By Cai Hua
The Na of China, farmers within the Himalayan quarter, reside with no the establishment of marriage. Na brothers and sisters stay jointly their complete lives, sharing loved ones tasks and elevating the women's teenagers. as the Na, like any cultures, restrict incest, they perform a approach of occasionally furtive, occasionally conspicuous evening encounters on the woman's domestic. The woman's partners--she often has greater than one--bear no fiscal accountability for her or her childrens, and "fathers," except they resemble their kids, stay unidentifiable.This lucid ethnographic research indicates how a society can functionality with out husbands or fathers. It sheds gentle on marriage and kinship, in addition to on the location of ladies, the required stipulations for the purchase of identification, and the influence of a communist kingdom on a society that it considers backward.
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Extra info for A society without fathers or husbands: the Na of China
The commoner stratum consisted of lianees that maintained their legal indepen dence. The serf stratum was characterized by servitude and a par tial loss of legal independence for both individuals and lianees. That is, every serf had the duty to work for his master. This dis tinguished their stratum from the other two social strata, whose members were free. We have seen that there are three rules for the transmission of status: paternal, maternal, and parallel. Married or cohabiting aristocrats followed the paternal rule, while female aristocrats liv ing according to the modality of the visit followed the maternal rule.
I use the term commoners to desig nate the members of this stratum. In 1 9 5 6, the commoners were distributed throughout 646 households. Certain commoner households originally belonged to the si'pi stratum, but because of a conflict or an estrangement with the zhifu's family, they had been demoted to the rank of dzeka. For example, there were twelve households that the Na referred to as shaRen, a term whose meaning is unknown. Accord ing to my sources, these households were originally descendants of the zhifu's family and were therefore part of the si'pi stratum.
Finally, I attempt to analyze, yet once again, the definitions of marriage and of the family. In view of the absence of anything like it in ethnographic in formation, and consequently of adequate anthropological con cepts, the system of Na kinship and especially their modalities of sexual life necessitate meticulous and detailed attention to both description and analysis. Moreover, while in other societies there 31 A S O C I E T Y W I THO U T F A TH E R S O R HU S B A N D S is only one formal modality of sexual life, in Na society there are four.
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