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Empirical evidence shows that much of the functioning of our motor system occurs without awareness. It seems that consciousness can manifest itself at three stages: intention to perform an action, performance of intended action, and perception of the effects of performed action. This chapter reviews the evidence that suggests that many aspects of action, from initiation to appreciation of the percepts that guide them, occur without awareness. It argues that one aspect of an action that is normally available to awareness is the sensory consequence(s) of that action, or, more precisely, the prediction of the sensory consequences of that action. Action execution depends on one of the two visual systems. There is a sensorimotor or "how" system, which controls visually guided behavior without access to consciousness. The other is a cognitive or "what" system, which gives rise to perception and is used consciously in pattern recognition and normal visual experience.
As with many other East African peoples, political authority and the control of wealth in So are linked inextricably with age as a determining factor. A close analysis of their age-grading structure is requisite to a complete understanding of the So way of life. Furthermore, because this structure is based upon a recently borrowed model of proper social stratification an examination of the system is instructive to scholars interested in acculturative interaction between societies.
Major P. H. G. Powell-Cotton, an early East African explorer, was the first European to contact a small mountain group calling themselves the So (singular: Sorat) in 1902 on the upper slopes of Mount Kadam and Mount Moroto during his exploratory trip through what is now Karamoja District, Uganda (1904, pp. 305 ff.). From that time until we carried out field-work among them in 1969-70 very little has been written about the So. Today they inhabit three of the four tertiary volcanic mountains in Karamoja: Mounts Kadam, Moroto, and Napak. The approximate distances between these mountains in statute miles are: Moroto-Kadam, 40; Moroto-Napak, 38; and Napak-Kadam, 32. The So are surrounded on all sides by semi-nomadic pastoral groups including the Karamojong, Turkana, and Suk. In our census of the Lia and Naukoi valleys on the western slopes of Moroto Mountain—the area primarily covered by our study—we found approximately 1,700 So. The total population probably does not exceed 4,800 on all three mountains.
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