AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Ker Kwaro Acholi: a re-invention of traditional authority in northern Uganda

by Clare Paine

Institution: Aberystwyth University
Year: 2014
Record ID: 1407998
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2160/14188


Summary: In this thesis I examine the ‘revival’ of Ker Kwaro Acholi – the widely recognised traditional cultural institution in Acholiland, northern Uganda. I illustrate the ways that its emergence over the past decade has been shaped by dominant discourses at local, national and international levels, concluding that Ker Kwaro Acholi is an ambiguous entity that functions as a new power base in the political landscape of Acholiland. The thesis challenges common perceptions that often reduce Ker Kwaro Acholi to a council of traditional chiefs and offers a more nuanced picture that reveals the complexities of Ker Kwaro Acholi. I argue that the process of Ker Kwaro Acholi’s ‘revival’ has been a strategic project of crafting images of the institution that appeal to powerful discourses, and that these images have served to obscure inherently political agendas of Ker Kwaro Acholi’s central actors. As a result of my study not only is there evident need to reject pervasive uncritical understandings of Ker Kwaro Acholi and to recognise Ker Kwaro Acholi’s potential for fuelling further conflict and upholding a patriarchal and disciplinary regime in Acholiland, but also to further question the collaborative and facilitating role western donors have continually played throughout Ker Kwaro Acholi’s revival.