The Influence of Kinship on the Btsisi People

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The Influence of Kinship on the Btsisi people Kelly Reasons ANT 101 Cultural Anthropology Prof. Melissa Kirkendall May 21, 2012 The kinship system in horticultural societies has a major influence on the behavior exhibited by the culture. As most horticultural societies, the Btsisi people grow several different types of crops. They also gather fruits and nuts, and will hunt and fish. They do have a designated sexual division of labor, but it is not unacceptable for a man to do a woman’s work and vice a versa. The Btsisi are a semi-sedentary people, spending little time actually at their homes. This paper will help to demonstrate how the kinship systems of the Btsisi people directly affect their economy, social organization, and settlement of the society, and also how this can be related to society today in the United States. According to Cultural Anthropology, horticultural societies produce most of their food, and sometimes will produce more than they will actually need at the time. This enables them to store food which limits their mobility, making them a more sedentary population (Laird & Nowak, 2010). Horticulturalists like the Btsisi depend mostly on the plants they cultivate as their main food source. They will often grow many different crops in one garden. This helps reduce the dependence of each household. They also hunt small animals such as squirrels, birds, and monkeys. They fish and eat mollusks they find in the mangrove wetlands as well. Like most horticultural societies, the Btsisi use balanced reciprocity to exchange goods. As stated in Cultural Anthropology, “Balanced reciprocity is a direct exchange with the promise of the return of an item of equivalent value to the giver within an agreed–upon period of time (Laird & Nowak, 2010, pg. 94). This is one way of ensuring that everyone gets what they need even if they themselves were not

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