ANTH 140 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: San People, Kinship, Patrilineality

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8 Feb 2017

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Eating Christmas in the Kalahari
Bought a large ox for !Kung San Bushmen for Christmas
They jokingly called it small and said it wouldn’t feed everyone for Christmas and
they would go to bed hungry
Lee thought they were being serious and thought they were being ungrateful and
looked for another ox
Finally, someone told him they only joke like that so no one gets too arrogant
Chapter 3
Principles underlying Equality: the Communal Mode of Production
Communal mode production
Def.: all members of a specific group jointly control resources, to which all
have rights
Mode of Production: social and physical organizations that is associated
with producing food and other necessities in a particular society
Forces of productions
Social relations of productions
Egalitarian kin-based societies
Colonial categories: bands, tribes, and chiefdoms (given eurocentrically)
(Perry believes these are more gradient)
Egalitarian social relations based on kinship, friendship
(fictive/non-biological kinship), and descent (bilateral: matrilineal
and patrilineal)
Lineages: have a common ancestor (knowing ancestor)
Clans: made of up different lineages (not knowing
Corporate descent group: distribute land
Varied subsistence, strategies: foraging, farming, & pastoralism
(herding animals)
Relatively small population size (avg. 500-5000 people)
Generalized reciprocity
No social division of labor based on differential access to mode of
production or status positions (classless)
Leveling devices: shaming
Those who give away the most are held in the highest
Technical division of labor based upon age & sex
Collective use-rights and access to the means of production,
power & prestige
Cooperation & sharing valued as prestigious
Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race
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