in societies without a State, power is not found on the side of the chief: it follows that his word cannot

be the word of power, authority, or command. An order? Now there is something the chief would be unable to give; that is the kind of fullness his speech is denied. A chief forgetful of his duty who attempted such a thing as an order would be met by a sure refusal ofobedience, and a denial ofrecognition would not be far behind.

Alaykin, the r,var chief of a tribe inhabiting the Argenrinian Chaco, gave a very good de linition of that normal relationship in his reply to a Spanish officer w'ho was trying to convince him to drag his tribe into a war it did not want: "The Abipones, by a custom handed down by their ancestors, follow their own bidding and not that of their cacique. I am their leader, but I could not bring harm to any of my people without bringing harm to myself; if I were to use orders or force with my comrades, they would turn their backs on me at once. I prefer to be loved and not feared by them." (208) The first explorers of Brazil and the ethnographers who came after often emphasi zed the fact that the most notable characteristic of the Indian chief consists o f his almost complete lack of authority; among these people the political functi on appears barely differentiated. Though it is scattered and inadequate, the doc umentation we have lends support to that vivid impression of democracy common to all those who studied American societies.(28) I have carefully observed the demeanour of the members of the group towards thei r alleged chief Khrammi. No special deference is paid to him except that when he moves about with others he walks in front of the single file. When the party si ts down he takes up no special position. His clothing, weapons, and lodge are in no way superior to those of the ordinary people. No particular deference is pai d to him at any time. Evans-Pritchard: Within a tribe there is law: there is machinery for settling disputes and a mora l obligation to conclude them sooner or later. If a man kills a fellow tribesma n, it is possible to prevent, or curtail, a feud by payment of cattle. Between t ribe and tribe there is no means of bringing together the parties to a dispute and compensation is neither offered nor demanded. Thus, if a man of one tribe k ills a man of another tribe, retribution can only take the form of intertribal w arfare. It must not be supposed that feuds within a tribe are easy to conclude. There is considerable control over retaliation within a village, but the larger the local community the more difficult settlement becomes. When two large divi sions of a tribe are concerned in a feud, the chances of immediate arbitration and settlement are remote. The force of law varies with the distance in tribal s tructure that separates the persons concerned. Nevertheless, so long as a sense of community endures and the legal norm is formally acknowledged within a tribe, whatever may be the inconsi stencies and contradictions that appear in the actual relations between tribesme n, they still consider themselves to be a united group. The leopard-skin chief may also act as mediator in disputes concerning ownership of cattle, and he and the elders on both sides may express their opinion on the

merits of a case. But the chief does not summon the defendants, for he has neit her court nor jurisdiction and, moreover, has no means of compelling compliance. All he can do is to go with the plaintiff and some elders of his community to t he home of the defendant and to ask him and his kinsmen to discuss the matter. O nly if both sides are willing to submit to arbitration can it be settled. The Nuer constitution is highly individualistic and libertarian. It is an acepha lous state, lacking legislative, judicial, and execu tive organs. Nevertheless, it is far from chaotic. It has a persistent and coherent form which might be cal led 'ordered anarchy'. The absence of centralized government and of bureaucracy in the nation, in the tribe, and in tribal segments -for even in the village aut hority is not vested in any one- is less remarkable than the absence of any pers ons who represent the unity and exclusiveness of these groups.