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Lecture 26 Part 3 – Sociological Organization- Ranked Chiefdoms

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Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 26 Part 3 – Sociological Organization: Ranked/Chiefdoms  Ranked/Chiefdoms o Transegalitarian: shift from egalitarian to non-egalitarian  More recent term o Hunter-gatherers (rare) and horticulturalists/agriculturalists  Most are horticulturalists or agriculturalists  Some remain hunter-gatherers if there are dense resources  Very rare  Complex Hunter-Gatherers o Medium size (1000s)  Still live in small areas  1,000 or more, up to 30,000 o Not fluid  Relatively permanent from birth  Membership determined by kinship o Fictive Kinship (clans), Marriage and Sodalities  Very similar to tribes  Ties of descent as well as marriage ties  Sodalities to serve a specific purpose o Non-Egalitarian  Achieved and ascribed status  More complex: more people, more organization requires centralized decision making  Clans based on descent,  Some have more rights and privileges that others  At birth, some get more rights and privileges than others; ascribed status  Some people more important than others; get access to better things, etc.  Ranking of descent groups  Leaders come from the highest ranking descent group  Called “chiefs”, inherited status  Still some achievement to leadership  More than one person could have claim to have the authority to be the decision-maker  Based on the abilities of the individual  Leadership a combination of achieved and ascribed status  More permanent hereditary rights  Vary greatly in various groups  Authority of the leader/chief may be small; can be easily deposed o Lead more by example o Simple chiefdoms  Authority of paramount chief/leader is great o Can have power over life and death o E.g. Northwest Coast o Called complex chiefdoms  Have authority over every aspect of society
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