The Nature of Entrustment
Intimacy, Exchange, and the Sacred in Africa
Series: Yale Agrarian Studies Series
The book examines how the Luo assess obligations to intimates and strangers, including the dead and the not-yet-born. Borrowing, lending, and serial passing along have ritual, religious, and emotional dimensions no less than economic ones, Shipton shows, and insight into these connections demands a broad rethinking of all international aid plans and programs.
~David William Cohen"Shipton takes what he finds for an African people, the Luo, as the material for a much broader and more powerful examination of the fates of the world's rural populations."—David William Cohen, University of Michigan
~John Middleton“In his impressive, insightful, and original book, Shipton has two main areas of concern: the very nature of small-scale societies of the present, and the contact between them and the more powerful societies of the capitalist world.”—John Middleton, Yale University
"This is an important book written by an impressive scholar. It tackles a complex subject with analytical subtlety, ambitious intellectual range, and a meticulous attention to empirical detail. It is written in a refreshingly engaging and lucid style that should make its many provocative and productive insights accessible to a wide audience."—Michael Dietler, University of Chicago
“An eminently readable analysis of ‘trust’ in human society, this ethnographically rich study of the Luo of Kenya shows how lending, borrowing and indebtedness are moral before they are economic.”—David Parkin, University of Oxford