Elenore Long

Document Type



The women’s talking group featured in this article theorizes the community literacy practice of thanduk—“setting something aside”—that members practice together. Sanduk—with an s and translated as Arabic for “box”— has a long, well documented history involving informal, rotary credit and savings associations practiced among people in Africa and of African descent. Rather than using the s, the group’s spelling is distinctively Nuer— thanduk—harkening back to indigenous versions of the practice documented throughout areas of East Africa and beyond. Thanduk invokes nommo, a distinctly African spiritual and philosophical value that strives for harmony and balance among interdependent members of a community. This article aims to make legible how the women in this study employ thanduk to thwart the transnational, intergenerational impacts of indirect colonial rule and neoliberal economics in pursuit of individual and collective thriving.


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