Commensality: An Aspect Of Social Principle
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
It has be!m observed that people of worth do not eat or drink in public. If they have to do so, they must know where they eat and with whom they eat. They get really angry and upset if the rules arc not kept fbr them. In the end, they may abandon tbc food or drink altopdm. Behavioural patterns surrounding the she of food or eating it is known in anthropoids gicel literature as qmimedata.-the implication of ha* to share or not food. The des vary according to cultures.
With the lugbara of Uganda, commensality at the internal shrine of the minimal inner lineage demonstrates the social dimdm of kinship. It is a kid of drama where the individual becomes aware of who is his next of kin and the people an whom he would count for help in wious anituts. Here commensality symbolizes unity and solidarity and clearly marks off one group from similar groups in the wider community. For the Nua of thc Sudan, eating together means peaceful COCX~S~UKX and whack people. Avoid eating
together so that these is tension or state of war.
What is Sapd of the commensal relationship among the Lugbara could quaily be said for the Azande of Central Africa. But there, the blood pact rates commensal-ups for specific social roles. The pact accounts in part for the stability-f Azande society where class and tribes are differentiated by language and historical origin. With its emphasis on equality, the blood pact becomes a mechanism by which the feeling of inferiority due to status differentials inheren: in Azande social structure is overcome. But with the Igbo of Nigeria, a formal exclusion