The Iroquois
Topics: Marriage, Family, Kinship / Pages: 5 (1143 words) / Published: Jul 28th, 2013

The Iroquois
Vonda Matthews
Cultural Anthropology
July 7, 2013
Instructor: Rebekah Zinser

Kinship is the cornerstone for how people within a society relate to others and race lineages. Many societies trace their lineage through the father, which is called patrilineal, or through the mother which is called matrilineal. The Iroquois nation traced their kinship through the matrilineal decent lines. Kinship directly relates to how family groups think, act and live along side each other. The culture of the Iroquois can also be compared to how many American families relate to one another as well.
Iroquois Lineage The Iroquois nation traced their lineage through the female sex; this is called the matrilineal line. Women of the Iroquois nation were the sole producers of food and all land was handed down to children from the female line. When a man and woman of the Iroquois nation would marry they would have to do so in an exogamous way, meaning they must and always marry outside of their lineage. The Iroquois were not to marry anyone with the same clan name thus they marry in exogamous way. “The Iroquois kinship system recognizes two groupings: (1) parents and siblings who are tool closely related and (2) potential spouses and in-laws. (Nowak, B. & Laird, P. 2010 chapter 4.5 Marriage) This is the same in modern day America
American Lineage In the American culture lineages are traced through the patrilineal lines of the family. When a man and woman in today’s American culture decide to marry they will choose a partner who is outside of their family. Today it is outlawed and even forbidden to marry those who are closely related. If a person were to marry someone who is closely related to him or her this would be called incest. This type of union is frowned upon and even forbidden by laws. When comparing the Iroquois nation to the American culture it can be seen that the kinship and marriage rules are the same in both cultures. Marriage is often times



References: Nowak, B. & Laird, P. (2010). Cultural Anthropology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education

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