The Anyuak Village - The Centre of Civilisation
The Anyuak - Living on Earth in the Sky
Herausgegeben von Conradin Perner
Vol. 5 Conradin Perner

The Anyuak Village - The Centre of Civilisation

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The monograph on the history and culture of the Anyuak is the result of more than five years of fieldwork (1976–1983). It is a well-documented, detailed and passionate description of an African people’s spiritual and material world, their culture and history. Myths, oral traditions, stories, maps, genealogies, records of songs and music as well as a great number of photographs invite the reader to join in the journey through the universe of the Anyuak in order to make own discoveries or simply to participate in the spiritual adventure.

The Anyuak live on both sides of the border between South Sudan and South-western Ethiopia. They are relatives of the better known Shilluk, Dinka and Nuer, but have turned from cattle owners into fervent agriculturalists. The Anyuak are a highly intellectual, strong-minded and well-organised people who have created, in the middle of so-called wilderness, a centre of human civilisation. If their socio-political system is of a particular interest, their philosophy is equally fascinating: it centres on the human person and governs his or her relationship not only within human society but also with animals, earthly matters and spiritual forces. Thanks to their stubborn, almost desperate belief in the essential goodness of existence and the positive forces of life, the Anyuak have – in spite of all pressures from outside – up to now succeeded in preserving their cultural identity and maintaining their pride of being “pure human beings”.

While the first four volumes of the monograph described the sphere of the above (the sphere of transparency), the sphere of the below (the sphere of material existence, the earth) and the space between them (the sphere of human self-awareness and the period of personal existence), the fifth volume focuses on the Anyuak village and its physical and social structures and opens the wide and lively sphere of collective existence. A fundamental part of the community’s socio-political organisation is the “Sphere of Justice” as the tool which holds society together and allows it – in spite of all tensions and ruptures – to survive as one existential unity. 

Bevorstehende Veranstaltungen

Bibliographische Angaben

Reihe The Anyuak - Living on Earth in the Sky
Seitenanzahl 359 arabisch
Abbildungen 160 s/w
Format 21.3 x 30.2 cm
Bindung Buch, Gebunden
ISBN 978-3-7965-3211-5
Erscheinungsdatum 28.04.2014


Conradin Perner is a Swiss scholar with professional experiences in the fields of literature, ethnography, peace-building and humanitarian work. He lectured at a number of African and European universities, worked as a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Africa, the Indian sub-continent, Afghanistan and Central Asia and as an advisor and consultant for the ICRC, Unicef, Unesco and the Foreign Department of Switzerland. Since January 2000, C. Perner played a leading role in the peace-making processes in the Sudan, first as a Commander of the Joint Military Commission in the Nuba Mountains and subsequently as a special senior peace advisor to the Swiss Government. One of his major accomplishments is the initiation of the website which provides unbiased information on the peoples and cultures of South Sudan.

In recognition of his scientific and humanitarian work, his courageous fight for the respect and the dignity of the people of South Sudan during the long years of Civil War, the crucial role he played in the dramatic rescue operation of the so-called “lost boys” and in appreciation of his contribution to the promotion of peaceful co-existence and the restoration of cultural values of the country’s many ethnic communities, Conradin Perner was awarded with the first honorary citizenship of South Sudan on the day of independence in July 2011. “In recognition of his service to advance and to promote human rights in South Sudan and around the world”, C. Perner has received a “Humanitarian Award” from the Human Rights Commission of Austin in Minnesota in 2012.