Bonvillian Ch. 2-3 Group Notes

Women and Men Group Notes pgs. 40-108

Group 6: Daniel Alexander, Mathew Pierson, Dane Bohrer, Tatum Kuklica, Tania Williams, Callyia Collins, Amara Gregory

Ch. 2 Egalitarian Foraging Societies

Foragers:

  • Gather naturally growing: plants, fruits, nuts, roots

Hunters:

  • Catch fish, collect birds/eggs, insects
  • Hunter Gatherer societies were absorbed or pushed out about ten thousand years ago when farming based societies developed. Then became surplus and became non-nomadic

Traditional Foraging Societies:

  • Fully depend on the natural environment
  • Are influenced by environmental constraints
  • Foraging Communities:
    • Live in small settlements, dispersed over a large territory
    • Community size is heavily constrained by the need to adjust to population size depending on the availability of natural resources
  • Are nomadic. Move seasonally for vegetation and water resources and to follow the migration of wild animals
  • Made-up of families related bilaterally, however some have a virilocal or uxorilocal residence
    • 60% live virilocally (post marital residences with husband & kin)
    • 16%-17% live uxorilocal residence (post marital residence with wife’s kin)
    • 15%-17% are bilocal (residences near both kin)
  • Live in monogamous, nuclear households
  • They manage the spacing of births
  • Because mothers nurse their children for up to 3-4 years old
  • Frequent births negatively impact the mother
  • Based on division of labor by gender
  • Women gather wild vegetation and participate in the hunting of small animals and birds
  • Men hunt and fish to provide meat
  • Women and men have equal social relations and social statuses, but outside of their groups the male is dominant

The Ju/’hoansi of Botswana and Namibia:

  • These are San-speaking people
  • Ju/’hoansi means, “real people” in their language
  • A group of 400 people who live in the Kalahari Desert
  • Two seasons: dry and rainy
  • There are 10 permanent water holes in the Dobe
  • Each is “owned” by a principle resident group
  • Rights can be granted to anyone who can claim a kinship relationship by birth or marriage to a resident in the “owner” of the waterholes group
  • Dry Season:
    • Camps are located near a watering hole
    • There are 8-15 huts. Combined they housed 20-50 people

 

  • Rainy Season:
    • Settlements are located near seasonal and secondary water sources
    • 3-20 huts
  • Each camp has a core group of residents
  • If there is an imbalance between males and females some families move to another camp
  • They rely heavily on the “dependency ratio”
  • Vegetables makeup 70% of their diet
  • Women spend 12-13 hours a week foraging
    • More engaged in food preparation and other household duties
  • Men spend 21-22 hours a week in subsistence activities
    • Men kill 1 animal for every 4 days spent hunting
    • Meat is a highly valued food. It accounts for 30% of their diet
  • There are two leveling mechanisms:
    • The meat is owned by the person the arrow that killed the animal belongs to not the hunter that killed it
    • The animal is initially left outside the camp and the other hunters go out and insult the meat and hunter that killed it This was to prevent the hunter from a growing ego
  • Marriages are arranged, girls are 12-16 and boys are 18-25
  • The girl’s parents pick a husband for her that is a good hunter
  • After marriage the couple lives with her parents for the first 3-5 years
  • If the bride persists to object to the marriage it is terminated
  • Nearly half of all first marriages are terminated
  • Premarital sex is the norm for both boys and girls. There is no stigma even if it leads to pregnancy
  • Extramarital affairs are common on the part of both husband and wife
  • In 1/3 of the marriages one or both spouses has an affair
  • Wife beating and rape is frowned upon. If it does occur, relatives and neighbors intervene immediately
  • Caretaking responsibilities are shared by both women and men, however the primary responsibility is the woman’s

The Inuit and Inupiat of Arctic North America

  • Distribution of food
    • The “Acquirer” serves as the distribution manager.
      • In an individual hunt the acquirer is the man who killed the animal
      • In collective hunts the acquirer is the man who first harpooned the animal
      • Children learn the etiquette of food distribution as well. A girl or boys cuts up their first kill and gives the first and best piece to the woman who served as midwife at their birth. The woman then continues the distribution all the while giving praise to her angusiaq or “person she had made.”
      • Marriage among arctic people.
        • generally not ritualized.
        • Most marriages are monogamous, but polygamy and polyandry are possible.
        • Divorce is quite common and can be initiated by either a wife or husband.
        • Living arrangements.
          • men and boys may reside separately in a Kashim.
          • Women live separately along with their daughters and very young sons. The women bring meals to their husbands; husbands visit wives at night and occasionally at day but neither remains in the others kashim too long. A husband stores all his possessions at the wives house except for hunting and ritual gear that is to be kept away from women and children. In other Alaskan communities men socialize in kashims but reside with their wives. In others they serve the entire community, women and men eat their daily meals there together.
          • Male dominance
            • Resources are provided primarily by men, male labor is seen as more directly contributing to survival.
            • Female infanticide is common and correlated where gender roles are more ridged.
            • Spouse exchange.
            • Men can recruit whaling crew members or strengthen economic and social ties between trading partners by allowing sexual access to his wife. Ideally the practice required the wives consent but, there are cases of coercion. A few things
            • Thing that temper male dominance
              • Couples tend to begin married life with the wife’s kin.
              • Attitudes toward premarital sex are equally permissive for boys and girls.
              • Flexibility in subsistence activities; women participate in hunting and fishing and men freely participate in child-care responsibilities.
              • Decision making tends to involve people who are directly involved in the focal activity.
              • Ritual activities tied to economic endeavors symbolize “gendered interdependence.”
              • Absence of warfare in Arctic communities. Warfare ideologies that often enhance men’s prestige at the expense of women have not developed.

Inuit Tribe

  • With the more trapping happening the importance      of hunting went down. This in turn, led to more trapping of animals, so      the Inuit’s could obtain food.
  • The status of men grew for the ones who engaged      in trade because the trading would result in accumulation of manufactured      goods. The items obtained in trading were related to men’s work and the      items were fishing nets, metal fishhooks, guns, and ammunition. But later      in the 20th century new items obtained were steel traps, modern      boats, and outboard motors.
  • As the economy changed, so did the location of      the tribes. The Inuit’s closer moved to post where the trading of fur      happened because that was also closer to material goods, and foods      obtained.
  • The U.S. and Canada later helped the process of      establishing settled villages by giving those schools, admin buildings,      nursing stations, etc. so the villages would get populated faster.
  • Trapping also led to a more individualistic      market, instead of the old group effort, so men relied on what they      trapped on their own instead of a clan.
  • Seniors also were starting to not have loyalty      because the individualistic market made the person who trapped the most      and who was the most successful higher up on the loyalty pole. This was      especially big in bigger towns.
  • In the bigger towns, people were relying more on      friendships and personal interests for social contacts, instead of in      small towns or villages it was all kinship.
  • Men jobs of wage work started to pop up more and      so did women, and these jobs were gender-linked occupations.
    • The men’s jobs were construction, mining,       building maintenance, work on Canadian and U.S. military bases, seasonal       loading and unloading ships, seasonal trappers and guides
    • Women’s jobs were nurses’ aides, teachers, and       school aides’
    • But both men and women could gain income from       skilled craftwork, like sculpting, painting, and basketry.
    • But most of the jobs are seasonal or temporary,       so this made annual income levels in Alaska very low.
  • As the towns grew bigger politics started to grow      in the towns. Canada and the U.S. started to help establish governments in      the towns, but they still had little say. Men still though had a great      influence on how to run things in the towns.
  • Women also started to get more freedoms when      missionaries starting rolling through the areas, for example, women could      divorce, premarital sex, and women were also choosing not to marry to      fulfill domestic task in households with their families.
  • Economic Independence was a factor to in not      marrying because women who had wage work for example, a teacher. Would      earn their own money and could support themselves. Unmarried women who      were independent could get aid from the Canadian government who had      children. Plus women also did not want the violent abuse that their      mother’s and grandmother’s got in their marriages.
  • Whaling is also considered an important      subsistence because a good whaling season in May and June could provide      and entire community with food for months.

Montagnais-Naskapi Society

  • In the Montagnais-Naskapi society of eastern      Labrador there were a lot of changes that were done by French Jesuit      Missionaries.
  • Before European colonization in the area, in the      society was loosely organized into egalitarian bands based on foraging      subsistence. There was also no status hierarchies based on social or      economic differences.
  • There was a division of labor where men dealt      with the hunting, gathering, and domestic tasks, while women dealt with      the child care. But there would be times where women would accompany      fathers or husbands on hunting trips and the men spontaneously attend to      their children and cook meals in the need came up.
  • The Jesuit documented that in this type of      community that the husbands and wives got along very well with each other      because they knew their roles and knew when to step into the other’s      roles.
  • Decision making in the society was not done by      leaders or authorities, but rather by all men and women participants. This      means that men and women had the same authority.
  • In the middle of the 17th century the      society were already involved in the trapping for furs, but as the natives      became more dependent on European manufactured goods, they spent more time      and energy trapping and trading, and these activities were done by the      men, while women were now primarily focused on domestic task and support      labor in preparing furs for markets.
  • Men’s      authority now started to emerge into the economic relations area.
  • As the men’s started to get more productive role in society, they started to get more say, while the women’s role in decision making in society declined.
  • Even with all these pressures and changes by the Missionaries, the society still retained the basic egalitarian ethics.

Inuit Tribe

  • With the more trapping happening the importance      of hunting went down. This in turn, led to more trapping of animals, so      the Inuit’s could obtain food.
  • The status of men grew for the ones who engaged      in trade because the trading would result in accumulation of manufactured      goods. The items obtained in trading were related to men’s work and the      items were fishing nets, metal fishhooks, guns, and ammunition. But later      in the 20th century new items obtained were steel traps, modern      boats, and outboard motors.
  • As the economy changed, so did the location of      the tribes. The Inuit’s closer moved to post where the trading of fur      happened because that was also closer to material goods, and foods      obtained.
  • The U.S. and Canada later helped the process of      establishing settled villages by giving those schools, admin buildings,      nursing stations, etc. so the villages would get populated faster.
  • Trapping also led to a more individualistic      market, instead of the old group effort, so men relied on what they      trapped on their own instead of a clan.
  • Seniors also were starting to not have loyalty      because the individualistic market made the person who trapped the most      and who was the most successful higher up on the loyalty pole. This was      especially big in bigger towns.
  • In the bigger towns, people were relying more on      friendships and personal interests for social contacts, instead of in      small towns or villages it was all kinship.
  • Men jobs of wage work started to pop up more and      so did women, and these jobs were gender-linked occupations.
    • The men’s jobs were construction, mining,       building maintenance, work on Canadian and U.S. military bases, seasonal       loading and unloading ships, seasonal trappers and guides
    • Women’s jobs were nurses’ aides, teachers, and       school aides’
    • But both men and women could gain income from       skilled craftwork, like sculpting, painting, and basketry.
    • But most of the jobs are seasonal or temporary,       so this made annual income levels in Alaska very low.
  • As the towns grew bigger politics started to grow      in the towns. Canada and the U.S. started to help establish governments in      the towns, but they still had little say. Men still though had a great      influence on how to run things in the towns.
  • Women also started to get more freedoms when      missionaries starting rolling through the areas, for example, women could      divorce, premarital sex, and women were also choosing not to marry to      fulfill domestic task in households with their families.
  • Economic Independence was a factor to in not      marrying because women who had wage work for example, a teacher. Would      earn their own money and could support themselves. Unmarried women who      were independent could get aid from the Canadian government who had      children. Plus women also did not want the violent abuse that their      mother’s and grandmother’s got in their marriages.
  • Whaling is also considered an important      subsistence because a good whaling season in May and June could provide      and entire community with food for months.

Montagnais-Naskapi Society

  • In the Montagnais-Naskapi society of eastern      Labrador there were a lot of changes that were done by French Jesuit      Missionaries.
  • Before European colonization in the area, in the      society was loosely organized into egalitarian bands based on foraging      subsistence. There was also no status hierarchies based on social or      economic differences.
  • There was a division of labor where men dealt      with the hunting, gathering, and domestic tasks, while women dealt with      the child care. But there would be times where women would accompany      fathers or husbands on hunting trips and the men spontaneously attend to      their children and cook meals in the need came up.
  • The Jesuit documented that in this type of      community that the husbands and wives got along very well with each other      because they knew their roles and knew when to step into the other’s      roles.
  • Decision making in the society was not done by      leaders or authorities, but rather by all men and women participants. This      means that men and women had the same authority.
  • In the middle of the 17th century the      society were already involved in the trapping for furs, but as the natives      became more dependent on European manufactured goods, they spent more time      and energy trapping and trading, and these activities were done by the      men, while women were now primarily focused on domestic task and support      labor in preparing furs for markets.
  • Men’s      authority now started to emerge into the economic relations area.
  • As the      men’s started to get more productive role in society, they started to get      more say, while the women’s role in decision making in society declined.
  • Even with all these pressures and changes by the Missionaries, the society still retained the basic egalitarian ethics.

Ch. 3 Pastoral and Horticultural Societies

  • Subsistence based on farming, pastoralism, and foraging
  • Some societies are highly organized while others are not
  • Gender is used to segment the societies

The Origins of Farming

  • Began around 10,000 B.C. in the Fertile Crescent (Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey)
    • Earliest known crops were wheat and barley
    • 6,000 B.C. – Farming was throughout the region
    • Farming spread to many other regions of the world
    • Why did farming develop
      • Population growth
      • Not enough food to sustain foraging existence
      • Desire to build up reserve surpluses of food
      • Plant and animal domestication
      • More than likely women were the ones to “invent” farming
        • Primary gathers
        • Observed methods of natural growing plants
        • Populations increased dramatically due to the ability to store food
        • People began to build more permanent structures and permanent settlements
        • Mothers did not have to breast feed as long thanks to cereals and grains
        • Fertility rates rose
        • Increases in material possessions
        • Allowed for new inventions: Pottery, tools,
        • Food production also brought a decline in health to most (malnutrition)
        • Clay pots were used to store food, cook food, and are more secure than woven baskets
        • Clay led to the development of new items such as: utensils, vats, and firing areass
        • Women dominated both farming and pottery production at first, later on the men became the primary farmers

Neolithic Period: 5,000 B.C.

  • New techniques and tools: plows, carts, and use of animals for farming
    • These new techniques and tools increased production astronomically, and allowed farmers to keep replanting the same fields
    • Women lost status and rights as technology and production intensified
    • Patrilineal bonds were strengthened

Pastoral Economies

  • Native Peoples of the Plains of North America
  • Little is known about the people before the Europeans arrived in North America, what is known is
    • Nomadic foragers
      • Relied on vegetation and small animals
      • Hunted big game occasionally
      • Lived in dispersed, autonomous camps
      • Horticulturalists (Mandans and Arikaras)
        • Lived along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers
        • Were often small, sedentary villages
        • When the Europeans arrived there were many changes in economics, sociopolitics, and gender roles,
        • Warfare erupted between the Europeans and the natives
        • Many natives fled to the West
        • The Plains offered shelter for many Native Americans which led to the adoption of pastoral economy system
        • The introduction of the horse had sweeping effects for the Native Americans
        • No specific gender relations among Plains Indians, but division of labor was key and this showed gender roles
          • Men would hunt and trade while women processed animals killed
          • Led to the men taking in more than one wife to process all the animals he killed
          • Led to more children which meant more labor
          • This allowed the men to gain status and prestige
          • Men gained status based on raiding others, number of horses, political institutions, wars, killings
          • Women generally married in their teens, Men generally married in their twenties
          • Seniority was important in Native Societies
          • Patrilocal residence deprived women of their own family
          • Double standard for Plains men and women concerning sexual behavior

Mixed Pastoral and Farming Economies

  • Ex. Navajo, Nilotic people of the Sudan, Luo of Kenya and Tanzania
  • Navajo
    • Migrated around A.D. 1000
    • Nomadic foragers
    • Semidesert regions of the West
    • Adopted economic and farming modes from their neighboring tribes

Navajo

  • When husband moves to wife’s outfit, he brings only a certain amount of sheep – when marriage gets more secure, more sheep are transferred
  • Links among outfits = matrilineal clanship
  • Men function as representatives of their household
  • Attitudes toward sexuality are permissive
    • Premarital sex was the norm for both boys & girls
    • Most marriages were monogamous
    • Household composition itself has changed in the Navajo Reservation
      • In some communities, matrilocal extended families remain the center of outfits – those focusing on sheepherding and farming
      • Some communities, Neolocal nuclear family households have become the norm – those engaged in wage work
      • Men’s Work – hands on. Ex – construction, mining, etc…
      • Women’s works – school aides & factory operatives
      • Because men tend to contribute more income than women do, they have come to have greater influence in economic decisions – women more vulnerable to financial insecurity

The Nuer of Sudan

  • Herding of cattle is the job of men and boys who have undergone ritual initiation into adulthood
  • Women, girls, and uninitiated boys are not permitted to take cattle to grazing lands  – responsible for child care and domestic tasks
  • Settlement patterns changed seasonally in response to amount of rainfall and consequent variation of river levels and water supplies
  • Village composition is ideally organized around patrilineal kin
    • Composed of extended family homesteads consisting of cattle barn and several huts
    • Huts are inhabited by women, girls, and uninitiated boys
    • Older boys and men reside in cattle barns
    • Homesteads consist of families united by kinship and marriage
    • Marriages are legitimated through payment of bridewealth in cattle from a husband’s kin to that of a wife
    • Half is distributed among the bride’s father’s male kin and half among her mother’s male kin
    • Bridewealth is given by and to men as owners and distributors of cattle
    • After marriage, a wife remains in her own kin’s compound, although she takes up residence in a separate hut where her husband visits
      • After the birth of a first child, a husband moves in with his wife
      • They continue to live in the wife’s compound until their child is weaned, family relocates to the husband’s family compound
      • Security of marriage that is felt to deepen after the birth of a child is symbolized by a husband’s residence in his wife’s hut
        • Final move to the husband’s compound is made a few years later when the child is more mature and its survival is more secure
        • If a couple separates, the receivers of bridewealth must return the cattle
        • Nuer attitudes toward premarital sexuality are somewhat ambivalent, it is considered natural
          • If an unmarried woman becomes pregnant, the father of the child is expected to marry her
          • Adultery
            • Men believe that a husband’s affairs are normal, although adultery should not become public knowledge
              • A husband’s extramarital sexual behavior is not punished unless the woman also is married
              • If a man married or not, is found to be having an affair with a married woman, he must give compensation to the woman’s husband in the form of payment in cattle
              • If the adulterous reproduces a female child and the offending man can prove his is indeed the father, again he need not to compensate the woman’s husband
              • If the woman’s husband is impotent, no compensation need to be given to him
        • A wife should notengage in such behavior
          • Adultery on the part of a wife leads to more serious social and economic consequences than a husbands adultery, unless his lover is also married
          • If he divorces her because of it, her kinsmen are not obligated to return the bridewealth they received when she married
          • Authority of men derives from their age and their wealth in cattle
          • Neur “ghost marriages” thus permits an elder brother to provide continuity fictively for his patrilineage even after his own death
            • Seniority in a lineage is an important criterion for determining relative social status, allowing descent to follow from an elder sibling is a strategic practice
            • Woman in the lineage can take the fictive role of “husband” and be married to another woman
              • The woman who becomes a “husband” is usually barren, and therefore the option of tracing descent through her is not possible
              • The “wife” has sexual relations with a chosen man, but her children belong to the “husbands” lineage rather than to that of their biological father
                • Such marriages are “by no means uncommon”
        • In marriages between women, the woman who acts as “husband” is transformed into a legal man
        • As a “mam” she can receive bridewealth given in marriages for her kinswomen, and she can inherit cattle from her father
          • As a “husband,” she can be compensated with cattle if her “wife” has an adulterous affair without her consent
          • Women and “ghost marriages” – fictive fatherhood to secure the continuity of patrilineages
            • B/c it is women who bear children, the link between a father and his heirs is indirect
            • Patrilineal groups must recruit women through marriage to bear children belonging to the patrilineage or patriclan
            • A woman must obey her husband
            • Men do not want to die and leave a widow because they are jealous of her future lovers and husband.
              • They worry that another man will profit from their cattle or mistreat their children
              • Several practices separate the genders in ways that mark men as special or powerful
                • Much of a man’s life is concerned directly and indirectly with cattle, the most treasured possessions of the Nuer and the embodiment of wealth
                • Initations
                  • Rites of initiation scarring of horizontal cuts across a boy’s forehead
                    • This physical sign has a critical social function, symbolically marking the distincitiveness of men
                      • Afterward, a boy is permitted to reside with men and to tend cattle
                      • Men’s and women’s relationship to cattle is a significant reflection of ideological value accorded to the genders
                        • Women’s work with cattle is directly productive because they are responsible for milking cows
                        • It is men who are symbolically linked to cattle and who perform the socially prestigious work associate with their care and surivival
                        • Men who are the owners of cattle; they make decisions concerning their use and distribution
                          • They employ cattle in exchanges for marriage, as payment of debts, and on ceremonial occasions
                          • Whereas men condemn a wife’s adultery, women do not
                            • Such difference in reactions indicate what is probably widespread, if not universal, tendency – that cultural constructions are not homogenous
                            • Culture – that is, life – is not experienced the same way for all members of a given society
                              • People differentiated on the basis of gender, class and race do not receive identical social, economic, and/or political rewards.
                              • Distinctions among individuals are not manifested only in public contexts but also within the context of familial and interpersonal relationships
                              • Men known as wife beaters receive a “most shameful” reputations, disparaged as men who prefer fighting with women to fighting with men
                              • Women are socialized to be differential and obedient
                                • Their acceptance of the rules of family life does not necessarily attest to its inherent satisfaction for them but rather to the success of their socialization
                                • Nuer men exert dominance
                                  • They are able to manipulate ideological concepts giving them social rights
                                  • Their social prestige is in turn used to justify and solidify their economic and political control
                                  • Men are able to assume prominence, whereas women are relegated to subsidiary roles and secondary status

The Lou of Kenya

  • Shifts to farming led to some enhancement of women’s rights because women were largely responsible for cultivating crops
  • Land for faming and grazing was held by kinship groups organized into patrilineages
    • Land use rights were then allotted by men to their wives and sons
    • Men received land rights by membership in patrilineages, whereas women obtained land through marriage
    • Once a woman received land for use, she controlled production and distribution of crops resulting from her labor
    • Women had control of there husbands acreage
    • Homesteads consisted of extended families in accordance with patrilocal residence patterns
      • Men and their sons and/or brothers formed local residence groups, consistent with principles of patrilineal descent
      • In polygynous marriages, each wife resided separately with her children and was in effect, the head of her household, although her husband was the head of the larger family unit
      • Despite male control over kinship relations, Lou women had some degree of independence and autonomy

Horticultural Economies

  • Societies whose economies are based on horticulture obtain most of their food from farming, but foraging may supply some portion of their diet as well
    • Women and men in some horticultural groups are considered equals

The Huron and Iroquois of Northeastern North American

  • In general, traditional Iroquoian norms sanctioned equality and autonomy of women and men
  •  Iroquoian peoples lived in concentrated villages of varying sizes
    • small settlements contained on or two hundred residents
    • Large villages had populations of more than a thousand
    • People lived in large communal dwellings called longhouses
    • centered on production of maize, beans, and squash
    • Men and women in a household performed complementary tasks, all necessary for the functioning and survival of the group.
    • Contributions of both women and men were highly valued
    • Their work was socially recognized and rewarded Parents sometimes took a hand in arranging marriages however in most cases a marriage was contracted by the couple themselves.
    • Iroquoian attitudes toward sexuality were permissive.
      • Premarital sex/Extramarital affairs seem to be common
      • Divorce was fairly common in the early years of marriage (initiated by either spouse)
      • Violence against women in the form of wife beating or rape was unheard-of
      • To forestall blood feuds between families that might occur in such circumstances (cases of murder) relatives of a murderer were obligated to give set number of presents to the victim’s family.
        • Number of presents(usually wampum belts) were based on the gender of the murderer and victim
          • A man’s life was valued at 10 belts
          • A woman’s life was valued at 20 belts
          • Man/Man killing his family offered 20 belts because by committing murder an individual forfeited his or her own standing in the community and thus rendered his or her own life without social value.
            • 10 for victim and 10 for the murderer
            • For a man killing a woman the family gives 30 belts
            • A woman killing a man – 30 belts
            • A woman killing a woman – 40 belts
            • Senior women of matrilineages composing each clan were responsible for overseeing domestic tasks performed in the household and for allocating farmland. Often referred to as “Matrons” or “Clan Mothers”
            • Woman were responsible for
              • food production/distribution of food
              • distribution of goods produced by their husbands and sons
              • The control of the resources was a crucial factor in the woman’s status in the household and community
              • The five Iroquois Nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca) formed a confederacy whose purpose was to establish peace among themselves and to join together when necessary to defend against external enemies.
                • Councils were established on 3 geopolitical levels to discuss matters and negotiate consensus
                  • Councils functioned in local villages for all residents
                  • On the tribal level for each separate nation in its principal village
                  • In a central meeting place for the united confederacy attended by representatives from all 5 nations.
                  • Issues were discussed and debated first in localities, next in tribal meetings, and lastly in confederacy councils
                  • Tribal and confederacy councils focused on national and international issues such as:
                    • Negotiations with foreign groups
                    • Trade
                    • Warfare
                    • On the local level those matters were also discussed as well as community affairs as visits of prominent guests, village ceremonials, or other community events.
                    • National and confederacy councils were attended by chiefs that represented a clan
                    • Chiefs were chosen by “clan mothers”
                    • Chiefs were installed in office for life but they could be demoted by the clan mother after 3 warnings
                    • Activities in traditional Iroquoian societies were not dominated by women or by men. All people made important, socially valued contributions and had ultimate control over their own behavior.
                    • Societies experienced massive European contact beginning in the 16thcentury
                      • 2 periods of transformation of culture
                        • 1stdevelopment of an economy focused on trade with Europeans
                          • Traded beaver pelts for manufactured goods especially metalware such as iron, pots, knives, nails, and other tools and weapons. Eventually they also received guns and ammunition.
                          • The intensified trade economy solidified men’s traditional roles.
                          • Woman’s rights maintained because participation in trade was made possible by woman’s labor
                          • 2ndperiod of social transformation began with the establishment of reservations.
                            • This made a giant shift in the economic roles and made a decline in women’s status.
                            • Isolation of women in separate nuclear families and their assignment to secondary domestic labor further undermined their status.

The Yonomomo of Brazil and Venezuela

  • Live in the amazon region in the borderlands of Brazil and Venezuela
  • Yonomomo culture sanctions men’s dominance over woman in every feature of ideology and practice.
    • Residential patterns follow principles of patrilocality, based on affliction among patrilineal kin.
      • 1st because fathers arrange marriages for their daughters
      • Men use their daughters to solidify alliances with other men.
        • 2nd the fact the wives move to their husbands’ village effectively isolates women from their own kin, stranding them to unfamiliar communities and depriving them of any emotional support in the event of conflicts in their new households.
        • Girls have no right to object to marriages their fathers arrange. A reluctant bride can be beaten, not only by her husband but by her father or brothers as well.
          • Young girls (as young as 8 or 9) are married to men in their 20’s or 30’s
          • Marriages serve to establish close, cooperative bonds, not between wife and husband but between brothers-in-law.
          • A man may contract multiple marriages through establishing alliances with several men who have daughters.
          • Men also obtain wives by capture when raiding other villages.
          • Yanomamo villages participate in intercommunity ceremonial feasting that principally involve men as hosts and guests.
          • Prestige in Yanomamo culture is principally based on success as a shaman and as a warrior.
          • Yanomamo arfare is triggered largely by disputes over women and/or by men’s desire to obtain wives from other communities.
          • 2 crucial questions regarding male dominance
            • 1st concerns the reasons accounting for development and enrichment of men’s power
            • 2nd concerns the reasons accounting for women’s submission to domination by men.
            • Whereas Iroquoian women’s equality with men was validated in every societal domain, Yanomamo women’s subservience is reflected in every aspect of life.

The Jivaro of Peru

  • Male dominance is relatively weak.
  • Yanomamo subsistence is based entirely on men’s productive labor, Jivaro women contribute substantially to their households.
  • In addition to planting and tending crops, Jivaro women control and perform garden rituals that must be enacted to ensure a good crop.
  • Women are believed to have a “special relationship with plants”

Jivaro culture

  • endows women with a critical role linking subsistence to the supernatural realm
  • women are responsible for their own success in productive activities, but their knowledge is also needed for a man’s success in hunting.

Jivaro versus Yanomamo

  • Similarities:
    • Residence patterns and kinship systems favor men
    • Patrilineal descent determines in groupings and leads to preferences for patrilocality
    • Intense warfare exists in the region
    • Practice Polygyny but for different reasons

Jivaro:

  • Women aren’t as vulnerable to physical abuse to which Yanomamo women are subjected.
  • Polygyny results from the fact that constant warfare leads to high casualties leads to high casualties among men, so it’s an adaptive strategy to guarantee that all women can reproduce
  • Women are essential for survival and form a basis for protection of their rights.

Yanomamo:

  • Women subject to physical abused due to lack of sanctioning for unrestrained violence
  • Scarce of women but still practices polygyny
  • Prohibits women from engaging in productive work to justify their subordination

The Igbo of Nigeria

Economic factors are very critical to the development of gender constructs in societies throughout the world including several horticultural. An important feature of these economies is their reliance on a market trade conducted primarily by women. Women’s control over local trade is key to their ability to establish a high degree of independence and autonomy in the context of a culture that otherwise is dominated by men.

Afikpo Igbo

  • Reside in more than 20 villages in eastern Nigeria
  • Speak a common language but each village is autonomous. (There are no overarching integrative structures uniting the five million Igbo people as a whole)
  • Tasks are strongly demarcated according to gender
  • Men plant yams which is considered to be the staple crop
  • Rice is a plant grown by women and men, but all other crops including, manioc, cocoyam, maize, beans, and okra

Other household activities allocated according to gender:

  • Men obtain fish from rivers, while women fish in ponds and streams.
  • Men make bamboo frames for Afikpo houses, while women collect and carry mud for house walls
  • Men put mud on the frames, while women smooth it while it dries
  • Women are potters, while men make mats
  • Women are responsible for processing crops once harvested, preparing meals, carrying loads, and caring for the children

Social Organization

  • Men are favored for patrilineal residence and patrilineal affiliation; descents are traced both through one’s father and mother but father’s lineage is considered more important.
  • Access to resources is complicated by both patrilineal and matrilineal claims.
  • Most land is owned communally by matrilineal, but controlled by the men
  • Unmarried men have rights to the land under jurisdiction of their own matrilineage
  • Although women have access to their matrilineage’s land, use rights are obtained indirectly through their husband’s rather than directly on their own accord.
  • Men are always in control of allocation of land.

Social Norms

  • Require women to be deferential toward men (mainly husbands and elders)
  • Ethics bestows authority on elders: husband is usually older than the wife
  • First wife has authority over subsequent wives, but position is never equal to the husband’s

Political Control

  • Organized by system of age grades
  • Men are grouped into 3 age grades: elders, middles, and juniors.
  • Middle group has most responsibility in overseeing the village and settling disputes
  • A council of elders advises the middle group
  • Juniors are messengers for the other two groups, collect fines, and function as police
  • Women are put into age groups
  • Belong to groups into which they marry and not their natal communities
  • Provide mechanisms for women’s solidarity, but no political functions
  • Some impact on economic activities
  • Work groups are used for planting and weed tasks
  • In western Igbo communities, men and women are separately organized into political interest groups. (Women make decisions, settle disputes, and impose penalties involving other women and men do the same for other men)

Trade

  • Women engage in trade; Men also engage but it is less extensive as women
  • Local and regional markets function to redistribute goods
  • Women’s roles come from them being the primary producers, and the fact that they sell their husband’s goods as well
  • Tradeswomen specialized in either raw or processed steamed rice, roasted nuts, fermented cassava drink, and other cooked foods
  • Crafts, especially pottery
  • Most tradeswomen are not fulltime traders and some just function as intermediaries
  • Successful women have income and prestige to manage on their own and are more likely to leave abusive or domineering husband
  • Igbo sends mixed messages about gender equality

Comparing Pastoral and Horticultural Societies

  • Several factors seem to affect development and maintenance of either egalitarian gender relations or male dominance
  • Ability to exert control over resources
  • Post-marital residence rules
  • Degree and type of warfare
  • Through socialization processed, the social order is rendered invisible to those who live in it, but is nonetheless powerful, encouraging both those who benefit and those who suffer to accept their proper roles.
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One Response to Bonvillian Ch. 2-3 Group Notes

  1. lhitt says:

    (This is my peer review for this group.)

    For the beginning of Chapter 2, I feel like there is a lot of details missing. The bullet points are right on for the information in the reading; however, elaboration would be very helpful for the final exam since this is part of the study guide.

    There is actually a lot of gaps in the information – as in unfinished sentences. Other than the lack of a grammar check and lack of some elaboration of some parts (specifically the end of Chapter 3 and the beginning of Chapter 2), this is a good post.

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