem;
          > > it's not just a Kenyan or African problem. It's a human
          problem.
          ...
          > > While corruption is a problem we all share, here in Kenya it
          is a
          > > crisis
          > > robbing an honest people of the opportunities they have
          fought for
          > and
          > > deserve."
          > > "Ethnic-based tribal politics have to stop," he said, to
          applause
          > from
          > > university students and staff.
          > > Obama's relatives, gathered Tuesday in the family compound at
          the
          > end
          > > of a dusty dirt road lined with mimosa and mango trees,
          listened
          for
          > > news of their American relative's election fortunes.
          > > Inside his grandmother's cinderblock home, framed photos of
          Obama's
          > > 2006 visit and an earlier one in 1987 lined the walls,
          alongside a
          > > signed election poster from his Senate race. Sarah Hussein
          Obama,
          > > wearing a brightly patterned dress and sandals decorated with
          > > shells and
          > > beads, sat in a wooden chair in the immaculate living room,
          waiting
          >
          > > for
          > > news of her grandson.
          > > Obama's father, also named Barack Obama, won a scholarship to
          a
          > > university in Hawaii, where he met and married the
          candidate's
          > > American
          > > mother. The two separated and Obama's father returned to
          Kenya,
          > > where he
          > > worked as a government economist until he died in a car crash
          in
          > 1982.
          > > His white-tiled grave is located in a secluded corner of the
          family
          > > compound.
          > > The younger Obama was mostly raised in Hawaii and did not
          know his
          > > father well, but his presidential bid has sparked excitement
          in
          > Kenya.
          > > Thousands were drawn to his appearances during his 2006
          visit.
          > > Said Obama said his nephew "has proved to be a beacon of hope
          here
          > and
          > > shown that even in difficult circumstances you can make it to
          the
          > > highest height of achievement with just determination and
          hard
          > work."
          > > If Obama is elected, he would improve relations between
          Africa and
          > > America because he had his roots in Africa, his uncle said.
          > >
          > > Associated Press writer Nedra Pickler contributed to this
          report
          > from
          > > New Hampshire.
          > >
          > > Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
          This
          > > material
          > > may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
          > > Copyright (c) 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures
          > > Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
          > > Anthropology
          > > Anoka-Ramsey Community College
          > > Coon Rapids Campus
          > > deborah.shepherd@...
          > <mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu>
          > > http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/
          > <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/shepherd/>
          > > http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc
          <http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc>
          > > phone number: 763-433-1195
          > >



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