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Running Head: DOMESTIC LIFE AND KINSHIP IN SAMOA AND JAPAN 1Domestic Life and Kinship in Samoa and JapanBrooke JeannequinArgosy University Twin Cities
2IntroductionThe societies I chose to compare are Samoa and Japan. Two islands with very distinct cultures.The aspect of human culture I will dive into is the domestic life and kinship of the societies ofSamoa and Japan. Domestic life and kinship of any society are important to anthropologybecause it explores the social relationships that are an important part of the lives of humans insocieties.
3Domestic Life and Kinship in Samoa and JapanSamoa is a part of the Polynesian archipelago that includes Western Samoa, American Samoa, and islands off the west coast of the United States. The population is over 330,000 and the primary languages spoken are Samoan and English. The Samoan language is closely related to Tahitian, Tonga, Maori, and Rarotongan. The main religion is Christianity with a broad range of divisions of that faith. In fact, 98% of Samoans are Christian. Children are raised in a very strict fashion. Children of all ages are expected to respect and obey their elders without hesitation. There is no tolerance for disobedience. Adulthood is usually noted by receiving a tattoo. It is uncommon for an unmarried woman not to be chaperoned in public, and premarital sex is discouraged and rare. Since Western Samoa’s independence in 1962, significant amounts of aid have been delivered to the region. Which in turn, has helped modernize the community. There are many European-style houses across the land. However, the traditional lean-to houses are found in Western Samoa. Households center themselves around the extended family. While nuclear families have become the most popular family unit, the Samoan nuclear family is enormous by American standards. Woman commonly have as many as a dozen children and upwards. The traditional Samoan garb has morphed itself with Western fashion. The lavalava, a wraparound skirt, is worn by men and children. Village leaders wear a formal lavalava, a sports shirt, and a wide leather belt around the waist. Puletasi can be seen worn by women. Governmentworkers often wear uniforms in darker shades. Traditional Samoan foods included taro root, yams, bananas, coconuts, breadfruit, fish, turtle, and chicken. Pigs are commonly farmed but usually reserved for ceremonial occasions. The literacy rate in Western Samoa is about 90 percent. Parents see education as necessary for their children's future across Samoa. Samoan
4workers have opportunities in many fields, such as jobs in government, teaching, health care workers, business professionals, and secretaries. In regards to recreation, cricket and rugby are popular games. Boxing, wrestling, and American football also widely played in Samoa.