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Iroquois Kinship

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  • July 2011
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Iroquois kinship
Nickie Wigal
ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Jo Macek
July 10, 2011

Iroquois kinship
Kinship implicates how people sort each other, how the customs affect people’s behavior and people’s true behavior within parents and children or within a marriage. The Iroquois is a female dominated group. Since woman were the main producers of food and mutually owners of the land, Iroquois‘s lineage is matrilineal. Matrilineal is defined as families kinship are traced though female decent. The matrilineal kinship is not as common as a patrilineal (a patrilineal group traces their kinship though the male decants) decent group, however is more common when it comes to horticultural groups. In horticultural groups females are the primary food gathers of the group. Men cleared and burnt forest to prepare for farming as well as small game hunters and warriors. The Iroquois live in longhouses, in which the husband lives within their wives community. The longhouses provide a compartment for each nuclear family to inhabit. Since the Iroquois is a matrilineal group, the eldest female of the family makes all final decisions on resources and property. Iroquois marry outside of the clan. However like many cultures, they do marry cross cousin, but not parallel cousins. Cross cousins are cousins of the opposite sex of the parents, where parallel are cousins of the same sex as the parents. This allows resources and property to stay within the family. Divorce is part of the Iroquois culture. If the wife does not desire to be married, all she has to do is put her husband’s belonging in front of the house. If there are children involved, the children stay with the mother and her family. There some similarities between our culture and the Iroquois. The role of the female seems to be same when it comes to gathering foods for the family. The female in the United States are normally the one who gather (shop) the food and prepare it...

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