Symbols  

 

Photo 17: Hut

Rufo

 

 

 

Photo 18: Burial mound

Rufo

 

 

 

Photo 19: Scares of heroe

Rufo

 

 

Photo 20: Decoration scares

Rufo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Arbore, like every other society, consists of a multiplicity of social groups. An individual may be, for example, a child or a widow, or a member of the Olmoke clan or live in the village of Gandarab. They define themselves by their Ageset, marital status and their place of residence.

The question “Who are you?” is understood totally differently in Arbore than in our society. They don’t answer with their name, age or profession (which is in any case non-existent in Arbore). They answer with “I’m the mother of…”, “… unmarried”… or “from the clan…” Sometimes they betray one of their nicknames like oho bura (red mouth) or aigi (sprout). They don’t count their age in years. This is totally unimportant. The crucial thing is to which Ageset, Generationset and clan they belong to. It is from membership to these groups that their marriage prospects and status are derived.

Various rites of passage open up new avenues of activity. Behaviour and objects with a strong symbolic content attend these rituals. But also in the daily life of Arbore, symbols play an important role.