Sign in to follow this  
jts

How an African tribe deals with crimes.

Recommended Posts

Does this make sense? I don't believe it.
How an African tribe deals with crimes.
I was recently told of an African tribe that does the most beautiful thing.

When someone does something hurtful and wrong, they take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe comes and surrounds him. For two days they’ll tell the man every good thing he has ever done.

The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as GOOD, each of us desiring safety, love, peace, happiness.

But sometimes in the pursuit of those things people make mistakes. The community sees misdeeds as a cry for help.

They band together for the sake of their fellow man to hold him up, to reconnect him with his true Nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth from which he’d temporarily been disconnected: “I AM GOOD”.

Nathaniel Branden told a story like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does this make sense? I don't believe it.
How an African tribe deals with crimes.
I was recently told of an African tribe that does the most beautiful thing.

When someone does something hurtful and wrong, they take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe comes and surrounds him. For two days they’ll tell the man every good thing he has ever done.

The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as GOOD, each of us desiring safety, love, peace, happiness.

But sometimes in the pursuit of those things people make mistakes. The community sees misdeeds as a cry for help.

They band together for the sake of their fellow man to hold him up, to reconnect him with his true Nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth from which he’d temporarily been disconnected: “I AM GOOD”.

Nathaniel Branden told a story like this.

The story has gotten sillified. Nathaniel told a somewhat different story to our therapy group in NYC in 1976. He got it from a book entitled Contact!, I believe, written by a psychologist friend of his whose name is stuck in my brain. Essentially, everybody tells everything they know good about the miscreant, one after the other, nothing bad, then it's all over, the incident never to be mentioned again. NB called it "psychological genius." This doesn't mean the story is true, btw, but it is true one would get reduced to tears.

--Brant

edit: Contact: The First Four Minutes by Leonard Zunin might be the correct reference

Edited by Brant Gaede

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the story were true it would by now have gotten some more reliable, better-sourced reportage, starting with a more specific location; Africa is a pretty big place. I suspect this is the custom in the same part of Africa where they say "it takes a village to raise a child."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be true, but sounds remixed and remastered. I wrote a paper on "Reintegrative Shaming" for a graduate class in criminology theory. First peoples had interesting ways to bring transgressors back into the tribe. Like, among the Visigoths, if a man was found guilty of raping a woman, she could flog him or have a relative do it. Among the Cheyenne is a story of the boy who stole horses and never repaid food, so the Fox Soldiers tracked him down, beat him up, stripped him naked and left him on the Plaines where to his fortune a chief found him, gave him food and tobacco and horses and called the Fox Soldiers who took him back, but he chose to live with a different tribe where he was not ashamed. Then, there was the Innuit who killed his wife. Well, that happens and its not a big deal. But then he killed her brother. So, the guys all got together one day and went seal hunting and he did not come home. Pretty much, Hobbes was right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw an interview with Jared Diamond on TV the other day.

He's studied indigenous tribes in Papua New Guinea and other places.

He mentioned his theory that when civilization is small, around 40 people or so, there tends to be no tribal leaders, however the social and moral customs vary widely. As civilization grows, the role of the leader emerges and obedience to the ruler or ruling class becomes an expected norm. Other things like property and so forth become more standardized across civilizations, too.

It's an interesting theory. I might read some of his stuff. This is the book he was doing the rounds over: The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?.

I easily see NB's story unfolding in one of those leaderless tribes.

However, Diamond told of a tradition in one leaderless tribe that is not too appealing. When a man dies, his widow instructs other tribe members to strangle her to death.

Marriage may be one of the pillars of Western civilization, but that's sinking the pillar too deep in the ground. I wonder what divorce would be like there.

:)

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stories of Kindness from Around the World

"How Babemba Tribe Forgives"


--by brighteyes, posted Sep 26, 2007

"In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the centre of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman, and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual.

Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a  time, each recalling the good things the person in the centre of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted.  All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length.  This tribal ceremony often lasts for several days.

At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration  takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe."

------

The above makes for nice reading, and is pure fantasy. Sorry. There's no "Babemba tribe" in South Africa, or any place in southern Africa I've read or been - and I've never heard this reported from elsewhere in Africa, as it certainly would be . The "bush justice" which instead can happen in a few outlying rural areas of SA some times, are black vigilante groups who badly whip ("Sjambok") suspected culprits or criminals when caught, and occasionally murdered a few. (Covered on Carte Blanche, a local TV programme, tonight).

But the wishful, extravagant and uninformed comments in jts' link are eye-opening and amusing ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this