Socioeconomic Implications of the Waterwheel in Adindan, Nubia

Nicholas S. Hopkins and Sohair R. Mehanna

in Nubian Encounters

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9789774164019
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970382 | DOI:
Socioeconomic Implications of the Waterwheel in Adindan, Nubia

Show Summary Details


In Adindan, the waterwheel system permeates all aspects of social and economic life. It irrigates the land and it also helps protect the land from becoming unusable through fragmentation. At the same time, it perpetuates and strengthens certain social and economic ties between members of the community. On the one hand, poverty and the inadequacy of resources encourages people to migrate and leave their land; on the other hand the desire to fully utilize existing resources leads the people to give up some of their individual rights. The waterwheel has helped create a method of partnership in the ownership of cows used to run the machine, and a useful system of land division, both of which strengthen the relationship of the various houses within families. The systems that relate to the waterwheel are quite rigid for a combination of mathematical as well as ecological reasons.

Keywords: cultivation; irrigation; cow ownership; land ownership; Ballana

Chapter.  7773 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at American University in Cairo Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.