Acholi - Settlements



Acholi chiefdoms ranged in population from under 1,000 to as many as 20,000 people and consisted of a number of fenced villages, each with recognized land rights vested in the patrilineal lineage ( kaka ) at its core. Lineage heads, assisted by lineage elders, organized both production (based on cooperative village-lineage labor) and reproduction (through the control of the material means and ideological rules of marriage). They also oversaw village-lineage ritual and chiefdomwide ritual, were the main advisors to their rwot, and were responsible for most of the social control exercised in Acholi. Over the twentieth century, chiefdoms in Acholi have become vestigial institutions, and the fences that once enclosed villages have disappeared. Most Acholi, however, continue to live in neighborhoods (parishes) that not only consist predominantly of patrilineal kinsmen and their wives, but often carry the old lineage names. Most Acholi also continue to live in thatched, round mud houses, although wealthier Acholi and those who live in town or near major roads have square houses of mud or block, with iron or tile roofs.


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