The Kinship Of The Iroquois Culture Essay

636 WordsOct 30, 20113 Pages
The Kinship of the Iroquois Culture Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (GSF117M) The Iroquois culture is one of the rare cultures of the world because it practices matrilineal descention. In this lineage, the descent that one identifies with is their mothers. What this means is that when you are born, you are born into your mothers clan. If you are male, you will need to move to a new tribe and become a part of that tribe. If you are male, your kids will not be a part of the same clan that you grew up in. Because the Iroquois are Matrilineal, the women hold most of the power in their tribes. Women are large contributors to the Iroquois food source and thus are privy to corn maize and can greatly influence decisions made in the tribe by withholding food. Often times, if a woman does not agree with a decision to go to war, she will withhold food to prevent the men from leaving the tribe. In an Iroquoian family, their marital patterns are a bit different than we practice in our culture. The Iroquois culture does allow marriage of what we could consider 1st cousins in our culture. The rule states that parallel cousins are now allowed to marry, but cross cousins are. Parallel cousins are children of your parents sibling of same sex. In other words, Iroquois are not allowed to marry their dad’s brother’s children and are not allowed to marry their mother’s sister’s children. So, as metioned earlier, it is acceptable to marry your cross cousins. This simply means the opposite of parallel cousins. If your dad has a sister, or your mom has a brother, their children are considered your cross cousins. It is not only acceptable that you marry your cross cousins, in this culture, but it is also encouraged. Marriage is where the woman holds most of her power. Since the children belong to her clan, if she becomes satisfied with her husband, she can

More about The Kinship Of The Iroquois Culture Essay

Open Document