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Title: Boat building in the Sudan : material culture and its contribution to the understanding of Sudanese cultural morphology
Author: Madani, Yousif Hassan
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 1986
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In this thesis the writer is examining the nature and historical development of Sudanese culture, through the examination of the activities of boat builders and users in the Sudan. Chapter One explains the aims of the study, definition and objectives of the subject of material culture. The state of material culture scholarship in the Sudan is also discussed with special emphasis on the study of boats in the Sudan. Chapter Two is a general survey of the history and develop= ment of boat building in the Sudan from ancient times to the modern and contemporary period. For this the writer depends on the archaeological evidence, works of classical writers, works of medieval Arab writers, works of the European travellers of the early modern period, works of the historians of the modern period and the ethnographic evidence collected by the present writer about the contemporary boat builders and users. This last category provides material for the contents of Chapters Three, Four and Six. Chapter Three is a documentary chapter about the work of the boat builder, describing his technical skills, how he assembles the hull planking and prepares the rigging, the processes he follows and the tools he uses. Moreover, the terms used to describe the parts of the boat and the tools are also documented. Chapter Four deals with the types of boats in the Sudan at different centres on the basis of their functions. Regional variations in construction, rigging details, technical terms are also dealt with. The adaptability of river transport to its surroundings and the problem of cultural borrowing and contact is also discussed. Chapter Five is a broad survey of the history of the different cultural influences that formed the fabric of the present Sudanese cultural setting. The materials cited in Chapter Six show how these different cultural influences described in Chapter Five have created the present cultural blend. This syncretism of diverse cultural influences is reflected by the terminology of boat building and handling, some texts of the song tradition and beliefs and practices in their historical and social perspective.
Supervisor: Sanderson, S. ; Richards, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available