The Oxford social anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard published his classic ethnography of the Sudanese Nuer community (who were held out as the very paradigm for ‘egalitarian’ societies in Africa) in the 1940s, and wrote thus about them:

“That every Nuer considers himself as good as his neighbour is evident in their every movement. They strut about like lords of the earth, which, indeed, they consider themselves to be. There is no master and no servant in their society, but only equals who regard themselves as God’s noblest creation…even the suspicion of an order riles a man and he either does not carry it out or he carries it out in a casual and dilatory manner that is more insulting than a refusal.”

(Source: The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity)

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