and NOBODY can get ahead of the chief.
Independent land ownership? Uh-uh. Small subsistence plots is the rule, for their implements and methodology.
Anyone “gets” more money than the chief? more friends? more ideas? more charisma..... the people naturally know that no one can threaten the chief or power hierarchy.... so some of the words of their social action are PHD...pull him down, or, like crabs in a bucket, as soon as one starts to get out, the others reach up and pull him back in.
And the chiefs dont want to hear about democracy as it upsets their rightful hierarchy after all, the chief by day got his “stuff” from his patrilineage and the same for the chief by night. Democracy is the last thing they want to hear about.
They dont need to worry about colonialism pulling them down. uh uh... Nor the White Man.... theys jus gotta look in the mirror.
And the world of islam is no different... just add some imams. Most of it is tribal too.
I once knew a Tribal Chief.
Some years back, I took a job that involved establishing a mining operation deep in the interior of a West African country, and a major part of my job required me to establish close cooperation with the local Tribal Chief, and at this I failed miserably. After six months had passed, corporate headquarters demanded an explanation of why I had failed at my job, and my explanation was as follows:
"This country has a President, but his authority expires at the city limits of the Capital City. Once you depart the Capital, the law rests in the hands of local tribal chiefs, and they didn't get to that position as a result of a free and Democratic election; they are tribal chiefs simply because they're the baddest S.O.B.s in the area.
It's not possible for anyone to gain the cooperation of the tribal chief you sent me here to work with. The man has his good points and he has his bad points. His good points are: He's a liar, a cheat and a thief; I could work with the man if that was the extent of character defects, but I can't work with him and ignore his bad points. His bad points are: He's rapist, he's a pedophile, he's a homosexual pedophile, he's a drunk, he's a drug addict, he's a murderer, and he's a cannibal."
Corporate headquarters came back with this: "Leave morality to the missionaries. We sent you there to gain the cooperation of the tribal chief and if you can't manage to do that, we'll send someone who can." I quit and left the country, my replacement also failed, and the mining operation was abandoned.
Thanks for reminding me of an unpleasant experience.