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Iroquois Kinship

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Iroquois Kinship
Susan Pierson
ANT101 Cultural Anthropology
Kristin Akerele
May 13, 2013

Iroquois Kinship
This paper is going to introduce the Iroquois kinship. Kinship can best be defined as a system of social relationships, or in simpler terms a system of family. Kinship can be seen in our everyday lives within our own circle of family and friends, and how we classify them in regards to importance and how we treat them based on our classifications of them. Kinship can best be defined as a system of social relationships, or in simpler terms a system of family. “Kinship involves how people classify each other, the rules that affect people’s behavior and people’s actual behavior” (Nowak and Laird, 2010). Kinship can be seen in our everyday lives within our circle of family and friends, and how we classify them in regards to importance and how we treat them based on our classifications of them. For example, you may love your best friend and treat them with respect but would you respect your best friend more than you respect your mother? This provides us with an insight of the kinship systems. The Iroquois are a female dominated group. Unlike most societies, the Iroquois trace their ancestry through the women making them a matrilineal society. It is a culture of responsibility and respect, where each person is valued for their contribution to the group. Women are the main producers of food and owners of the land. Men help by clearing and burning forest areas to prepare for farming and hunting small game. The younger adults are expected to do a greater share of the work due to their youth, strength, and stamina” (Laird and Nowak, 2010). The structure of the Iroquois kinship system gives responsibilities of all members regardless of age of their sex. “The males are responsible for hunting and clearing the land. The younger adults are expected to do a greater share of the work due to their youth, strength, and stamina” (Laird and Nowak, 2010). The...