This article suggests that the Maya kinship system was originally Kariera in type, based on bilateral cross-cousin marriage with cross-cutting patrilineal descent and alternate generation moieties. The quadripartite structure of the Maya kinship system was isomorphic to, and may have been the model for, the quadripartite structures of Maya cosmology and settlement. In this respect, the Maya kinship system was similar to Kariera systems in Australia and goes back to the small-scale communities of the Proto-Maya or Archaic period before 2000 B.C. By the Classic period, however, beginning around A.D. 250, there apparently were two different marriage systems in Maya society: a bilateral cross-cousin marriage system for royalty and nobility. In this respect, Maya marriage practices were similar to those of the city-states in early Chinese civilization.
Landscapes reflect predominant patterns of social action and thought. In this article, the relationship between landscapes and shrines in Kusasi territory in northern Ghana is explicated in terms of the domestication of the natural world. Focusing on a particular settlement, I argue that Kusasi shrines embody local and tribal histories. Field observations and interviews reveal that the Kusasi use shrines to demarcate physical territories according to social divisions. Through shrines and their associated rites, the Kusasi transform the physical world into a ceremonial landscape. The transformation of the physical world is part of a ritual process involving the domestication of natural and spiritual forces. Shrines are sites of mediation where the Kusasi reiterate established meanings and generate new ones.
Melissa J. Brown
The differential gendering of a social role in Han and Aborigine religious traditions impacted cultural content when the actual social order resulted in a person holding that role who did not match the gendered expectations. The actual holder of the gendered social role of spirit medium influenced both the social rules for who could achieve that role in the future and the religious practices and meanings for which that role holder was responsible. Analysis of this case in terms of the dynamics of social power relations and cultural meanings sheds light on why gender and ethnicity are so important in shaping people's lives.
FORM OF MARRIAGE, SEXUAL DIVISION OF LABOR, AND POSTMARITAL RESIDENCE IN CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE: A RECONSIDERATION
Early theories explaining the determinants of postmarital residence connected it with the sexual division of labor. However, to date, cross-cultural tests of this hypothesis using worldwide samples have failed to find any significant relationship between these two variables. Our tests show that the female contribution to subsistence does correlate significantly with matrilocal residence in general; however, this correlation is masked by a general polygyny factor. Although an increase in the female contribution to subsistence tends to lead to matrilocal residence, it also tends simultaneously to lead to general non-sororal polygyny, which effectively destroys martilocality. If this polygyny factor is controlled (e.g., through a multiple regression model), division of labor turns out to be a significant predictor of postmarital residence. Thus, Murdock's hypotheses regarding the relationships between the sexual division of labor and postmarital residence were basically correct, though the actual relationships between those two groups of variables are more complicated than he expected.
Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian
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Náyari History, Politics and Violence: From Flowers
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Western Pueblo Identities: Regional Interaction, Migration,
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Holocene Settlement of the Egyptian Sahara, vol. 2: The
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Desolate Landscapes: Ice-Age Settlement in Eastern Europe.
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De Neandertales a Cromañones: El Inicio del
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God above Ground: Catholic Church, Postsocialist
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The Human Fossil Record, vol. 1: Terminology and
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High Stakes: Children, Testing, and Failure in American
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A History of Everyday Things: The Birth of Consumption in
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Water and Power in Highland Peru: The Cultural Politics of
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