Welcome on Catherine Baroin's website !


My longtime research in social anthropology (I retired from CNRS in 2013), keeps focussing on two very different African societies, the Tubu, herders of Niger and Chad on the one hand, and the Rwa, agriculturalists in Northern Tanzania on the other.



The Tubu (or Teda-Daza) are pastoralists spreading on a broad arid or semi-arid territory (1 300 000 km2), which extends from Niger to Sudan, and from Lake Chad to the South of Libya. These nomads herd camel, small stock, and cattle in the south. Their social organisation is entirely different from that of other Saharo-sahelian pastoralists. As opposed to them, they marry way out of their close kinship circle, which leads to numerous livestock exchanges between families. These personal ties create a fluid web of relationships which excludes any strong leadership.



 My second field of research, in East Africa, is the study of the Rwa (Varwa), known as Wameru in northern Tanzania. These mountain farmers live on the rich south-eastern slopes of Mount Meru, facing Mount Kilimanjaro. Their intensive agriculture combines mainly coffee, bananas, maize and beans as well as the zero-grazing breeding of milch cows. Their social organisation includes patrilineal clans, age-groups, and a highly centralized political system, in a context of intense religious Christian life in a fast changing society.



In addition, I am much involved in the international Mega-Chad network. This "International Network for Multidisciplinary Research in the Lake Chad Basin", created almost fourty years ago in 1984, is comprised of over 500 scientists from 20 different countries. It has organised, so far, 18 international symposiums in Europe and in Africa, all of them leading to publications. The last book was published by IRD in 2020, and the last symposium took place in Chad in january 2020.


See: https://www.cepam.cnrs.fr/megatchad/




Some publications :


BAROIN C. 2021. "Marriage outside of kinship. Social ties among the Tubu", in AVERBOUH Aline, Nejma GOUTAS (dir.), Nomad Lives, Paris, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, pp. 401-415.


BAROIN C. 2021. "A written “customary law” among the Rwa in Tanzania", in : Edoardo FREZET, Marc GOETZMANN, Luke MASON (eds.) Spaces of Law and Custom, London, Routledge, pp. 84-102.


BAROIN C. et al. (dir.). 2020. Conflits et violences dans le bassin du lac Tchad, Actes du XVIIe colloque Méga-Tchad, E. CHAUVIN, O. LANGLOIS, C. SEIGNOBOS, C. BAROIN (dir.), Marseille : IRD Editions, 343 p.



BAROIN C. 2020. "Echange ou prédation ? Ce que le terrain fait aux Toubou (Tchad)", L'Homme 234-235, pp. 319-334.


BAROIN C. 2019. "Micro finance in Tanzania: the VICOBA of Mount Meru"


BAROIN C. 2018."Traditional and State justice on Mount Meru (Tanzania"


BAROIN C., COOPER B. (eds.). 2018. La honte au Sahel. Pudeur, respect, morale quotidienne, Paris, Sépia, 235 p.


BAROIN C. 2018. "Pour une anthropologie de la richesse", in : Dimitri KARADIMAS, Valérie LÉCRIVAIN et Stéphen ROSTAIN (eds.) De l’ethnologie à la préhistoire. En hommage à Alain Testart, Cahiers d'anthropologie sociale 16, Paris, L'Herne, pp. 121-132.


BAROIN C. 2015. Age, generation and time in a Tanzanian chiefdom


BAROIN C., MICHEL C. (eds.). 2013. Richesse et sociétés. Paris, De Boccard, collection Colloques de la Maison René Ginouvès, 283 p.


BAROIN C. 2013. The Rwa 'curse': ensuring justice on Tanzania's Mount Meru


BAROIN C. 1985. Anarchie et cohésion sociale chez les Toubou : les Daza Kécherda (Niger). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press / Paris, Editions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, collection « Production pastorale et société », 456 p. (ouvrage publié avec le concours du CNRS).