Huaorani of Ecuador Essay
The kinship group I chose to describe is the Btsisi who are a horticulturalist society, which means they cultivate plants and prepare the soil, horticulturalists differ from foragers in their dependence on domesticated plants for most of their food energy” (Nowak, B - Huaorani of Ecuador Essay introduction. , & Laird, L. (2010). For the purposes of this paper I will provide information on the Btsiti tribe kinship and specific examples of how the kinship system impacts their way of life, about the culture itself, as well as, compare their information to my own society.
Kinship is the key or the foundation to social relations in the Btsisi tribe, like foragers, in food producing cultures such as cultivating cultures, social relationships need to cope with a more sedentary life (Nowak, B. , & Laird, L. (2010). Among the horticultural communities, which the Btsisi are a part of that community, “a family composed of at least three generations including grandparents, parents, and children, and possibly married siblings and their spouses and children—is most common and adaptive” (Nowak, B. , & Laird, L. 2010). The reason why extended family are important because they are larger, which provides more labor and more completion of both domestic and subsistence work. When the extended group is not enough there is much larger group called the descent groups. There are several different types of Descent groups, Descent group is defined as a social group identified by a person to trace kinship relationships (Nowak, B. , & Laird, L. (2010). Lineage is another descent group in which is how people trace their lineage by blood or by marriage.
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For example, if I wanted to know who I was related to on my father and mother side I will have to trace their lineage. Unilineal is another descent group where kinship is identified through one sex only, then there is the Matrilineal and Patrilineal descent groups where in matrilineal descent is traced through the mother’s line and patrilineal descent is traced through the father’s line. “Matrilineal groups occur most frequently in horticultural societies, and this is because of the women’s central food–producing role” (Nowak, B. , & Laird, L. (2010). Therefore, with that being said the Btsisi tribe is considered matrilineal societies.
These different descent groups show how the Btsisi kinship affects and impact their way of life. They cannot marry who they want and there is a level authority given to the descent group that has the power. The Btsisi is recognized as a Iroquois kinship system where a person marries his or her cross cousins and parallel cousins are considered close relatives. In the Iroquois system parallel cousins cannot marry. This is because parallel cousins are considered to be siblings and parallel cousins belong to the same matrilineage which is included in the first category of the figure provided below. Nowak, B. , & Laird, L. (2010) As I mentioned earlier, the Btsisi are a horticulturalist society where they are a larger group the foragers. They could have up to 5000 people every per square mile. The Btsisi will have more than 10 children per family because this provides parents with support to help take care of them once they cannot. Btsisi leadership is considered to have two traditional leadership positions: Penghulu’ and Batin; but they have little authority over their community (Nowak, B. , & Laird, L. (2010). This is just a little background on the Btsisi culture.
In comparing the Btsisi society with my own society there are many similarities in that when it comes to kinship in that we have a patrilineal side and a matrilineal side; however, it is not appropriate to marry your cousins whether on the mother’s or father’s side. There is a difference in how their leadership is ran in my society verses their society in that our leaders have more authority then their leaders. Another similarity is that we all have to grow crops in order to survive they have horticulturalist and we have horticulturalist, as well as, accept we call our farmers and agriculturalist.
There are many more similarities and difference with their society and my society; however I provided brief examples. In conclusion, it was very interesting learning about another society then my own and learning how there are still people who live very simple lives. It shows that it really does not take a much as we have to survive in this county, and how depended we have become on conviences that we take for granted. I have provided information on the Brsiti tribe kinship and specific examples of how the kinship system impacts their way of life, about the culture itself, as well as, compare their information to my own society.