knagayama's notes





P.M. Worsley, 1956. The Kinship System of the Tallensi: A Revaluation. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 86(1): 37-75.

Through the reexamination of the ethnographic material proposed by Fortes, Worsley argues against Fortes himself that kinship is not the fundamental primary basis of the social structure, but a consequence of material economic relations.

Tallensi of the Côte d'Ivoire: kinship as the fundamental basis of the social structure.

Meyer Fortes: the essence of Tale kinship systems lies in 'its function as the pirmary mechanism through which the basic moral axioms of a society of the type represented by the Tallensi are translated in to the give and take of social life.'

Kinship as the translator of morality to reality.

However: "The liineage-system itself has to be viewed in the light of Tale land-usages and lang-holding and not as existing in a vacuum."

Wives are 'the chief obejct of competition both between individuals and group.'

This 'competition ... always was and still is the chief source of conflict ... in Taleland. More than 90% of all cases ... are concerned with wives, and they are always triangular affairs with two men competing for the woman or her offspring.'

"As we have seen, kinship is the form which the essential relations arising from the needs of agriculture, the inheritance of property, etc., take, and as these latter relations change, so kinship changes.

Far from being basic, it is secondary."


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