‘You Can Now Get Engaged’ Meanings of cassava among the Pojulu of South Sudan

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Luga Aquila
The Rift Valley Institute
NGO associated?
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The project examines the changing tastes for food in South Sudan in the context of the country’s economic transition and place in the regional, cross-border economy of grain. In this piece, Luga Aquila explores the history of cassava among the Pojulu in Central Equatoria. He explains how one local cassava variety called yoyoji-yoyoja, which translates as ‘you can now get engaged’, became an important means of bridewealth in the Pojulu community. Later, yoyojiyoyoja lost some of its social value when a new cassava variety called bokolisha was introduced, which has properties that are more suitable for market production.
Luga draws upon his family’s oral history to show how the movement of people and tubers is connected to
changing marriage practices and the organization and redistribution of family wealth.
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