Anthropology 4

Anthropology 4 - Anthropology 4 Chiefdoms Brenna Shelander...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Anthropology 4 Brenna Shelander Chiefdoms A political economy that organizes large groups of people (larger than tribes  or bands) into a single system under the leadership of hierarchical leaders  (chiefs) Chiefs control resources, the economy and production Chiefdoms are NOT egalitarian Intermediate between tribes and states Chiefdoms very widespread: Found historically (to about 12,000 years ago) All over the world (except Australia) Very few survive today; mostly an archaeological problem Can be centralized or decentralized Chiefdoms can have many different subsistence systems But tend to be found most commonly in intensive horticulture areas: o Utilize fertilizer, irrigation and more tools to intensively farm the land o Polynesia is a good example Key Question How and why did chiefdoms develop? o Regional symbiosis: Interdependency on others to augment your resources (regional  ecological model) Over time, leaders emerge capable of controlling the access  and exchange of resources, thereby enabling solidification of  political control over wide area
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Still not certain Food Storage is critical As production increases, surplus is created. Without a means to store this surplus, chiefs could not gain power By accumulating surplus (“wealth”) chiefs are able to make deals, provide  assistance, and gain prestige Social Stratification This differential access to and control of surplus makes chiefdoms “stratified”  societies Chiefs are “richer” More goods, bigger houses, nicer things, clear indications of rank  (headdresses) Territoriality and ownership much more important in chiefdoms (still tied to  descent groups) Reciprocity is key component of chiefdoms Keeping goods and surplus flowing through the system is a major part of  chiefs duties There are two types of exchange networks in chiefdoms: o Reciprocal exchange: Balanced reciprocity (exchanges in kind to solidify alliances or  to gain goods) can be barter Ex: Kula Ring “I give you something then somewhere down the line I  get something back” Kula Trade ring engaged in by Trobirand Islanders (remember Malinowski?) Exchange of armbands and bracelets Very formalized
Background image of page 2
Important for prestige of chiefs May not be “balanced” (competition) Second Kind: Redistributional exchanges: o This is the exchange of surplus and goods throughout the chiefdom in  order to ensure population stability and to solidify chiefs power Ex: potlatch Potlatch Chinook word: “giveaway” Ceremonial feasting and giving away (or destroying) of property, goods, and 
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/26/2008 for the course ANTH 105 taught by Professor 504 during the Fall '07 term at Texas A&M.

Page1 / 17

Anthropology 4 - Anthropology 4 Chiefdoms Brenna Shelander...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online