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Contributors

Maurice Bloch
Jane Fishburne Collier
John L. Comarof
Shirley Lindenbaum
Vanessa Maher
Rayna Rapp
Judith Shapiro
Raymond T. Smith
Marilyn Strathern
Harriet Whitehead
Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
Gender and Kinship
EDITED BY
Jane Fishburne Collier and
Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Stanford, California
Stanford University Press, Stanford, Califoria
TVoby te Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Jrior University
Printed in the United States of Aerica
Original printing TVo
Last fgure below indicates year of this printing:
VV Vo V V6 Vo V4 V3 VZ
CIP data appear at the ed of the book
306.83 GEN
1) oC
TO TH NNORY OI
NCHLL ZNBALST ROSALDO
Preface
THE ESSAYS inthisvolume,withtheexcetionofYanagisakoand
Collier'stheoreticaloverview,TowardaUnifiedAnalysisofGen-
derandKinshi,werefirstresentedataninternationalconfer-
enceonfeminismandkinshitheoryconvenedinAugust8aat
theBellagioConferenceCenterinBellagio,Italy.Fundingwasro-
vided hy the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthroological Re-
search, the National Science Foundation, and the Rockefeller
Foundation.Theconferencewasorganizedhy]aneCollier,Sylvia
Yanagisako,andthelateMichelleRosaldo,alloftheDeartmentof
Anthroology, StanfordUniversity. Nineteenanthroologistsat-
tended.MauriceBloch,]amesBoon(CornellUniversity),]aneCol-
lier, ]ohn Comarou, DarylFeil (University of Queensland), ]ack
Goody (Camhridge University), Carolyn Ifeka (Australian Na-
tional University), Shirley Lindenhaum, Vanessa Maher, Fred
Myers(NewYorkUniversity),RaynaRa,]udithShairo,Ray-
mondT.Smith, VerenaStokke(UniversidadAutonomadeBarce-
lona), Marilyn Strathern, Anna Tsing (Stanford University), An-
nette Weiner (New York University), Harriet Whitehead, and
SylviaYanagisako.
Theaimoftheconferencewastoassessandfurthertheimact
offeministscholarshionkinshitheoryinanthroology. Bythe
endofthe,o's,feministanalyseshadcalledintoquestionsuch
fundamentalremisesofkinshitheoryasthedistinctionhetween
domesticandolitico-juraldomains,thenaturalnessofthemother-
childhond, andthehasisandracticeofmaleauthority. Confer-
encearticiantswere thusinvitedtorethinkkinshitheoryhy
challenging concetual categories thathavelong structured an-
throologicalanalysesofkinshiandsocialstructure.
Notallconferencearticiantsresentedaers,andnotevery
viii Preface
conferenceaerisincludedinthisvolume.Allarticiants,how-
ever,rearedcommentsonarticularsetsofaersandcontrih-
utedtogeneraldiscussions.Alltheaersuhlishedherewerere-
visedaftertheconferenceandsohenefitedfromthosecomments
anddiscussions.
WededicatethisvolumetothelateMichelleZimhalistRosaldo,
thefriendandcolleaguewithwhomweorganizedtheconference
andwhosecontrihutiontogenderstudieslayedanimortantrole
in settingthe stage for thisvolume. Theideaforthe conference
emerged from our discussions with Shelly, and together we
lanneditscentralthemes andformat. In Octoher 8, shortly
afterwehadreceivedwordoffundingforthe conference, Shelly
diedinanaccidentwhileconductingfieldworkinthePhiliines.
Insiteofherahsenceattheconference,MichelleZimhalistRo-
saldo'sintellectuallegacyisaarentthroughoutthisvolume.Sev-
eraloftheessaysseaktohertheoreticaloverviewinWoman, Cul
ture, and Society (,|), which throughout the ,o's rovided
feminist scholars in anthroologyandrelated discilines with a
comarativeframeworkforanalyzingthe ositionofwomen. ln
the sameeriodduringwhichherconcetualschemewasheing
widelydiuusedingenderstudies,Shellycontinuedtoreassessits
usefulnessandtorefineit.By8oshewaslessconcernedwithdis-
coveringcross-culturaluniversals ofgenderhierarchythanwith
understandingthewaysinwhicharticularsystemsofgenderare
socially constructed alongwiththe articular resources, charac-
ters,andactivitiesofindividuals.Alltheessaysinthisvolumere-
flectShelly'sviewthattheindividualswhocreatesocialrelation-
shis and honds are themselves social creations (8o.|) .
Togethertheydislay a range ofanalytica|tacks for ursuing a
questionthathecamecentraltoShelly'swork,namely, howsocial
totalitiesconstituteindividuals.
WearegratefultotheCenterforResearchonWomenatStanford
Universityforitsadministrativesuortand,inarticular,toEs-
tella Estrada-Freeman for heling with the conference arrange-
ments.WewouldalsoliketothankAnnaLowenhautTsingforher
workastheconferenceraorteurandforthemanyinsightsthat
emergedfromdiscussionswithheraftertheconference.Finally,we
thankoureditorClareNovakforheratientandrudentediting.
].F.c.
S. J. Y.
Contents
Contrihutors
lntroduction
Jane Fishburne Collier and Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
TowardaUnifiedAnalysisofGenderandKinshi
Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
Part One: The Transformation of Cultural Domains
Sui genderis: Feminism,KinshiTheory, and
StructuralDomains
John L. Comarof
MixedMetahors.NativeandAnthroologicalModels
ofGenderandKinshiDomains
Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
TowardaNuclearFreeze?TheGenderPoliticsofEuro-
AmericanKinshiAnalysis
Rayna Rapp
SewingtheSeamsofSociety.Dressmakersand
SeamstressesinTurinBetweentheWars
Vanessa Maher
Part Two: The Politics of Marriage
HierarchyandtheDualMarriageSysteminWestIndian
Society
Raymond T Smith
x

5
3
'
.
8
a
x Contents
Rank and Marriage: Or, Why High-Ranking Brides
Cost More
Jane Fishburne Collier
The Mystification of Female Labors
Shirley Lindenbaum
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea
Harriet Whitehead
Part Three: Descent and the Construction
of Gendered Persons
Producing Diference: Connections and Disconnections
in Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems
Marilyn Strathern
Men in Groups: A Reexamination of Patriliny in Lowland
South America
Judith Shapiro
Descent and Sources of Contradiction in Representations
of Women and Kinship
Maurice Bloch
References Cited
197
221
244
}01
341
Contributors
MAURICE BLOCH is Professor of Anthropology at the London
School of Economics. His main field research has been in Mada
gascar. Most of his work has been concerned with the study of ide
ology and religion. His most recent book is From Blessing to Violence,
published by Cambridge University Press.
JANE F. CoLLIER received her Ph. D. from Tulane University and
is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University. She
has done field research on conflict management in Chiapas, Mex
ico, and on family change in southern Spain. She has just com
pleted a book on models for understanding the organization of so
cial inequality in classless societies.
JoHN L. CoMAROFF is Associate Professor of Anthropology and
Sociology at the University of Chicago. He studied anthropology at
the University of Cape Town and the London School of Economics,
where he received his Ph.D. He has done research in South Africa
and Botswana on various aspects of economy and society, politics
and law, and has taught at the University of Wales and the Univer
sity of Manchester.
SHIRLEY LINDENBAUM studied anthropology at the University of
Sydney, and is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the New
School for Social Research, New York. She has conducted field
work in Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh, and her research in
terests include the study of ideology, ritual, and the political econ
omy of gender.
VANESSA MAHER is Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology
at the University of Turin, Italy. She studied social anthropology at
xii Contributors
Cambridge University and has conducted research in Morocco and
Italy on various aspects of women's experience and its symbolic
construction. Her interest in the lives of dressmakers began with
research on home-work in North London and was further stimu
lated when she lived in Milan in 1974 through a friendship with a
neighbor who had been a dressmaker most of her life. She has since
done research into a variety of aspects of Italian social history as
they have afected the lives of seamstresses and dressmakers.
RAYNA RAPP received her graduate degress at the University of
Michigan and teaches in the Anthropology Department, Graduate
Faculty, New School for Social Research. She edited Toward an An
thropology of Women, has contributed articles on gender, kinship,
and American family life to women's studies and anthropology
j ournals, and is a member of the editorial boards of Feminist Studies
and SIGNS. Her current research focuses on the social impact and
cultural meaning of prenatal diagnosis in American life.
JuDITH SHAPIRO is Professor of Anthropology and Academic
Deputy to the President at Bryn Mawr College. From 1970 to 1975,
she was a member of the Anthropology Department at the Uni
versity of Chicago. She received her Ph. D. from Columbia Univer
sity in 1972, and has done research among the Tapirape and Yano
mamo of Brazil, among the Northern Paiute of Nevada, and, most
recently, with an international Catholic missionary congregation.
RAYMOND T. SMITH is Professor of Anthropology at the Univer
sity of Chicago. He has carried out extensive research on kinship,
class, and race in the Caribbean and the United States, and is at
present a co-investigator on the multidisciplinary Urban Family
Life Project at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph. D.
from Cambridge University and has taught in Jamaica, Ghana, and
Canada as well as in the United States. During 1985-86, he was Di
rector of the Consortium Graduate School in the Social Sciences lo
cated in Jamaica.
MARILYN STRATHERN is Professor of Social Anthropology, Man
chester University, England. She was formerly a Research Fellow
with the New Guinea Research Unit of The Australian National
University; a Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge, where she ob
tained her M. A. and Ph. D. , and then a Fellow of Trinity College.
Her publications on the Papua New Guinea highlands include New
Contributors xiii
Guinea Research Bulletins on legal change (1972) and migration
(1975), Women in Between (1972), and the co-authored Self-Decortion
in Mount Hagen (1971). She also co-edited Nature, Culture, and Gen
der ( 1980 ) . She has recently edited a collection of essays by members
of the 1983-84 Gender Research Group at the Australian National
University (Dealing with Inequality, i press), and is preparing a gen
eral critique of Melanesian anthropology under the title of The Gen
der of the Gift.
HARRIET WHITEHEAD received her Ph. D. in Anthropology from
the University of Chicago in 1975. Her research has centered on re
ligious conversion and on the cross-cultural understanding of gen
der. She has taught at Stanford University, Haverford College, and
Johns Hopkins University, and has held a research afiliation at the
Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown
University.
SYLVIA J . YANAGISAKO is Associate Professor of Anthropologyat
Stanford University. She received her Ph. D. from the University of
Washington in 1975, and has done research on kinship and gender
among Japanese Americans and family firms in northern Italy. Her
book, Transforming the Past: Kinship and Tradition Among Japanese
Americans, was recently published by Stanford University Press.
Gender and Kinship
Introduction
fane Fishburne Collier and
Sylvia ]unko Yanagisako
THE DUAL Focus of this volume is informed by a unitary inten
tion. Our goal is at once to revitalize the study of kinship and to sit
uate the study of gender at the theoretical core of anthropology by
calling into question the boundary between these two fields. In
challenging the view that kinship and gender are distinct, albeit
closely linked, domains of analysis, we hope to renew the intellec
tual promise of these two fields while reconstituting them as a
whole.
As a collective attempt to demonstrate the creative power of ig
noring the distinction between two well-established analytical do
mains, the papers in this volume aim to steer a course that diverges
from a recent theoretical trend in anthropology. During the past
two decades, kinship has declined from its position as the central
focus of ethnographies and as the privileged site for theoretical de
bate about the character of social structure. Recent reviews and
commentaries on theory in anthropology (for example, Ortner
1984; Yengoyan 1986; Hannerz 1986; Appadurai 1986) render it ob
vious that kinship studies no longer generate either the contro
versy or the conceptual innovation they did during the first half of
the century. Certainly neither the ethnographies nor the compar
ative studies that currently excite the anthropological imagination
concentrate on what were once considered the basic building
blocks of kinship-descent rules, marriage prescriptions or pref
erences, and terminology systems.
In retrospect, it seems apparent that the waning theoretical im
portance of kinship studies in anthropology was heralded in the
196o's and 197o's by various attempts to rethink its core concepts
and methods (Leach 1961; Schneider 1964; Schneider 1972; Need-
2 Jane Fishburne Collier and Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
ham 1971). These eforts were themselves symptomatic of a general
erosion of faith in the structural-functional model of society, whose
rise to hegemony in anthropology had coincided with kinship's in
crease in importance. Whereas this trend was most apparent in
British social anthropology and, after the Second World War, in an
American anthropology that was shifting its focus from culture to
social structure, its emergence was also evident in French anthro
pology. For, although Levi-Strauss's structural analysis of myth
and consciousness (1966, 1967, 1970) ofered an alternative to
structural-functionalism, his analysis of marriage systems (1969)
was firmly grounded in it (Boon and Schneider 1974).
The postwar critique of the structural-functional paradigm even
tually undermined confidence in the notion that kinship every
where constituted a domain of relationships readily accessible to
any ethnographer armed with a genealogical chart. Direct chal
lenges to kinship as a discrete domain of analysis (Schneider 1976;
Schneider 1984) capped of a period of increasing skepticism about
the institutional model of society that structural-functionalism had
provided. Given their commitment to attributing the final cause of
social forms to social functions, structural-functionalist kinship
theorists (Radclife-Brown 1952; Fortes 1949; Fortes 1953; Fortes
1958; Fortes 1969; Goodenough 1970) depicted society as univer
sally made up of a number of domains that resembled in function,
although not necessarily in form, the institutions of our society.
Once the explanatory limitations of the search for synchronic, func
tionalist causes became apparent, so did the limitations of assum
ing the existence of functionally diferentiated domains. Just as we
realized we could no longer assume the existence in every society
of a sphere of politics that provides authority and the orderly ex
ercise of power and coercion, or a sphere of religion that provides
cognitive resolution of universal dilemmas concerning the mean
ing of human existence, so we realized we could not assume a
sphere of kinship that provides a system of rights and duties for the
orderly reproduction of human life. By taking for granted the ex
istence of these domains, structural-functionalism sacrificed the
analytical power of asking how such domains come to be consti
tuted in particular ways in specific societies and with what social
consequences.
Recent analyses of kinship that have retained a conceptual vital-
t
Introduction 3
ity and have made innovative contributions to theoretical discus
sion in anthropology have not focused on kinship per se, but on
kinship as an aspect of political economy (Meillassoux 1981; Terray
1972; Friedman 1974) or on kinship as an aspect of broader systems
of inequality in which gender is a key dimension (Collier and Ros
aldo 1981; Ortner and Whitehead 1981). In short, their call for the
dissolution of conventional analytical boundaries has ofered these
kinship studies the greatest theoretical promise.
The above holds as much for kinship in so-called complex soci
eties as i so-called simple societies. According to the evolutionary
scheme implicit in structural-functional models (for example, Par
sons and Bales 1955), kinship groups in complex modern, indus
trial societies are stripped of their former wide-ranging functions,
which are performed by other institutions-in particular, the
workplace and the state. Consequently, kinship is reduced to its
primary function of reproduction and to the primary reproductive
unit, the nuclear family. By taking for granted what it should ex
plain-namely, how reproductive functions come to be cast as the
enduring core of the family-such a perspective fails to understand
how modern families are as much shaped by the political economy
of our society as are lineages in lineage-based societies. It confuses
a reduction in the functions attributed to the family by our society
with a reduction in the range of relationships and practices that our
analysis of the family should include. So, for example, it overlooks
how families in our society both reproduce and recast forms of gen
der inequality along with forms of class inequality at the same time
that they nurture children.
Rather than observing without question conventional analytical
boundaries, all the papers in this collection ask what new under
standing can be gained by ignoring the line between gender and
kinship. This question itself has developed out of the questioning
of kinship studies by feminist scholars during the second wave of
Western feminism.
With the revival of the women's movement in the 196o's, feminist
anthropologists turned to kinship studies for tools to understand
women's place and possibilities. Not only was ethnographic infor
mation on women and their lives found primarily in chapters on
kinship, marriage, and the family, but Fortes's distinction between
the d
?
mestic and politico-jural domains (1958, 1969) suggested a
4 Jane Fishburne Collier and Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
reason why women's association with the "domestic" might make
them and their activities seem universally less valued than the ac
tivities and attributes of "public" men (Rosaldo 1974) .
The relationship between kinship and gender studies, however,
was soon reversed in the 197o's by the development of feminist an
thropology. As feminist scholars shifted their concern from under
standing the position of women (for example, Rosaldo 1974; Ortner
1974; Friedl 1975; Schlegel 1977), to charting variations in women's
roles and experiences, and then to understanding the construction
of gender in specific social systems (for example, MacCormack and
Strathern 1980; Ortner and Whitehead 1981), they began to call into
question the central assumptions of kinship theory.
The Feminist Challenge to Kinship Theor
At the heart of kinship theory lies an analytic dichotomy between
"domestic" and "political-jural" domains. This dichotomy, used
implicitly by kinship theorists since Morgan and elaborated by
Fortes ( 1949, 1958, 1969, 1978), remains infuential in anthropology
and related disciplines. Fortes developed the concept in order to
challenge Western assumptions about the biological basis of kin
ship by claiming that kinship has ajural, political dimension. But,
ironically, in carving out a politico-jural domain of kinship based on
legal rules, Fortes left intact the assumption of a invariant domestic
domain built upon the afective ties and moral sanctions of the
mother-child bond. The domestic/politico-jural dichotomy thus as
sumes a "domestic" sphere dedicated to sexuality and childrear
ing, associated primarily with women, and a "public" sphere of le
gal rules and legitimate authority, associated primarily with men
(Yanagisako 1979) . This assumption of two domains-one fulfill
ing the biological requirements of sexuality and care of helpless in
fants, the other responsive to historical changes in economic, po
litic
a
l and ideological systems-has been very durable. It pervades
descent theory, alliance theory, and studies of marriage transac
tions.
For example, descent theory-as elaborated by Fortes (1949,
1953, 1969), Schneider and Gough (1961), Fox (1967), and Bohan
nan (1963), among others-rests on the notion of an invariant
mother-child bond. While descent theorists have provided many
insights into social structure by charting diferences in the ways
Introduction 5
mother-child dyads are linked to larger organizational structures
by authority-bearing males, they assume that the mother-child
bond is everywhere constrained by afective and moral convictions
generated by the universal experience of "mothering" necessary
for the biological survival of helpless infants (Fortes 1969; Fox 1967;
Goodenough 1970) .
Similarly, while it provides many insights into social structure by
exploring how exchanges of women between men structure rela
tions between social groups, alliance theory (Levi-Strauss 1969;
Leach 1954; Needham 1962; Maybury-Lewis 1974) also rests on an
implicit distinction between domestic and public spheres. Levi
Strauss, for example, writes of the form, but no. t the content, of
marital exchanges because he is content to assume that women
everywhere, as the providers of sexual and domestic services, are
of equal and inherent value and that men enjoy the legitimate au
thority to exchange women. In taking for granted the characters,
functions, and social domains of men and women and seeing vari
ation only in their structural arrangement, Levi-Strauss fails to in
vestigate the dialectical construction of gender categories and
structural arrangements.
Finally, studies of marriage transactions have tended to focus on
marriage rather than on transactions. Since the term "bridewealth"
replaced "brideprice" with its connotations of market exchange,
anthropologists have stressed the role of property exchanges at
marriage in validating sexual access and legitimating children.
They have thus implicitly afirmed a distinction between histori
cally variable economic and political relations, which can afect the
amount and nature of property exchanges at marriage, and a uni
versally invariant requirement for granting public recognition to
the sexual and parental bonds defining the domestic spheres in
which children are born and reared.
Feminist anthropologists who first turned to kinship theory for
analytical tools soon began to question the assumption of a do
mestic sphere organized by the afective and moral constraints of
the mother-child bond, to which other functions-economic, po
litical, and ideological-might be added without changing its pri
mary "natural" role of human reproduction. Because of their con
cern with variations in gender conceptions, women's strategies,
and women's powers, feminists began to relate observed difer
ences in women's experiences to diferent forms of economic, po-
6 Jane Fishburne Collier and Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
litical, and cultural organization, thus questioning the apparent
naturalness of mother-child dyads and the relationship between
supposed male "authority" and the actual dynamics of power and
privilege in particular social systems.
In focusing on women's strategies, feminist scholars did not sim
ply record that women, like men, have goals and work toward
them. Rather, they demonstrated that it is impossible to under
stand interaction within "domestic spheres" without simultane
ously understanding the organization of political and economic
arenas that provide goals and resources for both sexes. Similarly,
feminists focusing on gender conceptions demonstrated that sym
bolic conceptions of femininity can never be understood apart from
a cultural order, because biological facts achieve significance only
within wider systems of meaning (Ardener 1975; Ardener 1978) .
Feminists have not been alone in questioning the central as
sumptions of kinship theory. Goody's theory of the evolution of the
domestic domain ( 1973, 1976) challenged the view of kinship as an
autonomous system by showing how productive processes and the
transmission of property shape domestic groups. Bourdieu (1977),
in rejecting Levi-Strauss's formalistic "rules of marriage," analyzed
the "marriage strategies" through which people in particular so
cieties reproduce relations of production and social inequality. To
gether, Goody and Bourdieu, through their concern for the repro
duction of social and productive systems, reveal the limitations of
structuralists' emphasis on the communicative and exchange as
pects of marriage. At the same time, Schneider's cultural analysis
of kinship (1968, 1972) provided a tool for understanding the in
terrelationship between kinship and other domains. He and others
have argued that kinship is not a discrete, isolable domain of mean
ing, but rather that the meanings attributed to the relations and ac
tions of kin are drawn from a range of cultural domains, including
religion, nationality, gender, ethnicity, social class, and the concept
of "person" (Alexander 1978; Chock 1974; Schneider and Smith
1973; Strathern 1981; Yanagisako 1978; Yanagisako 1985).
Rethinking Kinship and Gender
In light of the feminist challenge to kinship theory, it now seems
the time for kinship theorists to turn to gender studies for tools to
reconsider their analyses of descent, alliance, and marriage trans-
Introduction 7
actions. As feminists have shown, it is no longer adequate to view
women as bringing to kinship primarily a capacity for bearing chil
dren, while men bring primarily a capacity for participation in pub
lic life. Consequently, an analysis of gender in, for example, tra
ditional Chinese and Nuer societies may well reveal that labelling
both as characterized by "patrilineal descent" obscures more than
it illuminates. Along similar lines, an analysis of gender may pro
vide a rather diferent understanding of the kinds of "alliances"
men may form through exchanging women. It might, furthermore,
demonstrate the impracticality of separating marriage transactions
from other property transactions.
The contributors to this volume have disavowed merely using
gender studies to understand the traditional concerns of kinship
theorists. Instead, their essays implicitly argue, as we do explicitly
in our theoretical overview in this volume, that gender and kinship
are mutually constructed. Neither can be treated as analytically
prior to the other, because they are realized together in particular
cultural, economic, and political systems. In short, volume con
tributors agree that analyses of gender must begin with social
wholes, rather than with individuals or with functional domains
such as kinship or gender.
Our opening essay in this volume orients the reader to the others
that follow by assessing and further developing the theoretical con
tribution of feminist scholarship to an understanding of gender
and kinship. In it, we argue that the next phase in the feminist re
analysis of gender and kinship should be to question the assump
tion that "male" and "female" are two natural categories of human
beings whose relations are everywhere structured by their biolog
ical diference. Our critical review of the analytical dichotomies in
forming gender studies leads us to conclude that they, like the con
cepts informing kinship studies, assume the biological diference
in male and female roles in sexual reproduction to be at the core of
men's and women's relationships everywhere. We argue that, as a
consequence, what have been conceptualized as two discrete fields
of study constitute a single field defined by our folk conception of
the same thing, namely, the biological facts of sexual reproduction.
To free ourselves from continually reinventing analytical dichoto
mies rooted in notions about natural diferences between people,
we propose a specific program for analyzing social wholes. Our
three-faceted approach involves the explication of cultural mean-
8 Jane Fishburne Collier and Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
ings, the construction of models of the dialectical relationship be
tween practice and ideas in the constitution of social inequalities,
and the historical analysis of continuity and change.
Our theoretical overview was written after the 1982 conference
and, consequently, it has benefited from our reading of the other
essays. We have incorporated the insights of our contributors, all of
whose analyses are situated within social wholes, even though
each emphasizes diferent aspects of the analytical program we
propose. Some focus on cultural systems of meaning, some on sys
tems of inequality, and some on historical transformations. Not all
the volume contributors necessarily agree in full with our theoret
ical stance, in particular with our argument for dissolving the
boundaries between gender and kinship and with our specific pro
gram for doing so.
We have grouped the papers that follow to show the new modes
of analysis that emerge from old topics when conventional analyt
ical boundaries are challenged. We begin with the articles by Cor
aro, Yanagisako, Rapp, and Maher because they confront the dis
tinction between domestic and politico-jural domains that lies at
the heart of traditional kinship studies. Instead of assuming the in
variance of a domestic domain built upon the afective mother
child bond, these authors ask why the peoples they studied rec
ognize a domestic domain associated with women and diferen
tiated from a public domain. To answer this question, each author
examines the wider social and historical processes that give rise to
an apparent domestic/public opposition.
John Coraro begins his article by reviewing feminist critiques
of the domestic/public dichotomy, contrasting three alternative
suggestions for rethinking this distinction. A "comparative" so
lution would investigate empirical variations in the content and in
terpenetration of the two domains. A "transactional" solution
would examine the chains of individual transactions that give rise
to the appearance of a diferentiation between domestic and public
domains. And a "systemic" solution, favored by Coraro, would
focus not on individual actors but on the total political economy
whose logic generates particular structures. Coraro uses data
from the Tshidi Barolong, a South African Tswana people, to illus
trate the power of the dialectical approach he proposes. He exam
ines the contradictions lying at the heart of Tshidi organizational
principles and political economy to reveal how intentional action
Introduction 9
yielded a variety of empirical forms, ranging from hierarchical
chiefdoms with highly developed public-and thus, domestic
spheres to decentralized, egalitarian systems lacking a clear divi
sion between domains. His analysis of the contradictions inherent
in Tshidi social structure informs his analysis of the historical trans
formation of Tshidi society, as capitalist penetration fostered the
emergence of a small bourgeois elite within an increasingly prole
tarianized population.
Sylvia Yanagisako also argues that analyses of cultural domains
must be situated in an historical study of transforming social
wholes. She compares anthropological and folk concepts of gender
and kinship domains to evaluate the heuristic utility of the former,
while at the same time seeking to understand the changing social
meaning of the latter. She contrasts kinship theorists' use of a do
mestic/politico-jural dichotomy and feminists' use of a domestic/
public distinction with the conceptions of gender and kinship do
mains among two generations ofJapanese Americans. Her analysis
of Japanese Americans' movement from a socio-spatial dichotomy
of inside/outside to a functional dichotomy of family/work illus
trates her point that concepts of gender are mutually constituted
with concepts of politically organized space. She argues that both
feminists and kinship theorists must tease apart the "mixed met
aphors" in their analytical dichotomies in order to understand the
historical transformation of folk models of gender, kinship, and
polity.
Rayna Rapp's paper explores the blind spots that arise when an
thropologists and their European and American informants share
the same assumptions about family life. She recounts how neither
she nor her French informants coded as "change" a shift in young
mothers' reliance on their own mothers to reliance on their
mothers-in-law. All saw only the continuity of male-headed nu
clear families whose ties with nonresident kin were organized
through women. Rapp's observation of the way change was per
ceived as continuity leads her to explore the ways in which West
erners have appropriated key cultural relations for new ends. She
argues that, despite the apparent continuity of male-headed nu
clear families in Western societies since at least the seventeenth
century, there have been wide variations in family form and con
tent, shaped by diferent economic and political systems.
Vanessa Maher examines relations between men and women
10 Jane Fishburne Collier and Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
within the context of the inequalities of a class society. Her study of
working-class seamstresses in Turin's high-fashion industry be
tween the wars reveals how evolving relations between the bour
geois and working classes created ambiguities in the ideological
definition of domestic and public spheres that seamstresses could
exploit. Industrialists' eforts to evade labor laws by characterizing
their factories as "domestic" gave young working-class women
freedom from parental supervision, while at the same time seam
stresses' knowledge of how wealthy women dressed permitted flir
tations across class lines with male university students. Similarly,
married seamstresses sewing in their homes could satisfy hus
bands' desire that they "stay inside"; simultaneously, their use of
the family home to receive bourgeois clients violated their working
class husbands' desires for privacy, comfort, and monopoly over
wifely services.
The next four essays in the volume argue that marriage must be
understood as part of a wider system of sexual and political rela
tions, both heterosexual and homosexual, which are the outcome
of historically specific social processes. Raymond Smith proposes
that "marriage" and "irregular unions" in West Indian creole so
ciety are alternate forms of union based on the interaction of race
with class and gender inequalities in a class-stratified society.
Smith rejects the argument that "Negro lower-class" women and
men establish "irregular unions" because they are economically
unable to sustain "normal" and "valued" monogamous marriages.
Instead, he shows how the ideology of the nuclear family played a
diferent role in the history of West Indian creole society than it did
in the class systems of Europe and North America. Through his
torical documents and modern ethnographies, he is able to trace
changing notions of domesticity and of what men and women of
fered one another and their children. In demonstrating that "irreg
ular unions" are not merely failures to realize the monogamous,
nuclear family, he reveals that West Indian marriage, too, is histor
ically constituted and variable.
Jane Collier also examines the wider system of social inequality
to discover the nature and meaning of marriage in a particular so
ciety, the nineteenth-century Kiowa of the Great Plains. She ana
lyzes what was at stake in Kiowa marriage transactions by drawing
on ethnographic accounts of how men acquired wives. She sug
gests that among the Kiowa, as among the "gumsa" Kachin of
Introduction 11
Highland Burma (Leach 1954), the system of inequality was orga
nized through marriage exchanges in which brideprice appeared to
be adjusted to the ranking of the bride, even as the amount a groom
gave established his rank. In particular, Collier analyzes how mar
riage exchanges constituted rank by organizing labor obligations,
thus giving rise to diferences in access to others' labor. These dif
ferences, in tur, generated diferences in the apparent value of
particular brides and grooms.
Shirley Lindenbaum explores both the meaning of marriage and
the changing constitution of gendered spheres of social life accom
panying historical transformations in a noncapitalist society. She
charts variations in kin relations across several New Guinea soci
eties, focusing in particular on two sets of ideas and their related
marriage practices. The first set celebrates gifts of semen occurring
in societies in which men exchange sisters in marriage, and the sec
ond celebrates exchanges of valuables, such as shells, feathers, and
pigs, occurring in societies in which men obtain wives through
payments of bridewealth. In the former, women and men contrib
ute more evenly to subsistence and to the making of trade items
than they do in the latter. Lindenbaum goes on to analyze the com
plex interweaving of these contrasting systems in "transitional" so
cieties. She suggests ways of tracing how the introduction of pigs
and the intensification of women's labor foster both the dramati
zation of a male sphere of public exchange and the concealment of
women's expanded contribution to production, which is placed
within an obscured domestic sphere.
Also using data from New Guinea, Harriet Whitehead argues
that male control of violence, not men's exchange of women in mar
riage, explains male dominance in stateless (tribal) societies. In
New Guinea, as in the "simple" societies analyzed by Collier and
Rosaldo (1981), ideology portrays men as more fertile than women
and male fertility is linked with men's capacity for violence. But this
celebration of men's capacity to create life cannot derive from a par
ticular type of marriage, as Collier and Rosaldo suggest, because
New Guinea marriage forms are complex and various. Whitehead
thus advances a more general theory to explain the cultural cele
bration of male fertility and violence. When Sahlins proposed re
ciprocal gift exchange as the mechanism preventing Hobbesian
"warre" in stateless societies, he posited a continuum of reciprocity
from positive gift giving to negative exchanges of accusations and
12 Jane Fishburne Collier and Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
blows (1972). Whitehead thus suggests that those in a position to
command both extremes of the exchange continuum-blows as
well as gifts-may take charge of the exchanges that, in stateless
societies, define social relationships. Men receive credit for creat
ing life because their control of violence allows them to create social
bonds.
The final three articles by Strathern, Shapiro, and Bloch illustrate
the richness of understanding ofered by analyses that attend to the
connections between concepts of personhood, gender, and de
scent. By ignoring conventional interpretations of what might be
considered "patrilineal descent systems," these authors demon
strate clearly how diferent systems of descent are constructed
along with diferent systems of gender and personhood.
Marilyn Strathern undertakes another comparison of two New
Guinea societies to examine the structure of ideas underlying con
cepts of personhood and their relation to conceptions of kinship.
Among the people of Mount Hagen, kinship can be "discon
nected" from the person, thus providing an ideational context for
people to acquire other people and things. Women, for example,
can be detached from their own clans and added to those of their
husbands, just as objects can be detached from their makers and
added to the wealth of those who acquire them. These ideas of dis
connection generate the conceptual premises allowing for the ac
cumulation of wives, wealth objects, and prestige, and, therefore,
for the building of personal careers by Big Men. Among the Wiru,
in contrast, kinship ties are inherently part of the person. Wiru
women who marry are not detached from their natal groups.
Rather, their marriages create connections between afines. And
just as exchanges of women create lasting ties, so exchanges of
things similarly dramatize group relationships, not individual
prestige. Strathern's analysis of concepts of the person and, con
sequently, of gender among the Hagen and Wiru reveals the very
diferent kinds of cultural and political dynamics that constitute
these two societies that appear to share an ideology of patrilineal
descent.
Like Strathern, who shows how cultural conceptions of the per
son give rise to an appearance of "patrilineal descent" in two New
Guinea societies, Judith Shapiro shows how "patrilineal descent"
in lowland South America results not from the tracing of genealog
ical connections, but from the cultural construction of m
a
sculinity.
Introduction 13
She suggests that Amazonians have "patriliny" not because they
form corporate groups based on descent through males, but be
cause they use the idiom of agnatic ties in a politics and religion or
ganized around sexual diferentiation. Shapiro examines several
Amazonian societies to trace similarities and diferences in the
ways that male solidarity and political factionalism are linked to
marriage exchanges, marital politics, and ritual expressions of gen
der opposition.
Maurice Bloch also examines broader cultural concepts to explain
gender conceptions. He explores sources of contradiction in rep
resentations of women among the Merina of Madagascar. He ar
gues that it would be futile for an anthropologist to search for the
conception of women among the "patrilineal" Merina because the
Merina have three contradictory views that cannot be entirely rec
onciled. One view grants women equal honor with men; accord
ingly, the Merina use diferent greetings and terms of address for
people of diferent social ranks, but not for men and women of the
same rank. A second view portrays gender as irrelevant; accord
ingly, Merina ancestors in the tomb are not diferentiated by gen
der. From a third view, however, women are associated with the
transitory "house," in contrast to the eternal, and more highly val
ued, tomb of the ancestors. These three conceptions of women are
linked to diferent social contexts. Bloch's analysis of the Merina cir
cumcision ceremony, for example, displays the processes under
lying the association of women with biological decay and death and
of men with the integrity and continuity of the descent group.
In challenging the traditional boundaries of " descent systems" to
arrive at creative new understandings, this last trio of essays illus
trates well just how productive it is to question kinship and gender
as distinct fields of study. Along with the other articles, they take
us a significant way toward the goal we set for this volume-to re
new the intellectual promise of kinship and gender studies by re
constituting them as a single whole.
Toward a Unified Analysis of
Gender and Kinship
Sylvia funko Yanagisako and
Jane Fishburne Collier
THIS ESSAY attempts to draw together and advance the theoretical
contribution that feminist rethinking of gender has made to our un
derstanding of both gender and kinship. * Our answer to the ques
tion of what a feminist perspective has to ofer the study of gender
and kinship is that, above all, it can generate new puzzles and,
thereby, make possible new answers.
A productive first step in rethinking any subject is to make what
once seemed apparent cry out for explanation. Anthropologists in
spired by the women's movement in the late 196o's took such a step
when they questioned whether male dominance was a cross
cultural universal and, if so, why (Rosaldo and Lamphere 1974;
Reiter 1975; Friedl 1975). By asking what explained sexual inequal
ity, they rejected it as an unchangeable, natural fact and redefined
it as a social fact. T A second step entailed questioning the homo-
'
geneity of the categories "male" and "female" themselves and in
vestigating their diverse social meanings among diferent societies
(Rosaldo and Atkinson 1975; Ortner and Whitehead 1981; Strath
ern 1981a). Once we recognized that these categories are defined
in diferent ways in specific societies, we no longer took them as
a priori, universal categories upon which particular relations of
*This paper was written after the 1982 conference on Feminism and Kinship The
ory in Anthropology. We wish to thank Jane Atkinson, Donald Donham, Sherry
Ortner, Roger Rouse, David Schneider, Judith Shapiro, Anna Tsing, and Harriet
Whitehead for their helpful comments and criticisms. This paper is a contribution
to the ongoing debate within feminist anthropology. The views we express are not
necessarily shared by the colleagues whose comments and criticisms helped us to
sharpen our arguments.
1 Although we recognize that some anthropologists questioned the universality
of Western concepts of gender before the late 196o's, we begin with the 196o's wom
en's movement because it inspired the arguments we discuss in this paper.
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 15
gender hierarchy are constructed. Instead, the social and cultural
processes by which these categories are constituted came to be seen
as one and the same as those creating inequality between men and
women.
In this essay, we suggest that the next puzzle we must generate
and then solve is the diference between men and women. Rather
than taking for granted that "male" and "female" are two natural
categories of human beings whose relations are everywhere struc
tured by their diference, we ask whether this is indeed the case in
each society we study and, if so, what specific social and cultural
processes cause men and women to appear diferent from each
other. Although we do not deny that biological diferences exist be
tween men and women (just as they do among men and among
women), our analytic strategy is to question whether these difer
ences are the universal basis for the cultural categories "male" and
"female." In other words, we argue against the notion that cross
cultural variations in gender categories and inequalities are merely
diverse elaborations and extensions of the same natural fact.
We begin our essay with a critical review of a number of analytical
dichotomies that have guided much of the literature on gender in
anthropology and related disciplines for the past decade, and we
conclude that they assume that gender is everywhere rooted in the
same diference. Our point is that, in doing so, these dichotomies
take for granted what they should explain. In the second section of
this essay, we discuss commonalities between the assumptions un
derlying these dichotomies and the assumptions that have domi
nated kinship studies in anthropology since their beginnings in the
nineteenth century. We argue that gender and kinship have been
defined as fields of study by our folk conception of the same thing,
namely, the biological facts of sexual reproduction. Consequently,
what have been conceptualized as two discrete fields of study con
stitute a single field that has not succeeded in freeing itself from no
tions about natural diferences between people. In the final section
of the essay, we propose a multifaceted strategy for transcending
the analytical categories and dichotomies that have dominated past
studies of kinship and gender. Because the analytical program we
suggest requires study of culturally constructed social inequalities,
we begin with a critique of the concept of "egalitarian society." We
then suggest an analytical program that entails explicating the dy
namic cultural systems of meanings through which diferent kinds
16 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
of historically specific systems of inequality are realized and trans
formed.
Questioning Analytical Dichotomies in the Study of Gender
In questioning analytical dichotomies, we first examine those of
"nature/culture" (Ortner 1974), "domestic/public" (Rosaldo 1974),
and "reproduction/production" (see Harris and Young 1981) . Each
of these has been said to structure relations between men and
women in all societies and, therefore, to ofer a universal expla
nation of sexual inequality. Whereas the dichotomies of domestic/
public and nature/culture are more in line with structuralist per
spectives, the distinction between reproduction and production
has emerged fom a functionalist-Marxist perspective.
Second, we examine implicit dichotomies between women's and
men's consciousnesses. Scholars (for example, Rohrlich-Leavitt,
Sykes, and Weatherford 1975; Weiner 1976) seeking to correct the
androcentric bias in ethnographic accounts by advocating atten
tion to "women's point of view" have posited a distinction between
men's and women's perspectives of social relationships. Arguing
that most anthropological monographs reflected men's views of
how their system worked, they suggested we correct this bias by
including women's accounts of social and cultural institutions in
our ethnographies. In contrast, Sherry Ortner and Harriet White
head (1981) have more recently proposed a focus on male prestige
systems, not as a way of correcting male bias, but as a way of un
derstanding the cultural construction of gender. These latter au
thors, however, share with the former the notion that men and
women-as unitary and opposed categories-have diferent views
of how their mutual system works.
Domestic/Public and Nature/Culture
Ortner and Whitehead propose that the nature/culture and do
mestic/public oppositions, along with the distinction between self
interest and the social good identified by Marilyn Strathem
( 1981b ), derive from the same sociological insight: "that the sphere
of social activity predominantly associated with males encompas
ses the sphere predominantly associated with females and is, for
that reason, culturally accorded higher value" (1981: 7-8) . The em- '
phasis placed on any one of these specific contrasts, they suggest,
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 17
depends upon the theoretical interests of the analyst and the em
pirically observed "idiom" of a particular culture; however, "all
could be present without inconsistency; all are in a sense transfor
mations of one another" (1981: 8) .
Since these dichotomies were first presented a little over ten
yearf ago as explanations of universal sexual asymmetry, both the
domestic/public dichotomy proposed by Michelle Rosaldo (1974)
and the nature/culture opposition proposed by Sherry Ortner
(1974) have come under considerable criticism. Ortner's hypothe
sis that the symbolic association of a lesser valued "nature" with fe
males and of a more highly valued, transcendent "culture" with
males is the basis for the universal devaluation of females has been
most persuasively and thoroughly criticized in Carol MacCormack
and Marilyn Strathem's volume Nature, Culture, and Gender (1980).
In their introduction to this collection of essays, MacCormack and
Strathem pose the crucial question, When can we usefully trans
late a symbolic opposition found in another culture into one found
in ours? Together the case studies in their volume argue that our na
ture/culture opposition does not do justice to the range of symbolic
configurations of gender meanings found in other societies.
Strathem ( 1980 ), for one, builds a convincing case that the Hagen
opposition between "mbo" and "mmi" is not homologous to the
nature/culture opposition in our culture, but has both diferent
symbolic meaning and social consequences. The strength of Strath
em's argument rests as much on her explication of our conception
of the nature/culture dichotomy as on Hagen conceptions. This
kind of efort has been too often slighted in discussions about the
universality of cultural features-whether the disputed features
are symbolic oppositions or social institutions such as "marriage"
or "incest." In other words, in many instances our erroneous as
sumptions about the concepts of other people are coupled with
erroneous assumptions about the simplicity or homogeneity of
our own cultural concepts. As Maurice and Jean Bloch point out,
we cannot assume that the terms we use in our own cultural dis
course provide a straightforward, unambiguous analytical focus
(1980: 125).
Bloch and Bloch's historical analysis of the changing usage of
"nature" as a category for challenging the prevailing cultural order
in eighteenth-century France ( 1980) reveals a particularly crucial di
mension that is missed by the claim for a universal nature/culture
18 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
opposition-a synchronic dimension that permits change. Like all
universal structural oppositions, this one necessarily flattens dy
namic transformations of meanings into static structural sameness.
Consequently, it tends to impede the elucidation of the historical
processes through which systems of meanings cha

ge.
This absence of a historical dynamic is closely bed to another
problem inherent in the claim for a universal symbolic oppo

ition.
This is the problem of conceptualizing symbolic systems as 1f they
exist apart from social action. Only if we construed symbolic sys
tems as having a structure independent of social action could we
claim that a symbolic opposition of gender categories is universal
without claiming that a system of gender relations is universal.
Such a view is the result of too dichotomized a vision of ideas and
action. Thus, the issue is not whether the Hagen concept of "mbo"
stands in relation to the Hagen concept of "nbmi" as our concept of
"culture" stands in relation to our concept of "nature," but, rather,
whether mbo/n)mi constitutes the same system of social relations
i Hagen society as nature/culture does in ours. Put another way,
the question we should ask is, What do these oppositions do for so
cial relations and, conversely, how do people encounter these op
positions in their practice of social relations?
Whereas the nature/culture opposition draws on a Levi
Straussian symbolic-structuralist perspective, the domestic/public
opposition is more in line with a structural-functionalist perspec
tive of the sort that has prevailed in the field of kinship studies.
Michelle Rosaldo first construed the domestic/public opposition as
the "basis of a structural framework" necessary to explain the gen
eral identification of women with domestic life and men with pub
lic life and the consequent universal, cross-cultural asymmetry in
the evaluation of the sexes. At the core of this identification of
women with domestic life lay their role as mothers: "Women be
come absorbed primarily in domestic activities because of their role
as mothers. Their economic and political activities are constrained
by the responsibilities of child care and the focus of thei emotions
and attentions is particularistic and directed toward children and
the home" (Rosaldo 1974: 24) .
Although she did not initially draw a link between the domestic/
public opposition and the distinction between the domestic do
main and the politico-jural domain, which had long been em
ployed i kinship studies (Fortes 1958, 1969), Rosaldo later (1980)
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 19
acknowledged that link and its problematic theoretical implica
tions (Yanagisako 1979). She came to share Rayna Reiter's (1975)
view of the domestic/public opposition as an ideological product of
our society and a legacy of our Victorian heritage that "cast the
sexes in dichotomous and contrastive terms" (Rosaldo 1980: 404) .
As John Coraro notes in this volume, such a dichotomous vision
of society is logically entailed in a "universal asymmetry" thesis
that relies upon an orthodox image of the form and content of the
two domains. Conversely, arguments against the universality of
sexual asymmetry and inequality have necessarily engaged in a
critical reexamination of this image. As Rapp (1979) and Coraro
(this volume) point out, however, these latter eforts have encom
passed a range of feminist theoretical perspectives.
Attempts to salvage the domestic/public opposition-which
continue to accept the two categories as a valid description of a uni
versal reality even though varying widely i their specific content
and interpenetration-cannot escape the self-defeating circularity
inherent in its initial formulation (Coraro this volume) . As Yan
agisako points out in this collection, the claim that women become
absorbed in domestic activities because of their role as mothers is
tautological given the definition of "domestic" as "those minimal
institutions and modes of activity that are organized immedi
ately around one or more mothers and their children" (Rosaldo
1974: 2
}) .
The a priori definition of the domestic domain by the mother
child relation is inextricably linked with the troubling analytical
problems arising from its claim for universality. These are shared
by the nature/culture opposition. As Karen Sacks (1976, 1979),
Eleanor Leacock (1978), and Alice Schlegel (1977) have argued con
vincingly, those writers who assert the universality of sexual asym
metry encourage the search for biological causes, even though such
writers explicitly emphasize social processes. In their contributions
to Woman, Culture, and Society, Rosaldo and Ortner both proposed
social causes for universal sexual asymmetry, as did Nancy Cho
dorow in her contribution to the 1974 book, but each author fo
cused on the social construction of a biological "fact": women's ca
pacity to bear and nurse infants. The obvious conclusion is that
biological motherhood "explains" the universal devaluation of
women. As Rosaldo herself later noted, a focus on universals
makes us "victims of a conceptual tradition that discovers 'essence'
ae Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
i the natural characteristics" that distinguish the sexes, "and then
declares that women's present lot derives from what, 'in essence,'
women are" (.,se.,e.,.
In summary, we suggest that Ortner and Whitehead's claim that
the domestic/public and nature/culture oppositions are transfor
mations of each other is valid (.,s.. ,-s,, although not because
these oppositions summarize, each in a way more suited to the the
oretical interests of a particular analyst or the cultural idiom of a
particular society, a universal structure of gender relations. Rather,
domestic/public and nature/culture, like the reproduction/produc
tion distinction we discuss below, are variations of an analytical di
chotomy that takes for granted what we think should be explained.
Reproduction/ Production
In the last decade, several writers (for example, Eisenstein .,,,,
Beneria and Sen .,s.,Harris and Young .,s.,,attempting to de
velop a Marxist theory of gender while at the same time bringing a
feminist perspective to Marxist theory, have argued for the need to
develop a theory of relations of reproduction. Olivia Harris and
Kate Young (.,s....e, note that the proliferation of studies in
Marxist literature centered on the concept of reproduction refects
not only feminist concern with the status of women but, among
other things, the concern of some Marxists to "break conclusively
with economistic versions of a Marxism which places too great an
emphasis on the forces of production" (see, for example, Hindness
and Hirst .,,,,Friedman .,,-,. Women have been cast as the
"means of reproduction" in several Marxist discussions of the con
trol of labor and its reproduction in both capitalist and precapitalist
societies.
Claude Meillassoux's (.,s.,evolutionary theory of the domestic
community is perhaps the most ambitious of these works in its at
tempt to build an analysis of the family into a Marxist analysis of
imperialism. For Meillassoux, control over the labor of individual
human beings is more important than control over the means of
production in defining the relations of production in agricultural
societies where productive forces are not highly developed. There
production of the domestic community of these societies is contin
gent upon the reproduction of human beings and, consequently,
upon control over women, whom Meillassoux views as the means
of that reproduction. In capitalist societies, on the other hand, cap-
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship a.
ital is unable itself to reproduce the labor power necessary for social
reproduction. Therefore, it must rely on both precapitalist modes
of production, such as exist in Third World countries, and on the
family-in particular, women's work in it, in industrial society-as
the means of reproduction of labor power.
Feminists have strongly criticized two inextricably linked aspects
of Meillassoux's theory: his analytical treatment of women and his
concept of reproduction. They challenge his view of women solely
a
.
s "reproducers" and his neglect of their productive activities (Har

Is an Young .,

.,O'Lauglin .,,,,,which blind him to te ways


m which the social constramts placed on women's productive ac
tivities, as well as the control placed on their reproductive activi
ties, structure their oppression. They point to the ironic lack of at
tention to what is commonly called "domestic work" in a book
dedicated to the analysis of reproduction.
These
.
limitations in Meillassoux's work can be largely traced to
the cnsiderble ambiguity
.
surrounding his use of the term repro
ducton, which cnfates biOlogical reproduction with the repro
dutiOn o the social system. For Meillassoux, kinship is the insti
tution which at once regulates the function of the reproduction of
human beings and the reproduction of the entire social formation
(Meillassoux .,s.. xi) . This functionalist perspective also underlies
his assumption-one common in much of the anthropological lit
erature-that precapitalist societies are in static equilibrium. Thus,
despite his interest in the evolution of social forms, Meillassoux
ends up with a Marxist version of teleological functionalism in
which "all modes exist to reproduce themselves" (Harris and
Young .,s.. ..,,.
Unfortunately, many critics attempting to compensate for Meil
lassoux's inattention to "domestic work" have employed a concept
of reproduction similar to his. As a consequence, their work has
also been characterized by conceptual confusion. These writers
take as their starting point Engels's formulation of the distinc
tion between reproduction and production. In contrast to Marx
(.,-,,--,,who used these terms to describe a unitary social pro
cess, Engels tended to treat production and reproduction as two
distinct, although coordinated, aspects of the process of social pro
duction: "This again, is of a twofold character: on the one side the
production of the means of existence, of food, clothing, and shelter
and the tools necessary for that reproduction; on the other side the
22 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
production of human beings themselves, the propagation of the
species" (1972: 71).
It is not surprising that Engels's formulation would receive so
much recent attention from Marxist-feminist social scientists, as it
is one of the few early Marxist statements ofering an explicit ap
proach to gender. Much of the literature on the subject of women
and capitalist development, for example, employs this distinction.
In their 1981 critique of Ester Boserup's neoclassical, comparative
study of the role of women in economic development (1970), the
economists Lourdes Beneria and Gita Sen argue that we should at
tend to the role of reproduction in determining women's position
in society. They rightly fault Boserup for her distinction between
"economic activity" and "domestic work," which results in her ex
cluding such activities as food processing-largely a female activ
ity-from her description of economic activity in agricultural so
cieties. Their concept of reproduction, however, proves more a
liability than an asset. They defne reproduction as not only bio
logical reproduction and daily maintenance of the labor force but
also social reproduction, that is, the perpetuation of social systems
(Beneria and Sen 1981: 290) . Yet, in their analysis of the ways in
which the status of women has changed with economic transfor
mations, reproduction is reduced to "domestic work. " Accord
ingly, when they discuss industrial society, they equate "house
work" with reproductive work and assume the household is the
focal point of all sorts of reproduction (Beneria and Sen 1981: 293,
291) .
The social historians Louise Tilly and Joan Scott also employ a
similar distinction in their history of women's work in industrial
izing England and France. Reproduction is for them, by definition,
a gendered category: "Reproductive activity is used here as a short
hand for the whole set of women's household activities: childbear
ing, child rearing, and day-to-day management of the consump
tion and production of services for household members" (Tilly and
Scott 1980: 6). This unfortunate equation of reproductive activity
with women's household activities excludes anything men do from
the category of reproductive activity and, consequently, is blind to
men's contribution to "childbearing, child rearing and day-to-day
management of the consumption and production of services for
household members." This, i turn, makes it impossible for Tilly
and Scott to attain their goal of writing a history of the changing re-
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 23
lation between the reproductive work of women and men. There
can be no such history of change when, by their own definition,
men do not engage in reproductive work.
The best attempt to clarify the confusion surrounding usages of
the term reproduction and its relation to production is Olivia Harris
and Kate Young's comprehensive review of the concept (1981).
Having found fault with Meillassoux's concept of reproduction,
Harris and Young propose to salvage it by isolating diferent mean
ings of the concept, which they see located at " diferent levels of ab
straction and generality" and which "entail diferent types of caus
ality and diferent levels of determination." "Here we have isolated
three senses of the concept of reproduction for discussion which
seem to us to cover the major uses of the term and to illustrate the
confusion that has resulted from their confation. We feel it is nec
essary to distinguish social reproduction, that is, the overall repro
duction of a particular social formation from the reproduction of la
bor itself; and further to distinguish the latter from the specific
forms of biological reproduction" (Harris and Young 1981: 113).
By teasing apart these diferent meanings of reproduction, Har
ris and Young do an excellent job of displaying the density and com
plexity of the concept. Yet, their attempt to place these meanings in
distinct and analytically useful levels generates new problems. It
becomes quickly apparent just how dificult it is for them to sepa
rate their notion of the reproduction of labor and their notion of so
cial reproduction. They admit that: "to talk of the reproduction of
labour is in itself perhaps too limited; it would be more accurate to
talk of the reproduction of adequate bearers of specific social rela
tionships, since we also wish to include under this category classes
of non-labourers" (Harris and Young 1981: 113) . Once the repro
duction of labor slips into the reproduction of " adequate bearers of
specific social relations" -a process that presumably includes such
social categories as "males" and "females" as well as "lineage el
ders" and "capitalists" -it becomes indistinguishable from the
process of social reproduction. That is to say, if "capitalists" are
being reproduced, then relations of capital must be simultaneously
reproduced; just as, if "males" and "females" are being repro
duced, then gender relations must be reproduced.
As do all the authors who draw upon Engels's distinction be
tween production and reproduction, Harris and Young locate the
construction of gender relations-and, consequently, women's
24 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and fane Fishburne Collier
subordination-in the reproductive process. The productive pro
cess, regardless of the particular mode of production it comprises,
is conceptualized as theoretically independent of gender consid
erations. Like the notion that relations of reproduction are more
homogeneous and unchanging than relations of production, this
line of thought grants the two spheres of activities an analytical au
tonomy that seems unjustified.
What lies behind the willingness of so many authors to overlook
the conceptual ambiguity and confusion of the reproduction/pro
duction distinction and to remain committed to its usefulness for
understanding gender relations? Behind this distinction, we sug
gest, is a symbolically meaningful and institutionally experienced
opposition that our own culture draws between the production of
people and the production of things. When Harris and Young con
sider the reproduction of a particular social formation-which in
Marxist terms entails the reproduction of a particular mode of pro
duction-they do not see gender as relevant because, although
both women and men are involved in production, they do not ap
pear to be involved as "men" and "women." In other words, their
gender attributes do not appear to be crucial in structuring their re
lations. Yet, Harris and Young see women as "women" and men as
"men" when they are involved in the reproduction of labor and bi
ological reproduction because in our cultural system of meanings,
the production of people is thought to occur through the process of
sexual procreation. Sexual procreation, in turn, is construed as pos
sible because of the biological diference between men and women.
The production of material goods, in contrast, is not seen as being
about sex, and thus it is not necessarily rooted in sexual diference,
even when two sexes are involved in it.
In this folk model, which informs much of the social scientific
writing on reproduction and production, the two categories are
construed as functionally diferentiated spheres of activity that
stand in a means/end relation to each other. Our experience in 0Ur
own society is that work in production earns money, and money is
the means by which the family can be maintained and, therefore,
reproduced. At the same time, the reverse holds: the family and its
reproduction of people through love and sexual procreation are the
means by which labor-and thus the productive system of soci
ety-is reproduced. Although we realize that wage work, money,
and factories do not exist in many of the societies we study, we im-
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 25
pose
_
our own institutional divisions and culturally meaningful cat
egones onto them by positing the universal existence of function
ally diferentiated spheres of activity. In our folk model, we contrast
the following pairs, each linked, respectively, to the productive and
reproductive spheres:
material goods people
technology biology
male or gender neutral female or gendered
wage work nonwage work
factory family
money love
mans/end relatin beeen the family and capitalism has pre
vade m Wesern oc10logical thought, not only in the writings of
Marxist funchonahsts but in those of structural-functionalist the
?
rists a well.
_
In Talcott Parsons's theory of the family in capitalist
mdustral society (Parsons and Bales 1955), the particular form of
the fady helps to reproduce the "economic system" by permitting
the soIl and ?eographic mobility required by an open-class, uni
vrahshc, achievement-based occupational system while still pro
vidmg for the socialization of children and nurturance of adults. In
sum,
_
both
_
Parsonian structural-functionalist theory and Marxist
functionalist theory posit a means/end relationship between what
the c?ntrue a the reproductive and productive spheres of
capitahst-mdustrial society.
At
_
the bottom ?f th analytical confusion surrounding the repro
duchon/produchon dichotomy is a circularity similar to that which
has plagued the domestic/public distinction. Like the former ana
lytical opposition, it leads us back to reinventing, in a new form,
the same dualism we were trying to escape.
Women's Consciousness I Men's Consciousness
One of the first changes called for by feminist scholars in the so
ial science was the correction of androcentric views that had paid
httle attention not only to women's activities and roles but also to
hir views of social relationships and cultural practices. This fem
IniSt chlleng
_
e was useful in calling into question seemingly nat
ral s
_
ci uruts. Among the
_
social m
_
its taken for granted were the
famihes that anthropologists contmued to discover everywhere
ns long as they confounded genealogically defined relationships
z Sylvia ]unko Yanagi

ako and fane Fishbure Collier


with particular kinds of culturally meaningful, social relationships
(Yanagisako 1979; Collier, Rosaldo, and Yanagisako 1982). The fem
inist questioning (for example, Collier 1974; Lamphere 1974; Harris
1981; Wolf 1972) of the assumed unity of families, households, and
other sorts of domestic groups denaturalized these units by asking
whether their members had the same or diferent views, interests,
and strategies. The recognition of the diversity and, in some cases,
the confict of interests among the members of supposedly solidary
groups opened the way to a richer understanding of the dynamics
of these groups (for example, Wolf 1972; Yanagisako 1985) and their
interaction with other social units.
At the same time, we have come to realize that correcting the an
drocentrism of the past without reproducing its conceptual error in
inverted form requires considerable rethinking of our notions of
culture and ideology. We appear to have left behind naive claims
(for example, Rohrlich-Leavitt, Sykes, and Weatherford 1975) that
female anthropologists intuitively understand the subjective ex
perience of their female informants simply by dint of their sex.
Likewise, we have rejected claims for a universal "woman's point
of view" or a universal "womanhood." Marilyn Strathern has ar
gued convincingly that "it is to mistake symbol for index to imagine
that what Trobrianders make out of women identifies something
essential about womankind. We merely learn, surely, how it is that
cultures constitute themselves" (1981a: 671) . Furthermore, we can
not assume that within a society there is a unitary "woman's point
of view" that crosscuts significant diferences in, for example, age,
household position, or social class.
Despite tis skepticism about the existence of a unitary "wom
an's point of view" in any society, the notion that there is a unitary
"man's point of view" appears more resilient (for example, Ardener
1972) . Because men are socially dominant over women, it is tempt
ing to treat the cultural system of a society as a product of their val
ues and beliefs and to assume that it is shared by most, if not all, of
them. This assumption is implicit in the concept of a "male prestige
system," which Ortner and Whitehead (1981) have proposed for
understanding, among other things, the connections between gen
der and kinship.
Ortner and Whitehead suggest that in all societies the most im
portant structures for the cultural construction of gender are the
"structures of prestige. " Moreover, because some form of male
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 27
dominance operates in every society, "the cultural construction of
sex and gender tends everywhere to be stamped by the prestige
considerations of socially dominant male actors" (Ortner and
Whitehead 1981: 12) . "Women's perspectives are to a great extent
constrained and conditioned by the dominant ideology. The analy
sis of the dominant ideology must thus precede, or at least encom
pass, the analysis of the perspective of women" (Ortner and White
head 1981: x) . In the above quotations, Ortner and Whitehead
assume that men's perspectives are not also constrained and con
ditioned by the dominant ideology. Instead, in the case of men, ide
ology and te perspectives of social actors are confated. This, of
course, assumes a priori that men and women have distinctly
diferent perspectives, including diferent ideas about prestige
relations.
The problems generated by this conceptualization of the domi
nant ideology are manifested in confusion about the analytical sta
tus of prestige structures. At times Ortner and Whitehead refer to
prestige as a "sphere of relations," at other times as a "set of struc
tures" on the same level as political structures, and at still other
times as " a dimension of social relations" of all kinds of structures,
including political structures (1981: 10, 12-13). They also speak of
"prestige situations" (1981: 13). For the most part, however, they
use the term "prestige structures": "The sets of prestige positions
or levels that result from a particular line of social evaluation, the
mecanisms by which groups arrive at given levels or positions,
and the overall conditions of reproduction of the system of sta
tuses, we will designate as a 'prestige structure' " (Ortner and
Whitehead 1981: 13). Confusion about the status of prestige struc
tures, moreover, leads to a tautological proposition about their re
lation to gender systems. Ortner and Whitehead contend on the
one hand that the "social organization of prestige is the domain of
social structure that most directly afects cultural notions of gender
and sexuality," on the other, that " a gender system is first and fore
most a prestige structure itself" (1981: 16) .
Much of the confusion can be attributed to equating the domi
nant ideology with men's point of view. Even in those hypothetical
cases where men as a whole are socially dominant over women as
a whole and share the same values, beliefs, and goals, it seems a
mistake to construe their perspective as more encompassing of the
larger cultural system than women's perspective. For, like women's
28 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishbure Collier
views, men's views are constrained and conditioned by the partic
ular forms of their relations with others. The men and women in a
particular society may construe women's ideas and experience as
more restricted than that of men (see, for example, Yanagisako this
volume), and this may be reflected in the appearance that men have
certain kinds of knowledge that women do not. But, this appear
ance does not justify the analytical incorporation of women's views
in a supposedly more inclusive male ideology. Our task, rather,
should be to make apparent the social and cultural processes that
create such appearances.
In the end, the concept of "male prestige system" tends to rep
licate the problems inherent in the domestic/public dichotomy. Be
cause it too rests on the notion of an encompassing male sphere and
an encompassed female one, it assumes that "domestic life" is "in
sulated from the wider social sphere" (although its degree of in
sulation may vary) and that "domestic life" is concered with" gen
der relations" and "child socialization." Thus, for example, in
discussing Marshall Sahlins's (1981) analysis of systemic change in
post-contact Hawaii, Ortner writes, "To the degree that domestic
life is insulated from the wider social sphere . . . , important prac
tices-of gender relations and child socialization-remain rela
tively untouched, and the transmission of novel meanings, values,
and categorical relations to succeeding generations may be hin
dered. At the very least, what is transmitted will be significantly
and conservatively-modified" (1984: 156-57).
Pierre Bourdieu's (1977) notion of "embodiment" ofers a useful
framework to counter the notion of conservative domestic spheres,
detached from the public world of struggle and change. Domestic
life, for Bourdieu, is not insulated from the wider social sphere.
Rather, he argues that both gender relations and child socialization
take place in a socially structured world. He writes that, for the
child, "the awakening of consciousness of sexual identity and the
incorporation of the dispositions associated with a determinate so
cial definition of the social functions incumbent on men and
women come hand in hand with the adoption of a socially defined
vision of the sexual division of labor" (1977: 93).
Bourdieu's framework thus suggests that gender relations and
child socialization-far from being insulated from changes in
"meanings, values, and categorical relations" -are implicated in
those changes. Indeed, the same point is suggested by Sahlins's
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 29
analysis of change in Hawaii that Ortner discusses, for Sahlins de
scribes how the struggle over novel meanings of hierarchy was si
multaneously a struggle over chiefship and gender relations. For
Hawaiians, understandings of the chief/commoner relation and
the husband/wife relation were implicated in each other and
changed together. Similarly, Yanagisako's essay in this collection
shows how Japanese Americans' conceptions of the domains of
husbands and wives changed along with their institutional model
of the relations between family and society.
The reemergence of a form of the domestic/public dichotomy in
the concept of "male prestige systems" brings us full circle and
poses, in a particularly dramatic way, the question of why we keep
reinventing this dichotomy or transfbrmations of it, such as repro
duction/production. If, as we have argued, these oppositions as
sume the diference we should be trying to explain, why do we find
them so compelling? Why do they seem, as Rosaldo ( 1980) claimed
even when she argued against using domestic/public as an analytic
device, so "telling"?
The answer, we suggest, lies in our own cultural conception of
gender and its assumption of a natural diference between women
and men. To arrive at an understanding of that conception, how
ever, requires that we first review some recent insights in kinship
studies. As we will demonstrate, there are striking similarities be
tween muddles in kinship studies and those that we have just dis
cussed in gender studies. Kinship and gender, moreover, are held
together by more than a common set of methodological and con
ceptual problems. They constitute, by our very definition of them,
a single topic of study.
The Mutual Constitution of Gender and Kinship
Both "gender" and "kinship" studies have been concerned with
understanding the rights and duties that order relations between
people defined by diference. Both begin by taking "diference" for
granted and treating it as a presocial fact. Although social construc
tions are built on it, the diference itself is not viewed as a social con
struction. The fundamental units of gender-males and females
and the fundamental units of kinship-the genealogical grid-are
both viewed as existing outside of and beyond culture. In this sec
tion, we consider David M. Schneider's critique of the biological
30 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
model that pervades and constrains kinship studies in order to sug
gest a parallel critique of gender studies.
Kinship and the Biological "Facts" of Sexual Reproduction
Among kinship theorists, Schneider (1964, 1968, 1972, 1984) has
been the most consistentinrefusing to take for granted what others
have, namely, that the fundamental units of kinship are every
where genealogical relationships. In his cultural analysis of Amer
ican kinship (1968), Schneider first demonstrated that our partic
ular folk conceptions of kinship lie behind our assumption of the
universality of the genealogical grid. By explicating the symbolic
system through which Americans construct genealogical relation
ships, Schneider denaturalized kinship and displayed its cultural
foundations.
Most recently, in his 1984 critical review of the history of kinship
studies, Schneider argues that, for anthropologists, kinship has al
ways been rooted in biology because, by our own definition, it is
about relationships based in sexual reproduction. When we un
dertake studies of kinship in other societies, we feel compelled to
start from some common place, and that place has always been sex
ual reproduction. We do not ask what relationships are involved in
the reproduction of humans in particular societies. Instead, we as
sume that the primary reproductive relationship in all societies is
the relationship between a man and a woman characterized by sex
ual intercourse and its physiological consequences of pregnancy
and parturition. The only time we bother to ask questions about re
production is when we discover that the natives do not draw the
same connections we do between these events, as in the case of the
Trobriand Islanders, or when we discover that the natives permit
marriages between people with the same genital equipment, as
among the Nuer or Lovedu. In other words, we assume that of all
the activities in which people participate, the ones that create hu
man ofspring are heterosexual intercourse, pregnancy, and par
turition. Together these constitute the biological process upon
which we presume culture builds such social relationships as mar
riage, filiation, and coparenthood.
The one major modification mkinship studies since the middle
of the nineteenth century, according to Schneider, was the shift
from an emphasis on the social recognition of the biological bonds
arising out of the process of procreation to an emphasis on the so-
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 31
ciocultural characteristics of the relations mapped onto those bonds
(Schneider 1984: 54). Since this shift, kinship theorists have been
adamant that they view marriage, parenthood, and all other kin
ship relationships as social relationships and not biological ones.
Schneider argues convincingly, however, that for all the claims
these writers make that they are speaking of social paters and social
maters and not genitors and genitrexes, they have biological par
enthood in mind all the time. This point is perhaps no more clearly
illustrated than in the following statement by Fortes, quoted by
Schneider: "The facts of sex, procreation, and the rearing of of
spring constitute only the universal raw material of kinship sys
tems" (Fortes 1949: 345, italics ours). For Fortes, as for the other
kinship theorists reviewed by Schneider, these facts are unambig
uously construed as natural ones.
Although it is apparent that heterosexual intercourse, preg
nancy, and parturition are involved in human reproduction, it is
also apparent that producing humans entails more than this. M.
Bridget O'Laughlin (1977) put it very succinctly when she wrote,
"Human reproduction is never simply a matter of conception and
birth." There is a wide range of activities in which people partici
pate besides heterosexual intercourse and parturition that contrib
ute to the birth of viable babies and to their development into
adults. These activities, -in turn, involve and are organized by a
number of relationships other than those of parenthood and mar
riage. Given the wide range of human activities and relationships
that can be viewed as contributing to the production of human
beings, why do we focus on only a few of them as the universal ba
sis of kinship? Why do we construe these few activities and rela
tionships as natural facts, rather than investigating the ways in
which they are, like all social facts, culturally constructed? The an
swer Schneider has proposed is that our theory of kinship is si
multaneously a folk theory of biological reproduction.
Gender and the Biological "Facts" of Sexual Reproduction
Schneider's insight that kinship is by definition about sexual pro
creation leads us to realize that assumptions about gender lie at the
core of kinship studies. Moreover, not only are ideas about gender
central to analyses of kinship, but ideas about kinship are central to
analyses of gender. Because both gender and kinship have been de
fned as topics of study by our conception of the same thing,
a Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
namely, sexual rocreaiion, we cannoi ihink ahoui one wiihoui
ihinkingahouiiheoiher. Inshori, iheseiwoeldsofsiudiesare
muiuallyconsiiiuied.
Genderassumiionservadenoiionsahouiihefacts ofsexualre-
roduciioncommonIaceinihekinshiliieraiure.Muchofwhai
iswriiienahouiaiomsofkinshi(Levi-Sirauss|),iheaxiomof
rescriiiveaIiruism(Foriesz8,Fories),iheuniversaliiyof
ihefamily(Fox,),andiheceniraliiyofihemoiher-childhond
(Goodenough ,o) is rooied in assumiions ahoui ihe naiural
characierisiicsofwomenandmenandiheirnaiuralrolesinsexuaI
rocreaiion.Thesiandarduniisofourgenealogies,afieralI,arecir-
cles and iriangIes ahoui which we assume a numher of ihings.
AhovealI,weiakeforgraniedihaiiheyrereseniiwonaiuraIlydif-
ferenicaiegoriesofeoleandihaiihenaiuraldinerenceheiween
ihemisihehasisofhumanreroduciionand,iherefore,kinshi.
HaroldSchenIer's(z,|.,|)siaiemeniihaiihefoundaiionofany
kinshisysiemconsisisi ihefolk-culiuraIiheorydesignedioac-
couniforihefaciihaiwomengivehirihiochiIdrenreveaIsihai,
forhim,kinshiiseverywhereahouiihesamehiologicalfaci.Al-
ihoughherecognizesihaiihereareavarieiyofwaysinwhichihis
faci mayheaccounied for indinerenisocieiies, Schemer, like
mosikinshiiheorisis,assumesceriainsocialconsequencesfolIow
necessanlyfromii,includingihaihiologicalmoiherhoodisevery-
whereihecoreofihesocialrelaiionshiofmoiherhood(Schemer
,o) . *
Likewise,iheIiieraiureongenderissensiiiveioihemanyways
i whichregnancyandchiIdhirihareconceiualizedandvaIued
indinerenisocieiiesandioihedinereniwaysinwhichiheaciivi-
iiessurroundingihemcanhesociaIlyorganized.Bui,iheconvic-
iionihaiihehiologicaldiference iniherolesofwomenandmenin
sexualreroduciionliesaiihecoreofiheculiuralorganizaiionof
genderersisisincomaraiiveanaIyses.Aswearguedinihere-
vious seciion, ihe anaIyiical oosiiions ofdomesiic/uhlic, na-
iure/culiure, andreroduciion/roduciionallheginwiihihisas-
*It is noteworthy that motherhood is the locus of many assumptions in feminist
writing as well as in the nonfeminist kinship literature. However, in the feminist
literature, the emphasis is more on the ways in which mothering constrains and
structures women's lives and psyches (for example, Chodorow 1979), whereas in
the nonfeminist kinship literature (for example, Fortes 1969; Goodenough 1970;
Schefer 1974), the emphasis is on the positive afect and bond that maternal nur
turance creates in domestic relationships.
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship
sumiionofdinerence.Likekinshiiheorisis,moreover,anaIysis
ofgenderhaveassumedihaisecificsocialconsequencesneces-
sariIyfolIowfromihisdinerenceheiweenmenandwomen.Forex-
amle,iheassumiionihaiwomenbear ihegreaierhurdenandre-
sonsihiliiyforhumanreroduciionervadesgendersiudies,in
ariicularihoseworksemloyingareroduciion/roduciiondis-
iinciion.Yei,ihisnoiionofienaearsiohemoreameiahoricaI
exiension ofouremhasis onihe faciihaiwomenbear children
ihanaconcIusionhased onsysiemaiiccomarisonofiheconiri-
huiionofmenandwomeniohumanreroduciion.Inoiherwords,
ihefaciihaiwomenhearchildrenandmendonoiisinierreiedas
creaiingauniversalrelaiionofhumanreroduciion.Accordingly,
wehaveheenmuchslowerioquesiioniheurorieduniversalsof
ihereroduciiverelaiionsofmenandwomenihanwehaveheen
ioquesiioniheurorieduniversalsofiheirroduciiverelaiions.
Forexamle, aswehaveshown, iniheliieraiureonwomenand
caiialisidevelomeni, women'snaiuraIhurdeninreroduciion
isviewedasconsirainingiheirroIeinroduciion,raiherihanseen
asiiselfshaedhyhisioricalchangesinihe organizaiionofro-
duciion.
TheceniraIiiyofsexuaIreroduciioninihedefiniiionofgender
isreeciedinihedisiinciionheiweensexandgenderihaihashe-
comeaconveniioninmuchofihefeminisiliieraiure.JudiihSha-
irosummarizesihedisiinciionheiweeniheiermsasfollows.
[T]hey serve a useful analytic purpose in contrasting a set of biological
facts with a set of cultural facts. Were I to be scrupulous in my use of terms,
I would use the term "sex" only when I was speaking of biological difer
ences between males and females, and use "gender" whenever I was re
ferring to the social, cultural, psychological constructs that are imposed
upon these biological diferences . . . . [G]ender . . . designates a set of cate
gories to which we can give the same label crosslinguistically, or cross
culturally, because they have some connection to sex diferences. These cate
gories are, however, conventional or arbitrary insofar as they are not
reducible to, or directly derivative of, natural, biological facts; they vary
from one language to another, one culture to another, in the way uwhich
they order experience and action" (1981: 449, italics ours).
Theaiiemiiosearaieihesiudyofgendercaiegoriesfromihe
hioIogicalfacisiowhichiheyareseenioheuniversallyconnecied
mirrors ihe aiiemi ofkinshi iheorisis reviewed hy Schneider
(8|) io searaie ihe siudyofkinshifromihe samehiologicaI
facis.Likeihelaiieraiiemi, ihisoneseems doomediofail,he-
| Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishbure Collier
cause ii ioo siaris from a definiiion ofiis suhjecimaiier ihai is
rooiedinihosehioIogicalfacis.Iiisimossihle,ofcourse,ioknow
whaigenderorkinshiwouIdmeanifiheyareioheeniirelydis-
conneciedfromsexandhioIogicalreroduciion.Wehavenochoice
huiioheginourinvesiigaiionsofoiherswiihourownconceis.
Bui,wecanunackihecuIiuralassumiionsemhodiedinihem,
whichIimiiourcaaciiyioundersiandsocialsysiemsinformedhy
oihercuIiuralassumiions.
AIihoughgenderandkinshisiudiessiarifromwhaiarecon-
sirued as ihe same hioIogicaIfacis of sexuaIreroduciion, ihey
mighiaearioheheadedindiuereni analyiicaI direciions.kin-
shiioihesocialcharacierofgenealogicaIreIaiionsandgenderio
ihe sociaI characier of male-femaIe relaiions (and even io maIe-
maIe relaiions and female-female reIaiions). However, hecause
hoihhuildiheirexlanaiionsofihesocialrighisandduiiesandihe
reIaiions ofequaIiiy andinequaliiyamongeoIeonihese re-
sumahlynaiuraIcharacierisiics,hoihreiainihelegacyofiheirhe-
ginnings in noiions ahoui the same natural diferences heiween
eole.Consequenily,whaihaveheenconceiuaIizedasiwodis-
creie,ifinierconnecied,fieldsofsiudyconsiiiuieasinglefield.
Ourrealizaiionofiheuniiaryconsiiiuiionofgenderandkinshi
asioicsofsiudyshouIdmakeuswaryofireaiingihemasdisiinci
anaIyiicalrohlems. AsSchneider(8|.,)oinisoui,ariofihe
conveniionalwisdomofkinshihasheeniheideaihaikinshi
formsasysiemihaicanheireaiedasadisiinciinsiiiuiionordo-
main. Like economics, oIiiics, and reIigion, kinshi has
heenosiiedasoneofihefundamenialhuiIdinghIocksofsocieiy
hyanihroologisis (Schneider 8|.8). *Aiihe sameiime, nei-
ihershouIdweassumeihaiinaIlsocieiieskinshicreaiesgender
orihaigendercreaieskinshi.AIihoughiheiwomayhemuiualIy
consiiiuiedas ioics ofsiudyhyour socieiy, ihis does noimean
iheyarelinkedinihesamewayinalIsocieiies.Insiead,asweshaII
suggesihelow,weshouldseekraiherihanassumeknowledgeof
ihesocialIysignificanidomainsofrelaiionsinanyariicularsoci-
eiy andwhai consiiiuies ihem. Having rejecied ihe noiion ihai
*Schneider attributes this to the mid-nineteenth-century attempt by anthropol
ogists to establish the history or development of civilization as this was embodied
in European culture, and to the notion that development proceeded from the sim
ple to the complex, from the undiferentiated to the diferentiated. To the extent that
kinship, economics, politics, and religion were undiferentiated, a society was
"primitive," "simple," or "simpler."
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship
ihereareresociaI,universaldomainsofsocialreIaiions, suchasa
domesiicdomainandauhlicdomain,akinshidomainandao-
liiicaldomain,we musiaskwhaisymholicand sociaIrocesses
makeihesedomainsaearseIf-evideni,anderhasevennai-
uraI,fieldsofaciiviiyinanysocieiy(seeComaronihisvolume) .
Transcending Dichotomies: A Focus on Social Wholes
UndersiandingihefoIkmodel ofhumanreroduciionunder-
lyingiheanalyiicalcaiegoriesanddichoiomies-exliciiandim-
Iicii-ihaihavedominaiedhoihgenderandkinshisiudiesisihe
firsisieiowardiranscendingihem. Thenexisieisiomovehe-
yondihedichoiomieshyfocusingonsocialwholes. Insieadofask-
inghowihecaiegoriesofmaIeandfemaleareendowedwiih
culiurallysecificcharaciers, ihusiakingihe diuerenceheiween
ihemforgranied,weneedioaskhowariicularsocieiiesdefine
diuerence. Insiead of asking how righis and ohIigaiions are
maedoniokinshihonds,ihusassumingihegeneaIogicalgrid,
weneedioaskhowsecificsocieiiesrecognizecIaimsandaIIocaie
resonsihiliiies. Ourahiliiyioundersiandsocialwholes,however,
is Iimiied hyanoiheranalyiicconcei-ihaiofegaIiiarian soci-
eiy -which,asusedhymanyfeminisisandMarxisis,onceagain
hearsihelegacyofourfolknoiionofdiuerence.
Questioning the Concept of "Egalitarian Society"
Anihroologisishaveusediheconceiofegaliiariansocieiyin
iwo,somewhaiconiradiciory,ways.MorionFriedcoinediheierm
iodenoieaariicularformoforganizinginequaliiy. Givenhisas-
sumiionihaiequaIiiyisasocialimossihiliiy(,.a),hede-
finesanegaIiiariansocieiy asoneinwhichihereareasmany
osiiionsofresiigeinanygivenage-sexgradeasihereareersons
caahleoffiIlingihem(,.) .NoialIeoIeachievevaluedo-
siiions.Fried,forexamIe,wriiesihaimeninsuchsocieiiesdis-
layaconsiderahIedriveioachieveariiy, oraileasiioesiahlisha
siaiusihaiannounces'don'ifoolwiihme'(,.,). Heihusre-
vealsihaisomemenfail,whereaswomenandyouihsneverhave
achanceio achieveariiy. GivenihaiFriedfocuses onihe or-
ganizaiionofinequaliiy,hisusageofiheiermegaliiariansocieiy
ismisleading.
InconirasiioFried,manyMarxisiandfeminisischoIarsuseihe
Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishbure Collier
conceiofegaliiariansocieiyiodenoiesocieiiesinwhicheole
areindeedequalinihesenseihaiiheydonoiexhihiiiheclass
andgenderinequaliiiescharacierisiicofancienisocieiiesandmod-
erncaiialism. Thesescholars define egaliiariansocieiieslessin
iermsoffeaiuresiheyossessihaniniermsoffeaiuresiheylack.
Inarguingihaiihegenderandclassinequaliiiesfamiliariousio-
dayandfromaccounisofiheasiareiheroduciofsecifichis-
ioricalrocesses,ihesescholarssuggesi,usuallyhydefauli, ihai
iheorganizaiionofgenderandroduciioninnonclasssocieiiesis
noi roducedhy hisiory. Consequenily, ihesocialcaiegories in
nonclasssocieiiesareseenasreeciingnaiuralhumanroensi-
iies,givenariicularenvironmenialcondiiions ( ]aggar8.,o).
Forexamle, Gough,inwriiingonTheOriginofiheFamily,
siaiesihaimarriageandsexualresiriciionsareraciicalarrange-
menisamonghuniersdesignedmainlyioserveeconomicandsur-
vivalneeds. Inihese socieiies, somekindofraihersiahleairing
hesiaccomlishesihedivisionoflahorandcooeraiionofmenand
womenandihecareofchildren(,.8) .Inihisassage,Gough
clearlyassumesiheexisienceofanaiuraldinerenceheiweenfe-
malesandmalesihaimusiheaccommodaiedihroughaariicular
formoforganizaiion-ihroughmarriageandsexualresiriciions-
forhumanreroduciioniohe successfullyaccomlished. When
wriiingahouicomlex, inegaliiarian socieiies, however, she oh-
servesihaimarriageandsexualresiriciionsreflecirulingclassef-
forisioereiuaieclassdominance.Insum,forGough,ihegahe-
iweennonclassandclasssocieiiesissunicienilywideiojusiifyihe
useofiwodisiinciiheoriesofsocieiy.inihecaseofiheformer, an
ecological-funciionalisiiheoryihaiorirays socialresiriciions as
raciical arrangemenis romoiing ihe colleciive good among
naiurallydinerenikindsofeole,andinihecaseofihelaiier, a
Marxisi-funciionalisiiheoryihaiorirayssocialresiriciionsashe-
gemonicarrangemenisromoiingiheself-inieresiofihedominani
grouamongsociallyconsiruciedcaiegoriesofeole.
Feminisisarguingagainsiiheuniversaliiyofsexualasymmeiry
arereseniIyihe mosiaciiveroonenis ofihe conceiofegali-
iariansocieiy. Noionlydoiheyhelieveihaisuchsocieiiesonceex-
isied, huiiheyconsiderihe concei ourmosieneciive rheiorical
siraiegy for esiahIishing ihaihiologyis noi desiiny (Sacks ,,
Sacks,,Leacock,8, Schlegel ,,,Caulfield8).Theyar-
gueihaiasseriionsofuniversalsexualasymmeiry-suchasihose
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship ,
hyRosaldo (,|), Oriner(,|), andFried (,)-legiiimize a
searchforhiologicalcauses.Consequenily,ioosiiiheexisienceof
sexuallyegaliiariansocieiies is io ohviaie suchasearchheforeii
hegins.
EleanorLeacock,inanimorianiariicleosiiingiheexisienceof
sexuallyegaliiariansocieiies(,8),arguesihaiWesiernohservers
havefailediorecognizesuchsocieiieshecauseiheirahiliiyioun-
dersiandegaliiarian socioeconomic relaiionsishinderedhycon-
ceis derivedfrom ihehierarchical siruciure of caiialism. The
iendencyioaiirihuieiohandsocieiiesiherelaiionsofowerand
roeriycharacierisiicofourownohscuresihequaliiaiivelydif-
ferenirelaiionsihaiohiainedwheniies ofeconomicdeendency
linkediheindividualdirecilywiihihegrouasawhole,whenuh-
licandrivaieshereswerenoidichoiomized,andwhendecisions
weremadehyandlargehyihosewhowouldhecarryingihemoui
(,8.a|,). Inariicular,Leacockcriiicizesouriendencyioinier-
reiasexualdivisionoflahorashierarchical-ourinahiliiyioimag-
ineihaimenandwomenwhododinereniihingsmighihesea-
raiehuiequal (,8.a|8) .
In seeking io counier anihroological accounis oriraying
womeninhandsocieiiesassuhordinaieiomen,Leacocksuggesis
ihai men and women were equally auionomous. Men and
womenmayhaveengagedindinereniaciiviiies,huiwomenheld
decisionmakingoweroveriheirownlivesand aciiviiiesioihe
sameexieniihaimendidoveriheirs'' (,8.a|,) . Leacockwriies
ihaisherefersiheierm'auionomy'io'equaliiy,'forequaliiycon-
noiesrighisandooriuniiysecificioclasssocieiyandconfuses
similariiywiihequiiy(,8.a|,) .
SuhsiiiuiingauionomyforequaIiiy,however, doesnoifree
Leacocknomiherohlemsinhereniinusingconceishasedonihe
hierarchicalsiruciureofourownsocieiy. '1uionomy,asusedin
ourculiuralsysiem,isnoianeuiralierm.AsSandraWaIlmanoh-
serves,inWesiernsocialscience,hehavioraldinerencesheiween
menandwomenhavegenerallyheenaiirihuiedeither ionaiural,
andiherefore,essentialdinerencesinhiology,hysiology,geneiics
or ioculiural,andihereforenon-esseniialimosiiions,iheforiui-
iousdemandsand/oraccidenisofasocialsysiemandihedialeciics
ofhisioryand/orihehumanmind(,8.a,iialicshers) .Inoiher
words, ourfolksysiemosiisihaihehavioraldinerencesnoiex-
lainedhyculiuremusihedueionaiure,andviceversa. Asare-
8 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
suIi,hycIaimingafreedomfromouisideconsirainis, auionomy
ineviiahlyinvokesnoiionsofhiologicaldesiiny.
Leacocksurelydidnoiiniendiooriraywomeninhandsocieiies
asaciingouiiheirhiologicaInaiureswheniheyengagedinwom-
en'swork. Buihyfailingioireaimenandwomen''asculiuraI
consirucisandinacceiingihedinerenceiniheiraciiviiies,Lea-
cocksuggesisihisosiiionhydefauli(seeSiraihern,8,Aikinson
8a).Leacock'snoiionof auionomycanhereadiniwoways,hui
neiiheravoidsiheimlicaiionofhiologicaldesiiny.Ifweinierrei
hersiaiemeniihaiwomenhelddecisionmakingoweroveriheir
ownIivesandaciiviiiesiomeanihaiwomencouIddecide whai
iheywanied io do, ihenwe are facedwiih ihe quesiionofwhy
womenall decided io dowomen's iasksraiherihandoingwhai
mendid.Whydidwomennoidecide,likegoodMarxisis,iohuni
in ihemorning,fishinihe afienoon, rearcaiileinihe evening,
[and] criiicize afierdinner (Marxand Engels ,o.)?The oh-
viousanswer,givenLeacock'sfaiIureioinvesiigaieihesociaIand
cuIiuraIfaciorsshaingwomen'sdecisions,isihaiwomennaiu-
raIlywaniediodowomen'siasks,jusiasmennaiuraIlywanied
iodomen'siasks. IfweadoianaliernaiivereadingofLeacock's
siaiemeniandconcludeihaiwomenhelddecisionmakingower
overiheirownIives andaciiviiies only io ihe same exieniihai
mendidoveriheirs,wearelefiwiihihequesiionofwhaiiimeans
iohavedecisionmakingoweroverone'sownlife.Inihisread-
ing,womenandmenaearequaIlyconsirainedioiakeuonly
sex-aroriaie iasks. Bui ihe social and symholic raciices
ihroughwhichiheyareconsirainedarenoidiscussed,suggesiing,
againhydefauli,anaiuraldivisionoflahorhysex.
Insummary,howeverusefuliheconceiofegaliiariansocieiy
mayhefordenaiuralizinggenderinclasssocieiies,iiraisesmany
ofiherohlemsweencounieredinourdiscussionofiheanalyiic
dichoiomies of domesiic/uhlic, naiure/culiure, and reroduc-
iion/roduciion.ByosiiingaasiEdeninwhichwomenandmen
were auionomous,weassumereculiural,naiuraldinerencesas
ihehasesforihesexuaIdivisionoflahor.
Analyzing Social Wholes: Meanings, Models, and History
Given our iendency io reinveni ihe analyiic dichoiomies ihai
limiiourahiIiiyioundersiandgenderinourownandoihersoci-
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship
eiies,weneedanexliciisiraiegyforiranscendingihem.Theone
werooseinihisfinalseciionofiheaerresisoniheremise
ihai iherearenofacis,hiologicalorma ierial,ihaihavesocialcon-
sequencesandculiuralmeaningsinandofihemselves. Sexualin-
iercourse, regnancy, and ariuriiion are culiural facis, whose
form,consequences,andmeaningsaresociallyconsiruciedinany
socieiy, asaremoihering, faihering, judging, ruIing, andialking
wiihihegods. Similarly, iherearenomaierial facis ihaicanhe
ireaiedasreculiuralgivens. Theconsequencesandmeaningsof
forcearesocialIyconsirucied,asareihoseofihemeansofroduc-
iionoriheresourcesuonwhicheoledeendforiheirliving.
Jusiaswerejecianalyiicdichoiomies, sowerejecianalyiicdo-
mains. We donoiassumeiheexisienceofagendersysiemhased
on naiuraI dinerences in sexual reroduciion, a kinshi sysiem
hasedonihegenealogicalgrid,aoliiyhasedonforce,oranecon-
omy hased on ihe roduciion and disirihuiion of needed re-
sources.Raiherihaniakeforgraniedihaisocieiiesareconsiiiuied
offunciionallyhasedinsiiiuiionaldomains,werooseioinves-
iigaieihesocialandsymholicrocesseshywhichhumanaciions
wiihin ariicular socialworlds come io haveconsequences and
meanings,includingiheiraareniorganizaiioninio seemingly
naiuralsocialdomains.
Weheginwiihiheremiseihaisocialsysiemsare,hydefiniiion,
sysiems ofinequaliiy. This remise hasihreeimmediaie advan-
iages.Firsi,iiconformsiocommonusage.Bymosidefiniiions,a
socieiyisasysiemofsocialrelaiionshisandvalues. Valueseniail
evaluaiion. Consequenily,asocieiyisasysiemofsocialrelaiion-
shisinwhichaIlihingsandaciionsarenoiequal. AsRaIfDah-
rendorf(8) noies, values ineviiahlycreaieinequaliiieshy en-
suring rewards for ihose who live u io vaIued ideals and
unishmenisforihosewho,foronereasonoranoiher,failiodoso.
Everysocieiyhasaresiigesiruciure,asOrinerandWhiiehead
(8)resume.Asysiemofvalues,however,isnoimale,andin
analyzinganyariicuIarsocieiy, wemusiaskwhyeoleaear
ioholdihevaluesiheydo.
Second, iheremiseihaiallsocieiiesaresysiemsofinequaIiiy
forcesusiosearaieihefrequenilyconfusedconceisofequaIiiy
(ihesiaieofheingequal)andjusiice(moralrighiness).Byresum-
ingihaialIsocieiiesaresysiemsofinequaIiiy, weareforcediose-
40 Sylvia ]unko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
araieihesiudyofourownandoihereole'scuIiuralsysiemsof
evaIuaiion from consideraiions ofwheiher or noi such sysiems
meeioursiandardsofhonorandfairness.
FinaIly, ihe remise ihaiallsocieiiesare sysiemsofinequaliiy
freesusfromhavingioimagineaworldwiihouisociallycreaiedin-
equiiies.Weihereforeavoidhavingioassumesocialconsequences
fornaiuraldinerences. IfweassumeihaialIsocieiiesaresysiems
ofinequaliiy, ihenwe,associalscieniisis,areforcedioexlainnoi
iheexisienceofinequaliiyiiselfhuiraiherwhyiiiakesihequali-
iaiivelydinereniformsiidoes.
IndefiningegaIiiariansocieiyouiofexisience,however,wedo
noirooseareiurnioihehyoihesisofwomen'suniversaIsuh-
ordinaiion.Raiher,iheremiseihaialIsocieiiesaresysiemsofin-
equaliiyforcesusiosecifywhaiwemeanhyinequaliiyineach
ariicuIarcase.Insieadofaskinghownaiuraldinerencesacquire
culiuralmeaningsandsociaIconsequences(asiraiegyihaidooms
usioreinveniingouranalyiicdichoiomies),aresumiionofin-
equaliiyforcesusioaskwhysomeaiirihuiesandcharacierisiicsof
eoIeareculiuraIlyrecognizedanddinereniiaIlyevaluaiedwhen
oihersare noi. Thisrequiresusioheginanyanalysishyasking,
Whaiareasocieiy'sculiuraIvaIues?Andwhaisocialrocessesor-
ganizeihedisirihuiionofresiige,ower,andrivilege?Wemay
findihaiinsome socieiies neiiher cuIiuralvaIuesnorsocialro-
cessesdiscriminaieheiweenihesexes(ihaiis,anongenderedsys-
iemofinequaliiy).BuiihisconcIusionmusifolIowfromananalysis
ofhowinequaliiyisorganized.
GivenourremiseihaisociaIsysiemsaresysiemsofinequaIiiy
werooseananalyiicalrogramwiihihreefaceis. These faceis
arearrangednoiinorderofiheoreiicaIimoriancehuiinihese-
quencewefeeIiheyshouldheemloyedinanyariicuIaranalysis.
Someresearchers,deendingoniheariicuIarquesiionoriyeof
socieiyihaiisiheioicofsiudy, mayfindanoihersequenceref-
erahIeormaychooseiofocusononefaceimoreihaniheoihers.
Bui,wesuggesi,noaiiemiioanalyzesocialwholescanroceed
veryfarwiihouiemIoyingaIlihree.
The Cultural Analysis of Meaning. Thefirsifaceiofourrogram
eniailsananaIysisofcuIiuraIsysiemsofmeanings.Secifically,we
musi hegin hy exlicaiing ihe cuIiural meanings eole realize
ihroughiheirraciiceofsociaIrelaiionshis.Raiherihanassume
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 4
ihaiihefundamenialuniisofgenderandkinshiineverysocieiy
aredefinedhyihedinerenceheiweenmalesandfemalesinsexual
reroduciion,weaskwhaiareihesociaIlymeaningfulcaiegories
eoIeemloyandencounierinsecificsocialconiexisandwhai
symhoIs and meaningsunderIie ihem. Jusi as Schneider (8)
quesiioned,raiherihaniookforgranied, ihemeaningsofhlood,
love, andsexualiniercourseinAmericankinshiandiheirinflu-
enceonihe consiruciionofcaiegoriesofrelaiives,sowehaveio
quesiionihemeaningsofgenes, love, sexualiniercourse,ower,
indeendence,andwhaievereIselaysinioihesymholicconsiruc-
iionofcaiegoriesofeoleinanyariicuIarsocieiy.Thisanalyiical
sianceiowardgenderiswellsummarizedinihefollowingsiaie-
menihy Orinerand Whiiehead. Gender, sexuaIiiy, andrero-
duciionareireaiedassymbols, invesiedwiihmeaninghyihesoci-
eiyinquesiion,asallsymholsare.Thearoachioiherohlemof
sexandgenderisihusamaiierofsymholicanalysisandinierre-
iaiion,amaiierofrelaiingsuchsymhoIsandmeaningsiooihercul-
iuraIsymholsandmeaningsoniheonehand,andioiheformsof
socialIifeandexerienceoniheoiher(8.-z).Byaiiendingio
ihe uhlicdiscourses ihroughwhich eoIe descrihe, inierrei,
evaluaie, make claims ahoui, and aiiemi io influence relaiion-
shisandevenis,wecanexiraciihereIaiivelysiahIesymhoIsand
meaningseoleemloyineverydaylife.
Thesesymholsandmeanings,aswillhesiressedinihenexisec-
iiononsysiemicmodelsofsocialinequaliiy, arealwaysevaluaiive.
Assuch,iheyencodeariiculardisirihuiionsofresiige, ower,
andrivilege. However, hecauseiheyarerealizedihroughsocial
raciice,iheyarenoisiaiic.Aswillhecomeaareniwhenwedis-
cussiheimorianceofhisioricalanaIysis,wedonoiassumecul-
iural sysiemsofmeaningiohe iimeless, self-ereiuaiing siruc-
iuresofiradiiion.Yei,evenwhenihemeaningsofcoresymhols
arechanging, wecanieaseaariiheirdinerenimeaningsinar-
iicularconiexisand,iherehy,heiierundersiandihesymholicro-
cessesinvoIvedinsocialchange(Yanagisako8,Yanagisakoihis
volume).
Oncewehaveinvesiigaiedihevariouswaysinwhichdinerence
isconceiuaIizedinoihersocieiies-includingwheiherandhow
sexandreroduciionlayinioiheconsiruciionofdinerencesihai
makeadinerence-wecanreiurnioexamineihehioIogicalmodel
ihaidefinesgenderinourownsocieiy. Inoiherwords,jusiasour
|a Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
quesiioningofihedomesiic/uhlicdichoiomyasihesiruciuralha-
sisforrelaiionsheiweenmenandwomeninoihersocieiieshasen-
couragedus ioquesiioniisanalyiicalusefulnessforourown so-
cieiy(Yanagisakoihisvolume),sowecanaskwhaiaconceiionof
genderasrooiedinhiologicaldinerencedoesanddoesnoiexlain
ahouirelaiionsheiweenmenandwomeninoursocieiy. Having
recognized ourmodel ofhiological dinerence as aariicuIarcul-
iuralmodeofihinkingahouirelaiionsheiweeneole,weshould
heahleioquesiionihehiologicalfacisofsexihemselves. Weex-
eciihaiourquesiioningofiheresumahlyhiologicalcoreofgen-
derwiIleveniuallyleadioiherejeciionofanydichoiomyheiween
sexandgenderashioIogicalandculiuralfacisandwilloenuihe
wayforananalysisofihesymholicandsocialrocesseshywhich
hoihareconsiruciedinrelaiionioeachoiher.
The culiural analysis ofmeaning, however, cannoiheisolaied
fromiheanaIysisofaiiernsofaciion.Wedonoiviewsysiemsof
meaningasideaiionaldeierminanisofsocialorganizaiionorasso-
luiions io universal rohlems of meaning andorder. Raiher, we
conceiualize ihe inierrelaied, hui noi necessarily consisieni,
meanings ofsociaIevenisandrelaiionshisashoihshaingand
heingshaedhyraciice. Ourrefusaliodichoiomizemaierialre-
laiionshis and meanings or io grani one or ihe oiher analyiic
rioriiyderivesfromourconceiualizaiionofraciiceandideasas
asecisofasinglerocess.
Systemic Models of Inequality. ldeasandaciionsareasecisofa
single dialeciical rocess, andwe undersiandihisrocesshyfo-
cusingonhowinequaliiyisorganized.Becauseweassumeihaicul-
iural conceiions are voiced in coniexis in which, among oiher
ihings,eolemakeclaims,rovideexlanaiions,iryioinuence
aciion,andcelehraieihequaliiiesiheyusewhencreaiingrelaiion-
shis, we undersiand culiural conceiions hyfocusingonwhai
claims mayhe made, whaiihings exlained, whaiaciionsinu-
enced,andwhairelaiionshisforged.lnorderioundersiandwhai
eoleialkahoui,wemusiaskwhaieolemaywaniorfearAnd
sowemusiundersiandhowinequaliiyisorganizedinanyariic-
ularsocieiy.
Thesecondfaceiofouranalyiicalsiraiegyihusrequiresihecon-
siruciionofsysiemicmodelsofinequaliiy. Thesemodelsareofa
ariiculariye.FollowingBourdieu(,,),weanalyzeasocialsys-
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship |
iemnoihyosiiinganunseen,iimeIesssiruciurehuiraiherhyask-
inghowordinaryeole,ursuingiheirownsuhjeciiveends, re-
alizeihesiruciuresofinequaliiyihaiconsirainiheirossihiliiies.
Thisiswhyihefirsifaceiofoursiraiegyrequiresananalysisofihe
commonsensemeaningsavailahleioeoleformoniioringandin-
ierreiingiheirownandoihers'aciions.Buiihisanalysisofmean-
ingmusihefolIowedhyananalysisofihe siruciuresihaieole
realize ihrough iheir aciions. Because we undersiand ihe com-
monsensemeaningsavailahleioeolenoihyosiiinganunseen,
iimeIesscuIiurehuiraiherhyexloringhoweole'sundersiand-
ingsofiheworIdare shaedhyiheirsiruciuredexeriences,we
musimovehackandforihheiweenananalysisofhowsiruciures
shaeeoIe'sexerienceandananalysisofhoweole,ihrough
iheiraciions,realizesiruciures.
AlihoughasysiemicmodelofinequaIiiymayheconsiruciedfor
anysocieiy, develoingaiyologyofmodelsaidsiniheanalysisof
ariicuIarcases.Iniheend,aswewiIldiscussinihenexiseciion,
each socieiy musi he analyzed in iis own, hisiorically secific
ierms,huiaseiofidealiyicmodelshelsusioseeconneciionswe
mighioiherwise miss. All aiiemis ioundersiandoiherculiures
are,hyiheirnaiure,comaraiive.Iiisimossihleiodescriheaar-
iicular,uniquewayoflifewiihouiexliciilyorimliciilycomaring
iiioanoiher-usuallyiheanalysi'sownsocieiyorihesocieiyofihe
Ianguage ihe analysiis using. Since comarison isineviiahle, ii
seemsmoreroduciiveiohaveaseiofmodelsavailahleforihink-
ingahouisimilariiiesandconirasisihaniohavehuiourselvesasa
singleimliciiorexliciisiandardofcomarison.
Insuggesiingihaiweneediodeveloseveralidealiyicmodels,
weechoihosefeminisiswhosimilarlyadvocaiedeveloingaiy-
oIogyofsocieiiesio aid in iheanaIysisofariicular cases (see
EiienneandLeacock8o).Wemaydefinesocialsysiemsassys-
iems ofinequaIiiy, huilikefeminisiswho osiiiheexisience of
egaliiariansocieiies,werecognizeihaiourahiliiyioundersiand
sociaIrelaiionsinoihersocieiiesishinderedhyouriendencyio
aiirihuieio[oihers]iherelaiionsofowerandroeriycharacier-
isiicofourown (Leacock,8.a|,), evenasourhierarchicaIdi-
vision oflahormakesiidiniculi for us ioimagine ihaimen and
womenwhododinereniihingsmighineverihelesshe searaie
huiequal (Sacks ,).Weihusagreewiihfeminisiswho osii
|| Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
iheexisienceofegaliiariansocieiiesihaiweneedmodelscaahle
ofdisiinguishingamongqualiiaiivelydinereniformsofsocialhier-
archy.
Inseekingio develo suchmodels, however, we do noi view
eiiher iechnology or socially organized access io roduciive re-
sourcesas deierminingiraiis (see Collier and Rosaldo 8.8,
CoIIierihisvolume,Colliern. d. ). Givenourassumiionihainohi-
ologicalormaierialfacihassocialconsequencesinandofiiself,
wecannoiheginhyassumingihedeierminingcharacierofeiiher
iheforcesorrelaiionsofroduciion. We ihereforedonoiclassify
socieiies according io iechnologies-such as foraging, horiicul-
iure, agriculiure, asioralism, andindusiry(forexamle,Mariin
andVoorhies,)-oraccordingiosocialrelaiionsgoverningac-
cess io resources-such as egaliiarian, ranked, and siraiified
(EiienneandLeacock8o)orcommunal,cororaiekin,andclass
(Sacks,).
Anexamleofihekindofmodelofinequaliiyweareroosing
isJaneCollierandMichelleRosaldo'sidealiyicmodelofhride-
service socieiies (8). The classificaiion scheme emloyed in
ihisessayandoihers(ColIier8|,Collierihisvolume,Colliern.d. )
usesmarriageiransaciionierms-hrideservice,equalorsiandard
hridewealih, and unequal orvariahlehridewealih-as lahels for
sysiemic models, ireaiing marriage iransaciions noi as deiermi-
nanisofsocialorganizaiionorideashuiraiherasmomeniswhen
raciiceandmeaningarenegoiiaiediogeiher. Marriagenegoiia-
iionsaremomenisofsysiemicreroduciion (seeComaronihis
volume)inihosesocieiiesinwhichkinshiaearsioorganize
eole'srighisandohligaiionsrelaiiveiooihers.Socieiieswiihdif-
ferenihasesoforganizaiionwiIlhavedinerenimomenisofsys-
iemicreroduciion.
Jusiaswedonoiosiideierminingiraiis,soihekindofunder-
siandingwe seekisnoilinear. Raiher,iheiyeofmodelwero-
oseiracescomlexrelaiionshisheiweenasecisofwhai-using
conveniionalanalyiicalcaiegories-wemighicallgender,kinshi,
economy, oliiy, andreligion.Therincialviriueofsuchmodels
isihaiiheyrovideinsighisinioiheculiuralmeaningsandsocial
consequencesofaciions,evenis,andeole'saiirihuieshyiracing
iherocesseshywhichiheseelemenisarerealized. Suchsysiemic
models rivilege no domains over oihers. Unlike Oriner and
Whiiehead,whoadvocaieafocusonmaleresiige-orieniedac-
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship |
iionasihekeyioundersiandinggenderrelaiionsinanysocieiy
(8.ao), wesuggesiihairesiigesysiemsalsoneedexlana-
iion.Whenmen,forexamle,ialkasifmaleresiigeisgeneraied
ihroughaciiviiiesihaidonoiinvolverelaiionswiihwomen, such
ashuniingandwarfare,weaskwhymenmake suchsiaiemenis
andwhaisocialrocessesmakeihemaearreasonahle.Ahride-
servicemodelsuggesisihai-aileasiinsocieiiesofforagersand
hunier-horiiculiuralisis-eolecelehraieManiheHuniernoi
hecausemaleresiigeisaciuallyhasedonhuniing,huiraiherhe-
causehuniingisarincialidiominwhichmenialkahouiiheir
claimsioihewiveswhosedailyservicesallowihemioenjoyihe
freedomofneverhavingioaskanyoneforanyihing(CoIlierand
Rosaldo8).
Becausesysiemicmodelssecifyiheconiexisinwhicheolear-
iiculaie ariicular concerns, such models can hel us io under-
siandiheaarenilyinconsisienimeaningswediscoverihrough
culiuralanalysis.Iniheiranalysisofhrideservicesocieiies,forex-
amle, Collier and Rosaldo (8)suggesiwhy male violence is
fearedevenasiiiscelehraied,whywomenwhoconirihuieasmuch
ormoreihanmenioihedieidonoiemhasizeiheireconomiccon-
irihuiionhuiraihersiressiheirsexualiiy, whyhachelorsarelazy
hunierswhensexisorirayedasihehunier'sreward,andwhyno-
iionsofdireci-exchangemarriagecoexisiwiihiheheliefihaimen
eaniheirwivesihroughfeaisofrowess.Sysiemicmodels,hyal-
lowingus ioundersiandsuchaareniinconsisiencies, rovide
iheanalyiicioolsnecessaryforovercomingourownculiuralhias
iowardconsisiency. Onceweundersiandihaiforceishoihfeared
andcelehraied,forexamle,ihenwearenolongeriemiedioig-
noreoneaseciorchoosewhichoneismoreemiricallyvalid.
Alihoughmodelsrovideconceiualioolsforanalyzingsocial
andculiuralsysiems,ihey,likeiheculiuralanalysisofmeaning,
arehuionefaceiofoursiraiegy. Ifouraimisio undersiandreal
eole, model huilding can never he an end in iiself. Because
modelsarenecessarilyahsiraci, ioihedegreeihaiwe succeedin
huiIdingasysiemicmodel,weceaseioilluminaieiheariiculari-
iies of any given hisiorical socieiy. Ii is noi, as has ofien heen
claimed,ihaisysiemicmodelsofihesoriweareroosingarein-
herenilysiaiic.Becauseihesemodelsresioniheassumiionihai
social siruciures arereaIizedand culiuralconceiionsvoicedhy
eoleursuingiheirownsuhjeciiveendsinsocialworldsofin-
| Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
equaliiy, comeiiiion, andconici, iheoieniialforchangeisin-
hereniineveryaciion.SysiemicmodeIsaearsiaiic,however,he-
cau
.
se
.
iheyaredesignedioansweriheunsiaiedquesiionofwhy
socieuesaeario changeasliiileasiheydogiveniheconsiani
ossihiIiiy of change. Models ihus iend io reveal how ihose in
oweruseiheirowerioreserveiheirosiiionsofrivilege.
Historical Analysis. Theihirdfacei ofouranalyiical siraiegyis
moiivaiedhyourheliefihaichangeisossihleinalIsociaIsysiems,
regardlessofiheirariicularconfiguraiionofinequaliiy. We ihus
needanexliciisiraiegyiocounierhalanceiheemhasisonsocial
reroduciioninoursysiemicmodels,soihaiwecanseehowsocial
sysiemschangeand,aiihesameiime,heiierundersiandihero-
cessesihaienahIeihemioremainrelaiivelysiahleoveriime.Ahis-
ioricaIanalysisihaiinierreiscurreniideasandraciiceswiihin
iheconiexiofiheunfoldingsequenceofaciionandmeaningihai
hasledioihemrovidesihishalance. Suchananalysishroadens
iheiemoraIrangeofouranalysisofsocialwhoIeshyaskinghow
herconneciionwiihiheasiconsirainsandshaesiheirdynam-
icsH ihereseni, wheiherihaiconneciionisoneofrelaiivecon-
iinuiiyorofradicaldisjunciion.Inoiherwords,whereashisiorical
analysisisofcriiicalimorianceforundersianding socieiies and
communiiies ihai are undergoing dramaiic iransformaiions (for
examle,Sahlins8,Yanagisako8,Collier8),iiisofnoless
imorianceforundersiandingsocieiiescharacierizedhyseeming
social and culiural coniinuiiy (R. Rosaldo 8o). For, givenihai
changeisinhereniinsocialaciion,ihereroduciionofsocialsys-
iemsrequiresnolessexlanaiionihandoesiheiriransformaiion.
Thekindofhisioricalaroachweareroosingwillenrichour
culiuralanalysisofmeaninghyhroadeningiherangeofsymhols,
meanings,andraciicesiowhichwerelaieconceisofvaIueand
dinerence. Ourroosaliolinkhisioricalanalysiswiihsymholic
analysisresisoniheremiseihaiwecannoicomrehendreseni
discourseandaciionwiihouiundersiandingiheirrelaiionioasi
discourse and aciion (Yanagisako 8) . The relevani coniexiof
secificculiuralelemenis,suchasmarriage,moiher,hIood,
orsemen,isnoiIimiiediocurreniraciicesandmeanings,hui
includesasiraciicesandiheirsymholicmeanings.Forexamle,
ihemeaningsofequaIiiy,duiy, andloveiniheconjugalre-
laiionshimayhe shaedhyiheasicharacierofconjugalrela-
j

Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 47


iionshisasweIlasiheirresenionesandhyihewayinwhichasi
and reseni are symhoIically linked (Yanagisako ihis volume) .
Likewise,ihemeaningofagnaiiciiesaianyoneeriodmayhe
shaedhyiheusesiowhichsuchiieswerereviouslyui(Com-
aronihisvoIume).Alliheseanalysesargueihaiwemusiknowihe
dialeciical,hisioricalrocessesihroughwhichraciicesandmean-
ingshaveunfoldedifweareioundersiandhowiheyoeraieinihe
reseni.
Similarly, groundingouranalysisofsocialwholesandfashion-
ingoursysiemicmodelsofinequaliiywiihinariicularhisiorical
sequenceswiIlenahleusioseehowihedynamicsofasiaciions
and ideas have creaied siruciures in ihe reseni. Relaiionshis
suggesiedhyoursysiemicmodelscanheiesiedinadynamiccon-
exiand,ifnecessary,modifiedorrefined. Byiakingsuchahisior-
icaIerseciiveoniheconsiiiuiionofsocialwholes,weavoidas-
sumingihairesenisysiemsofinequaliiyareiheiimelessroducis
ofideniicalasis,insiead,wequesiionwheiherandhowihesesys-
iemsdeveloedouiofdissimiIarasis(LindenhaumihisvoIume,
SmiihihisvoIume).Wecanseehowasecisofideasandraciices,
whichin our sysiemicmodels seem io reinforce andreroduce
eachoiher,alsoundermineanddesiahilizeeachoiher.
AhisioricaIerseciivealsohighlighisiheinieraciionofideas
andraciicesasdialeciical,ongoingrocessesandsoavoidsiheie-
IeoIogical heni of ihose models ihai seek a singIe deierminani,
wheihermaieriaIorideaiional,forsocialreroduciion.Agoodex-
amleofhowhisioricalanalysiscanhelusiranscendihedicho-
iomizaiionofideasandraciicescanheseeniniheanihroologicaI
hieraiure on ihe sexual division of lahor. As ]ane Guyer (8o)
noies,muchofihisliieraiurehasiendedioemhasizeeiiherihe
maierial,iechnologicaldeierminanisofihesexualdivisionofIahor
oriisculiural,ideaiionaldeierminanis.Yei,sheoinisoui,ihedi
visionoflahor is, like allfundamenialinsiiiuiions, muliifaceied.
Wiihinanyariicularsocieiy,iiisaniniegralariofiheideological
y
.
siem,economicorganizaiion,dailyfamiIylife,andofieniheo-
hucaIsiruciureaswell. . . . Inanyonecase,alIihesedimensions
reinforceeachoiher,soihaiihecurrenisiruciureseemshoihheav-
ilyoverdeierminedanduliimaielymysierioussinceiiisdiniculiio
assignweighiioanyonefacioroveranoiher(8o.).
Guyer'scomaraiiveanalysisofhisioricaldeveIomenisinihe
sexualdivisionofIahorandorganizaiionofroduciioniniwoAf-
48 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
ricansocieiiesonersausefulaliernaiiveiounidimensionalviewsof
ihedivisionoflahor.Sheshowshowihedevelomeniofcocoaas
acashcroiniwosocieiiesiniiiallycharacierizedhydinerenisex-
ual divisions of lahor and organizaiions of roduciion hroughi
ahouidinerenichanges in ihese and oiher asecis of social or-
ganizaiion.
Finally,ioreiurnioiheheginningofihisessay,hisioricalanalysis
canhelusioiranscendiheanalyiicaldichoiomiesanddomains
ihaiwehavearguedhavelaguedgenderandkinshisiudies.His-
ioricalsiudies(seeComaron, Lindenhaum,Maher,Ra, Smiih,
and Yanagisako ihis volume) reveal how seemingly universal,
iimelessdomainsofsocialsiruciurearecreaiedandiransformedin
ariiculariimesandlaces.
Conclusion
Aiiheheginningofihisessay,wesuggesiedihaifeminism'snexi
conirihuiionioihesiudyofgenderandkinshishouldheio ques-
iionihedinerenceheiweenwomenandmen.Wedonoidouhiihai
menandwomenare dinereni, jusiasindividuals diner, genera-
iionsdiner,racesdiner,andsoforih.Raiher,wequesiionwheiher
ihe ariicularhiological dinerence in reroduciive funciion ihai
ourculiuredefinesasihehasisofdinerenceheiweenmalesandfe-
males, andsoireais asihe hasis ofiheirrelaiionshi, isusedhy
oiher socieiies io consiiiuie ihe culiural caiegories ofmale and
female.
Pasifeminisiquesiionshaveledioiheoeninguofnewareas
for invesiigaiion, even as such invesiigaiions have raised new
rohlems and quesiions. By douhiingihe common assumiion
ihaisexandagearenaiuralhasesforihedinereniialallocaiionof
socialrighisandduiies,feminisischolarsavedihewayforsiudies
ofihesocialrocessesihaigraniedmenresiigeandauihoriiyover
womenandchildren.Yeifeminisis'aiiemisiorovidesocialex-
lanaiions for erceived universal sexual asymmeiry used ihe
analyiic dichoiomies of domesiic/uhlic and naiure/culiure ihai
ihemselveshecamerohlemaiic.
Douhisconcerningiheanalyiicuiiliiyandculiuraluniversaliiy
ofihesedichoiomiesled, iniurn, iosiudiesofihe socialandcul-
iuralrocesseshywhichihe caiegories ofmasculiniiyandfemi-
niniiyareconsiiiuiedinariiculariimesandlaces.Yei,aswehave
/
Toward a Unified Analysis of Gender and Kinship 49
suggesied,someofihesesiudiesraisedanewseiofquesiions.Ai-
iemisiorelaceiheinherenilygendereddichoiomiesofdomes-
iic/uhlicandnaiure/culiurewiihihedisiinciionheiweenrero-
duciion and roduciion, and ihe osiiing of male resiige
sysiems,haverevealedouriendencyiorediscovergendereddi-
choiomies. Similarly,aiiemisioargueihaimenandwomenhave
noieverywhereandaialliimesheenunequalhavegivenriseioihe
concei of egaliiarian socieiy, a concei ihai, if noi comle-
meniedhyaculiuralanalysisofersonhood,imlies,hydefauli,a
naiuralhasisforsexualdivisionsoflahor.
Now,wesuggesi,ourrohlemofconiinuallyrediscoveringgen-
deredcaiegoriescanheovercomehycallinginioquesiioniheuni-
versaliiyofourculiuralassumiionsahouiihedinerenceheiween
malesandfemales. Boihgenderandkinshisiudies,wesuggesi,
havefounderedoniheunquesiionedassumiionihaiihehiolog-
icallygivendinerenceiniherolesofmenandwomeninsexualre-
roduciionliesaiihecoreofiheculiuralorganizaiionofgender,
evenasiiconsiiiuiesihe genealogicalgridaiihe coreofkinshi
siudies.Onlyhycallingihisassumiioninioquesiioncanwehegin
ioaskhowoiherculiuresmighiundersiandihedinerenceheiween
women and men, and simulianeouslymake ossihle siudies of
howourownculiurecomesiofocusoncoiiusandariuriiionasthe
momenisconsiiiuiingmasculiniiyandfemininiiy.
Iiisnoienoughioquesiioniheuniversaliiyandanalyiicuiiliiy
ofourimliciiassumiionsahouisexdinerences. Raiher,weneed
secific siraiegies iohel us overcome ouriendencyioreinveni
genderedanalyiicdichoiomies. lnihisessay, we havearguedfor
ihe need io analyze social wholes and have roosed a ihree-
faceiedaroachioihisrojeci.iheexlicaiionofculiuralmean-
ings,iheconsiruciionofmodelssecifyingihedialeciicalrelaiion-
shiheiweenraciiceandideasin ihe consiiiuiionofsocialine-
qualiiies, andihehisioricalanalysisofconiinuiiiesandchanges.
Thecommiimeniioanalyzingsocialwholesisonewesharewiih
alliheconirihuiorsioihisvolume.Noieveryonemighiagreewiih
ourquesiioningofihedinerenceheiweenwomenandmen,orwiih
ourihree-faceiedaroachioanalyzingsocialwholes,forwefor-
mulaiedhoihnoiionsafieriheconference.Neveriheless,wehe-
lieveihaiihisvolumerovidesagoodillusiraiionofiheinsighisio
hegainedfromacommiimeniioholisiicanalysis.
Finally,wehavenoillusionsihaiihesiraiegyweroosewillre-
50 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako and Jane Fishburne Collier
solvealliheissueswehaveraised.Weknowihaiwe,ioo,cannever
hefreefromihefolkmodelsofourownculiure,andihaiinques-
iioningsomefolkconceiswerivilegeoihers.Weexeciihaiihe
siudieswehoeiogeneraiehyquesiioningihedinerenceheiween
women andmenwilI, in iime, revealiheir ownrohlemaiicas-
sumiions. Thesewillgeneraienewquesiionsihaiwill, iniurn,
giveriseionewsiraiegiesandnewsoIuiions.
)
Part One
The Transformation of
Cultural Domains
)
Sui genderis: Feminism, Kinship
Theory, and Structural "Domains"
John L. Comarof
TheclassicaldisiinciionheiweenihedomesiicandoIiiico-jural
domainshasloomedlargeinfeminisicriiiquesofesiahlishedan-
ihrooIogicalconceisandcaiegories. Buiiihasdonesoinmany
dinereniways, someofihemmuiuallyconiradiciory. Aioneex-
ireme,aneniiresocioIogyofgenderrelaiionshasheenhuilionihe
aIleged universaliiy of ihis disiinciion (Ra ,.o8n). Aiihe
oiher,iihasheenrejeciedoniwoquiiedinerenicounis.eiiherihai
iheformofihedomesiicandoliiico-juralsheresvarieswideIy
across culiures (for examIe, Rogers ,, Quinn ,,, Rosaldo
8o),orihaiiheirveryexisienceisafigmeniofWesiencaiiaIisi
ideology(forexamle,NashandLeacock,,) . CIearly,suchdif-
ferencesIiehehindanumherofconiroversiesinwomen'ssiudies,
fromiheoreiicaldiscussionsofiheuniversalfaciofsexualasym-
meiryiodehaiesoverihenaiureoffemaIeowerinsecificsocial
sysiems. *
TherohlemofsiruciuraldomainsisequalIysignificaniinihe
asiandfuiureofanihroologyailargeandiniheanalysisoffam-
ilyandkinshiinariicular.Thedisiinciionheiweenihedomesiic
andoliiico-jural,iherivaieanduhlic,isusuaIlyassociaiedwiih
Fories's orirayaI of iradiiional socieiy (for examle, Fories
),huiiiaearsihroughouiWesiernsocialiheory.Moreover,
iheiendencyiovieweconomyandsocieiyasconsisiinginaseries
ofdichoiomoussheresisascommoninWesiernfolkmodelsas
iiisinihesocialsciences.Thereisanalreadylargeandvariedhody
ofcriiicismdireciedaiihenoiionihaisocialorganizaiionisevery-
*Various drafts of this chapter have been read by Jane Collier, Jean Coraro,
Kathleen Hall, Jean Lave, Carol Nagengast, and Terence Turer. I wish to thank
them for their valuable critical comment.
| John L. Comarof
whereahaIance . . . heiweeniheoIiiicaIorder . . . andihefa-
miIiaI or domesiicorder, . . . a haIance heiween oIiiy and kin-
shi(Fories,8.|n).SomeargueIessahouiiheexisienceofihe
domains ihan ahoui iheir diversiiy, oihers asseri ihai, far from
heingasiruciuraIgiven,ihesesheresareasecifichisioricaIrod-
uciihaidemandsexIanaiion(seeYanagisako,).
Givenihesignificance ofihe disiinciionheiweeniheiwo do-
mainsforhoihfeminisischoIarshiandkinshiiheory, iiisusefuI
ioexamine()ihecriiiquesofihedisiinciioniiseIfandiheimages
ofsocieiyhuiIiuonii,(a)enorisioreviseorrejeciiieniireIy, and
()ihegeneraIimIicaiionsofsuchenorisforiheanaIysisofgender
andkinshi,economyandsocieiy.How,insum,doesiherohIem
ofsiruciuraIdomainssiandiohereihoughisui genderis?
II
OneofiheearIiesiiheoreiicaIconcernsinfeminisiwriiingswas
iheuniversaIiiyofsexuaIasymmeiry.AsRogershasnoied,ihose
whosoughiioconfroniesiahIishedreconceiionswiihiniheaI-
ahIyandroceniricdisciIineofanihrooIogyseemediofaceahi-
nary choice. ioeIucidaieihe meanshywhichwomenhaveuni-
versaIIy'heendeniediheooriuniiyofiakingiheIead,'[or] . . .
iodemonsiraieihai . . . women(asacaiegory)arenoiuniversaIIy
suhordinaiedhymen(,8.a|) .ForihosewhosoughiioexIain,
insociocuIiuraIierms,whysexuaIasymmeiryisauniversaIfaci
ofhuman socieiies (RosaIdo ,|.aa), ihe domesiic/uhIic dis-
iinciionhecameairanscendeni,surahisioricaIrinciIeofsociaI
organizaiion. *NoionIywasihedivisionheiweenihesedomains
iaken as adescriiionof sociaI reaIiiy (Ra ,.o8), huiii
cameiosiandforanemhracingcIassofoosiiions,asifaIIwere
asecisofonesuer-dichoiomy.Thusiheconirasiheiweenihedo-
mesiicandoIiiico-juraIwasequaIIyoneheiweeninformaIiiyand
formaIiiy, naiureandcuIiure,rivaieanduhIic,famiIyandoI-
iiy-andfemaIeandmaIe.
IiisarguahIeihaiihisviewofsocieiywasIogicaIIyeniaiIedinihe
universaIasymmeiryihesis, aiIeasiasosiiedinihehookmosi
commonIyassociaiedwiihii, Woman, Culture, and Society. For, if
womenareassumedeverywhereiohe suhordinaiedas a category
hecauseofsociocuIiuraIraiher ihanhysicaIfacis, iifoIIows ihai
*See, for example, the essays of Michelle Rosaldo, Nancy Chodorow, and Sherry
Ortnerin Woman, Culture, and Society (1974), although Rosaldo (1980) later amended
her views.
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains"
ihegendershave ioheassigned io dinereni sheres, one domi-
naniandencomassing,iheoiherdominaiedandencomassed.
Hence,noionIymusiaIIsociaIordershecomehinarysysiems,hui
menm

si,yefiniiion,heassociaiedwiihiheoverarching,reg-
uIaiorymsniuuonsofsocieiy-iheoIiiico-juraI domain-whiIe
womenareIocaiedwiihiniisincororaieduniis, ihoseofihedo-
mesiicdomain.
IifoIIowsihaienorisiochaIIengeiheuniversaIasymmeiryihesis
wouId demandareexaminaiionoforihodoxanihrooIogicaIim-
agesofiheformandconieniofiheiwodomains. Suchenorishave
hynomeansheenuniform, however(Ra,.o8n). NoionIy
doiheyrefIeciiheiheoreiicaIdiversiiyinfeminisidiscourse,hui
iheyvary in ihe degree iowhich ihey exIiciiIy deari from re-
ceivedwisdom.
Siudiesaioneexiremeacceiihedomesiic/uhIicdisiinciionii-
seIfhui reconsider ihe suhsiance and funciionaI significance of
eachdomain.ForexamIe,Rogersdoesnoiconiesiiheirexisience,
nor doesshe disuieihe generaIassociaiionheiweeniheuhIic
shere and maIeness (,8.|). Raiher, she argues ihai ihe
meaningofiheuhIicsheremusiheradicaIIyrevised.Forin
domesic-

eniered communiiies, such as Euroean easaniries,


hefamiI
/
isihekey

conomic,oJiiicaI,andsociaIunii,andower
mih

nvaieseciorisofgreaiesiimori.Therearemanyvarianis
ofihisargumeni, usuaIIyhackedhysiudiesofeasanioriradi-
iionaIsocieiies
,
Thesesiudiesroveihaiihereisgreaidiversiiyin
househoIdreIaiions,andihaimanysociaIandmaieriaIfunciions
hiiherioaiirihuiediooIiiico-IegaIinsiiiuiionsmayoccurwiihin
ihedomesiicconiexi. Hence, asidefromiheirohviouscoroIIaries
foriheanaIysisofwomen'ssiaius(Quinn,,),ihesesiudiesne-
gaieiheremiseihaiihesuhsianceofsiruciuraIdomainsisuni-
versaIorhisioricaIIyinvariani.
TheyaIso raise anoiherrohIem, ihai of ihe reIaiionshi he-
iweenihedomains.AsTiIIynoies(,8.,),ihisreIaiionshiis
noiconsiani over iime andsace, she descrihes asusefuILam-
here'sverygeneraIihesis(,|)ihaiihedomesiicanduhIicsec-
iorsdineriniheirdegreeofoverIaorsegregaiion.InevaIuaiing
iheeihn

grahyofiheMiddIeEasi,NeIsonexiendsihesameoini
hydrawmgihe (now commonIace) inference ihaiihe received
conirasiheiweenihedomainsisanunwarraniedimosiiionofihe
caiegoriesofWesiernsociaIscience(,|.a) .Evidenceof ihefaci
John L. Comarof
ihaiwomenofienexerciseuhlicowerandiransacirelaiionshe-
iweenhouseholds leads her io ihree conclusions. firsi, ihaiihe
iaken-for-graniedassociaiionofwomenwiihiherivaie/informal/
domesiicandmenwiihiheuhlic/formal/oliiicalisfalse,second,
ihaiihemeiahoricuseofrivaieiodescriheihedomesiicand
uhliciodescriheiheoliiicalisihusmisleading,and,ihird,ihai
ihedomains,heingariiculaiedhyiheurosiveaciionofwomen,
iake on iheir social conieni hy viriue of iheir inierrelaiionshi.
Noneiheless, alihough Nelson challenges ihe uhlic/rivaie di-
choiomyashoihsociologicalconceiandculiurallyrelevanidis-
iinciion,likeTillyshedoesnoidenyiheexisienceofihesheres
ihemselves.
Ayeimoreradicalreformulaiionofiherohlemhasiiihaiihe
uhlicsecior emerges onlyasanouicomeofdomesiicandinier-
householdrelaiions(Jayawardena,,,Sudarkasa,).Thisres-
onaieswiihihemoregeneralargumeniihaiiheexisienceofihedo-
mainscannoiheresumedfromihefirsi.Forexamle,inhunier-
gaiherersocieiiesihere simlyisno disiinciionheiween ihe do-
mesiicanduhlic,ihaidisiinciionmusi,iherefore,heiheroduci
ofsomehisioricaliransformaiion. ForDraer(,),whoiscon-
cernedwiihBushmen,iiissedeniarizaiion,whichleadsioihecre-
aiionofhouseholdsdiuereniiaiedhymaierialinieresis.Foroihers,
ii is ihe develomeni of agriculiure (Boseru ,o, Mariin and
Voorhies,),hasienedhyiheiniroduciionofcashcroingand
wagelahorundercolonialism.
AmorecomlexargumeniisrooundedhySacks(,)and
Reiier(,). AccordingioSacks'sanalysisofAfricanresiaiesys-
iems, domesiicanduhlicsiaiusesdeendonroeriyandro-
duciiverelaiions, huiihedisiinciionheiweendomainsisnoies-
ecially marked. Wiih ihe rise of siaies and ihe formaiion of
classes,asrulingcadrescomeioexroriaiesurluses,ihesea-
raiionofdomesiicanduhlicseciorshecomesanenduringfeaiure
ofihesocialorder.Theformer,ineueci,hecomesiherivaielo-
cusofihereroduciionandsusienanceoflahorower,ihelaiier,
iheconduiialongwhichsurlusvalueflowsandisregulaied. Rei-
ier(,)alsoaiirihuiesiheemergenceofiheiwo sheresioihe
riseofsiaiesandiheconcomiianidislacemeniofformerkinshi
funciions. Under indusirial caiialism ihe disiinciion is shar-
ened,foriheiniegriiyofihenuclearfamily,likeihesegregaiionof
homeandworklace,isceniralioiisideology.Inalaieressay,Rei-
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" ,
iernoiesagainihaiihedisiinciionisrimarilyideological. More-
over, ideologiesareowerfulculiuralsiaiemeniswhichsimulia-
neouslymaskandrevealconiradiciionsihaigrowouiofnecessary
roduciive socialrelaiions. . . . Suchconiradiciionsare[noi]uni-
versalheiweendomesiicanduhlicdomains.Raiher,iheyarecre-
aiedinhisioricallysecificiimesandlaceswhen resource rela-
iions heiween households and large oliiico-economic arenas
hecomerohlemaiic(Ra,.o).
lnsum, criiicsofihe classical conceiionofihe domesiicand
oliiico-juraldomainsfallalong aconiinuum. ihose who recon-
siderihesuhsianceandfunciionsofihedomains, wiihouiques-
iioningiheirsociologicalrealiiyoriherelaiionshiheiweenihem,
ihosewhoacknowledgeiheexisienceofihesedomains,huisiress
ihevariahiliiyofiheirinierconneciion,andihosewhoviewiheir
emergence asanhisioricallysecific henomenon, ofien arising
fromiransformaiionsinoliiicaleconomy, andwhoireaiihemas
rohlemaiicsocialformsandideologicalrereseniaiions.Ananal-
ogousrangeisevideniindehaiesoverihenaiureofkinsmandihe
family. Inareview essay, Yanagisako (,) ciies Goody'smodel
(,, ,)ofiherelaiionshiheiweenroduciiveiechnologies,
marriage, anddevoluiionasonewhichseaksioihediversiiyof
domesiicarrangemeniswiihouiquesiioningiheuniversaliiyofihe
nuclearfamilyoriisencomassmeniinoliiico-juralinsiiiuiions
(,.,u) . She ihen discusses hisiorical siudies (for examle,
Keni,,, Davis ,,) ihairevealnewsuhileiiesinrelaiionshe-
iweenfamilyandexiradomesiicsiruciures,and,finally,recenief-
forisioroveihaiiheconieniandconsiiiuiionofdomainscanhe
esiahlishedonlyhyanalyzing ioial oliiicaleconomiesoveriime
(,.a).
Thecogencyofihesearallellinesofcriiicismisreinforcedhyihe
faciihaiFories'sveryconceiionofihedomainswasflawedfrom
iheouisei.Ononehand,hewarnedagainsireifyingihedomesiic/
oliiico-juraldisiinciion,siaiingihaiiheaciualiiiesofkinshire-
laiionsandhehaviorsarecomoundedofelemenisderivedfrom
hoih(Fories.a). Yei,oniheoiher,heinsisiedihaiiheyare
analyiically and indeed emirically disiinguished even where
aarenilyfusedinasinglekinshioliiy(,8.|u).Buisurely
ihereisadisconiinuiiyhere.Ifihedomainsaeariohefusedin
some cases (as amongAusiralianAhorigines) and clearlysegre-
gaiedinoihers(ihe aradigmaiic WesiAfricaninsiances), hoih
58 John L. Comarof
iheirconieniandiheirariicuIaiionmusihevariahIe.Furiher,when
ihefeaiuressearaiingihesheresarenoivisihIe,iheycanonly he
discriminaiedhyheingohjeciified,iauioIogicaIIy, iniermsofuni-
versaIanaIyiiccaiegories. Evenwhenihedomainsare,inFories's
ierms,quiiedisiinci,ihesamerohIemarises.howcankinshire-
Iaiionsandhehaviorhedividedinioiwodiscreiesheres-given
ihaiiheyareaciuaIIycomoundedofeIemenisofhoih-wiihoui
reifyingihose sheres andcarvingu sociaIreaIiiyhy heurisiic
fiai?
I
IiisoneihingiodehaieiheuniversaIiiyorvariahiIiiyofihedo-
mesiicanduhIicdomains, iheirhisioricaIseciciiyorcuIiuraI
reIaiiviiy,huiquiieanoiheriodecidefinaIIywhaiiheyare. lnihe
asi, ihey have heen ireaied as fieIds of reIaiionshi, as seis of
roIes, associaIandsaiiaIconiexisofaciiviiy, asnichesinihedi-
visionofIahor,andasideoIogicaIconsirucis. MorereceniIy, ihree
aIiernaiives for reihinking iheir form and inierconneciion have
emergedwiihariicuIarcIariiy.NoisurrisingIy,eachcorresonds
hroadIywiihoneofihemajorIinesofcriiicismdiscussedahove.For
descriiiveuroses,IshaIIiyifyihemasihecomaraiive,irans-
aciionaI,andsysiemicsoIuiions.
ThecomaraiivesoIuiion,anemhaiicaIIyemiricisione,siaris
wiihihenoiionihaiihecaiegories domesiicandoIiiicaI do
descriheaverygeneraIreaIiiy.EachsherecomrisesreIaiionsand
aciiviiieswhich mayheideniifiedhyiheir sociosaiiaIconiexis,
however, iheirconieniandariicuIaiionvarywideIy.Insomesoci-
eiies, ihe domesiicsheremayindeedhecomosed ofresiden-
iiaIIyhoundednucIear famiIies-ihe Iocus of sociaIizaiion, ro-
duciion, and reroduciion-whereas ihe uhIic domain is ihe
encomassingarenaofoIiiico-IegaIandeconomicreguIaiion,in
oihers, hoihihefoIkdisiinciionheiweeniheiwoandiheirconieni
mayhequiiediuereni.Buiihediscoveryofsuchdiuerencesisri-
mariIyarohIemofcomaraiiveeihnograhy. Onceweseiaside
androceniricreconceiions (accordingio feminisis) andeihno-
ceniriciIIusions ahouiihe universaIiiy ofihehumanfamiIy (ac-
cordingiosomecriiicaIsocioIogisis),wewiIIgainadeeerinsighi
inioihereaIessenceof,anddiversiiyin,domesiicsiruciures.AI-
IegedIy, ihiswiIIyieIdheiieriaxonomicandmorhoIogicaImodeIs
andsodiscIoseihefaciorsunderIyingaiiensofreguIariiyand
variaiion.
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 59
Le
.
siihisaroachhedismissedasasirawerson,lshouIdnoie
ih

iicorrespo

dsioiheraciiceofmuchosiiivisisocioIogy.The
cnuques, meniionedearIier, ihaicaIIformorenuancedcomari-
son

ofih

conieniandinierreIaiionshiofihedomainscIearIyfoI-
IowiisIogic.So,ioo, domanycuIiuraIreIaiivisiandmuIiifacioriaI
siudies of gender reIaiions and famiIy organizaiion (see Quinn
1977; Yanagisako1979) .
Pervasiveasiimayhe,ihisaroachioreihinking conceis
hasg

neraiedaIargehodyofcriiicism.lshaIIdrawjusionesirand
no

ndIeiihemaiierresi.ThecomaraiiveaIiernaiive,wiihiis
osiiivisiroois, imIiesihaidaiamayhegaiheredinsuchaway
ihai,onceunworihyassumiionsareseiaside,ihefaciswiIIseak
oui.Yei,ashasreeaiedIyheennoied,ihereareneiiherfacisnor
anyhas
.
isforiheirinierreiaiionwiihouiareexisiingconceiuaI
reerioire.Ofcourse,havingdecidedihaiihedomainsdodescrihe
acon

reiereaIiiywiihdefiniieroeriies, roonenis ofihisaI-


iernaiivehave madeaiheoreiicaI eIeciion. BuiiiisacircuIarone.
For,ononehand,iheveryohjeciofihecomaraiivesoIuiionisio
accounianewforihenaiureofihesedomains,inoiherwords,io
regardihemasanemiricaIrohIem. Yei, oniheoiherhand,he-
cause ihey are

lready r

sumed io exisi verywideIy, ihey are


ireaiedasanaIyiiccaiegonesihroughwhichhumanaciiviiiesand
reIaiionsmayhecIassified. AsaresuIi, ihecomaraiivesoIuiion
canonIyauirmwhaihasaIreadyheenassumed-ihaiis ihaiihe
isii

ciionheiweenihedomesiicandoIiiico-juraIisantnirinsic,
ifvanahIe,faciofsociaIexisience.
TheiransaciionaIsoIuiion,inconirasi,doesnoiassumeihereaI-
iiyofihedomains. Raiher, iiiakesasiisiouchsioneihefaciihai
memhersofsocieiyengage,asamaiierofcourse,iniheiransaciion
ofvaIueofvariouskinds,arocessihaigeneraieshoihsiruciuraI
arrangemenisandcuIiureasanorderofnegoiiaiedvaIues(Barih
1_966) .
.
Moreover, ihesesiruciuraIarrangemenisare,aiIeasioien-
iiaI!y, mconsi

niux,ogoingexchanges-rimedhyasiinier-
aciions-mayjusiaseasiIyaIierfieIdsofreIaiionshiandcuIiuraI
rioriiiesasreinforceihem.
Tis

'
oachwouIdargue,ihen,ihaifamiIyandhousehoIdor-
ga

iz

uonisnoi
.
deierminedhycuIiuraIruIesorhyenduringsociaI
n

ciIes, andisneiihersiaiicnoruniform. Iiisihe roduciof


chamsofiransaciionsamongIivingersons.Thus,insofarasihere
isadomesiicdomain, iiisureIyadescriiorofiheoveraIIregu-
o John L. Comarof
IariiiesgeneraiedhyhumanaciorsasiheynavigaieiheirIives. Sim-
iIarIy, ihe uhIic domainis shaedhyexchangeswiihinandhe-
iweenfamiIies,fromihissiandoini,iidoes aearasanexiension
ofinira- andinierhousehoIdiransaciions.
ThissoIuiionwouIdaeariohaveundeniahIeaeaI. lnrin-
ciIe,iidisiinguishescIearIyheiweenanaIyiicsuhjecis(exchange,
iransaciion)andredicaies(fieIdsofreIaiions,vaIues),asweIIas
heiweenexIanaioryconsirucis(inieraciion, emergeniroeriy)
and descriiors of sociaI reguIariiy (famiIy, househoId, uhIic
shere).AIso, iidoesnoidenywomenaroIe, asauionomousac-
iors, infashioningiheirworId,and, farfromresumingiheuni-
versaIiiyofdomesiicorganizaiion,iiseemsioaccounifordiversiiy
wiihinandacross socieiies.FinaIIy, iidoesnoireIyonanariori
oosiiionheiweenihedomains,inasmuchasiheseareusefuIIa-
heIs,iheyaresimIyheurisiiciooIs.
ThissoIuiionisimIiciiinfeminisianaIysesihaihoIdihaiwom-
en'ssiaiusismoIdedhyinieniionaIaciionandinieraciion,ihaiihe
domesiicdomainismoreihaniheIocusof reroduciion and so-
ciaIizaiion,andihaiiheuhIicseciorisaroduciofinier househoId
exchangesunderiakenrimariIyorinarihywomen.liisaIsore-
reseniedinmeihodoIogicaIindividuaIisisocioIogiesofihefamiIy.
NeveriheIess, desiie iis aeaI, ihe iransaciionaIaroach has
heencensuredonseveraIgrounds. foriisunremiiiingIyuiiIiiarian
conceiionofhomo economicus asaraiionaIacior,freeioenierinio
seIf-inieresiediransaciionswiihouiihe consirainis ofcIass, gen-
der,oranyihingeIse,foriisarhiiraryseIeciionofexchangeasihe
generaiivesourceofcuIiureandsocieiy,foriiscircuIariiyinireai-
ingvaIueashoihihemoiivaiionfor,andaroduciof,inieraciionaI
rocesses.
AIihoughiiisindefensihIeioireaiihedomainsasinvariani,ihe
converseisnomoreacceiahIe.ForifdomesiicandoIiiicaIsiruc-
iureswere ureIyiheroduciofindividuaIiransaciions,iiwouId
hediuicuIiioexIainiheirconiinuiiy, inariicuIarsocieiies,over
iheIongrun.AfieraII,famiIiaIarrangemenis,foraIIiheirdiversiiy,
iendio have deeinsiiiuiionaIandideoIogicaIfoundaiions,ihey
arenoiiheohjeciofereiuaIreinveniion.Thisisnoiiodenyihai
rocessesofiransaciionhaveihecaaciiyioreaIizeconcreiesociaI
forms,orihaiiheymayaIieriheconieniofreIaiionsandvaIues.
Moreover, individuaIsmayindeederceiveiheirconiexisasre-
seniingihemwiihmoreorIessfreechoices,andmayseeiheirown
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains"
aciionsasheingrimedhyragmaiicinieresi.BuiioviewsociaIor-
ders, anaIyiicaIIy, as ihe ouicome ofcumuIaiive exchanges con-
fusesiheworIdofsuhjeciiveaearanceswiihihesiruciuresand
forcesihairoduceii(ComarouandRoheris8.u).
ThesysiemicsoIuiionosiisihaiihedomesiicdomain-iisform
andsuhsiance, asweIIasiisreIaiionshiio iheuhIicsecior-is
condiiionedhyiheioiaIsociaIorderofwhichiiisari.ThisaIier-
naiiveisihemosidiuicuIiio iyify, ariIyhecause iiis iheIeasi
deveIoedineiiherfeminisidiscourseorkinshiiheory. lnaddi-
iion,iihasseveraIoieniiaIvarianis. AiiheriskofoversimIifica-
iion, lshaIIexIoreiwoofihese, hoihofradicaIoriginandorien-
iaiion.
OnevarianihuiIdsuonMeiIIassoux's(,a, ,)andTerray's
(,a)characierizaiionsofrecaiiaIisiordersassysiemsofdom-
inaiion(seeaIsoBourdieu,,)inwhichrocessesofroduciion
andreroduciionshaehousehoIdandinierhousehoIdarrange-
menis.ForMeiIIassoux,iheessenceofsuchsysiemsIiesineIders'
coniroIofiheIahorofyouihsandiheferiiIiiyofwomen, IargeIy
ihroughiheirmonooIyofmariiaIexchanges.ThiscIaimandihe
criiicismsiihasraisedarefamiIiarenoughnoiiorequirereiiera-
iion. Moreioiheoini,someschoIarshavedrawnusefuIinsighis
from ii. Thus, CoIIier (n. d. ) argues ihai oIiiicaI economies are
indeed orders of insiiiuiionaIized inequaIiiy, ihai marriage ex-
changes, ofhoih ohjecisandservices, arenoionIyihemeanshy
whichvariousformsofmaieriaIdeendencyandowerarereaI-
izedhui aIso momenis of sociaIreroduciion, and ihaiihe ro-
cessesihaiyieIdasymmeiriesaremaskedinosiiivecuIiuraIvaI-
ues, such ihai ihose who suuer suhordinaiion consire in iheir
ownredicameni.CoIIier'sanaIysisofihreecIassicaIPIainslndian
sysiems indicaies ihaimariiaI exchanges, roduciive siruciures,
andhousehoIdreIaiionsaIsovarysysiemaiicaIIywiihconirasisin
oIiiico-IegaIorganizaiion. lnoiherwords,ihenaiureofihe do-
mesiicdomainand iis reIaiionshi io exiradomesiic insiiiuiions
areshowniosiemfromiheioiaIconsiiiuiionofhisioricaIIysecific
oIiiicaIeconomies.
ThissoIuiion,again,ouersacIearrescriiionforaddressingihe
domesiic/uhIicdichoiomy.lisuggesisihaiihisdichoiomymayhe
grasedhy examining ihe underIying siruciures ihaireroduce
concreiesociaIarrangemenis,foriiisihesesiruciuresihaifashion
ihe ohservahIereIaiionsandideoIogiessuhsumedinsuch insii-
a fohn L. Comarof
iuiions as ihe householdanduhlic secior.Where discreie
domains occur-and iheir exisience is no longer iaken for
granied-ihey are noi io he undersiood hy analogy io Wesien
forms,iheymusiheanalyzed,iniheirownrighi,wiihiniheira-
roriaiehisioricalandculiuralconiexis.
Foralliis ohviousromise, however, ihis aliernaiive remains
rovisional.Iidealswiihresiaie,recaiialisiformaiionsoflim-
iiedrangeandaccounis onlyforiheirreroduciion, noiforiheir
iransformaiioninresonseioeiiheriniernalrocessesorexiernal
forces. Whaiismore,iievokesavisionofeconomyandsocieiyin
whichhumanaciionisdeierminedeniirelyhyexisiingsiruciures.
Ishallreiurnioiheseoinisafierdiscussingihesecondvarianiof
ihesysiemicaroach.
Thisvariani,whichgrowsouiofiheradicalfeminisiwriiingsof
Sacks(,),Reiier(,,Ra,),andoihers, alsoholdsihai
ihe conieni ofihe domesiic shere and iis ariiculaiionwiih ihe
uhlic domain are deiermined hy ihe ariicular social order of
whichiiisari.Buiihemajorconcernhereiswiihihehroadswee
ofhumanhisiory. Whereiiisfound, goesiheargumeni, iheri-
vaie/uhlicdichoiomyexressessecificsocialconiradiciionsand
values (Ra ,.ou),iiisanideologicalconsiruciihaiorigi-
naiesinnecessaryroduciive . . . relaiionshuiindisaraiero-
oriionsoveriimeandsace.
NeiiherSacksnorReiieraccordsihedichoiomyanygreaisig-
nificanceinresiaieorreclasssysiems.AlihoughSacksnoiesihai
domesiicrelaiionsareaueciedhyihedisosiiionofroeriy, ihe
organizaiionofuhlicanddomesiiclahor,andihe orieniaiionof
roduciioniouseorexchange, sheholdsihaiihedomesiicand
socialsheresoflifearenoireallyindeendeniinsuchsysiems
(,.aa8) . ForReiier, resiaie socieiiesarehasedoniwoseisof
iies,kinshiandlocaiion.Inihem,ihereisaninciienisexualdi-
vision of lahor. kinshi-as-oliiics helongs io men, kinshi-as-
household-organizaiionhelongsiowomen.IiishereihaiIseeihe
hasis foranelahoraie disiinciionheiweenrivaieanduhlic do-
mainsinsiaie . . . socieiies(,.a,) .Anihroologicallyoriho-
doxihoughihismay sound, Reiierisinfaciarguingihaiihedo-
mainsareforeshadowed,huinoirealized,inresiaieorders.Wiih
ihesimulianeousriseofsiaiesandclasses,ihedevelomeniofdis-
iinciseciorsisanineluciahle-ifuneven-rocess.Asiaiesysiem
musihesiruciuredioensureihaiiheacquisiiionofresourceshyan
eliieis insiiiuiionalized, and is, io alargeexieni, acceied. . . .
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains"
Oneofihe mechanismsihaiunderwriiesihe conirol ofaceniral
oweroverihemindsofiisoulaiionisihesearaiionofsocieiy
iniouhlicandrivaie sheres. Siaiesiruciureandiisfunciions
are defined as uhlic. . . . Reroducing and susiaining ihose
eolewhoselahorandgoodsareesseniialioihaisiruciureisde-
finedasarivaiefunciion(,.a,,-,8) . Inconirasiioresiaie
socieiy,whereeconomy,oliiy,andreligionareall familized,in
siaiesocieiy,ihesesheresemergeassearaieandpuhlicwhileihe
familyhecomesrivaiized(,.a,8) .
Thisdisiinciion, ihen, reresenisa culiuralexressionofihe
realrelaiionsineoles'lives,relaiionsofsuhordinaiionandihe
exloiiaiionofihemanyhyihefew.Whereasihesecificideolog-
icalsuhsianceofsuchrelaiionsdeendsonihemodeofsiaiefor-
maiion-andismediaiedhyriorculiuralforms(Ra,.ou)
-somedivisionheiweenuhlicandrivaiesheresineviiahlyre-
sulisfromihegrowihofceniralizedoliiies. Thisrocessoccursin
earlyandarchaicsiaieshuireachesiisaoiheosisunderindus-
irialcaiialism(,.a,) . Sacksdevelosasimilarihemehuifo-
cusesmoredirecilyoniheiransformaiionofrelaiionsofroduc-
iion-and,hyinference,iheexiraciionofsurlusvalue-involved
inclassformaiion.Thelaiierrocess,whichaccomaniesiherise
ofroduciionforexchangeanddemandsiheconsianiregenera-
iionoflahorower,leadsioahifurcaiionofdomains.mencomeio
helocaiedinsocialroduciion(iniheuhlicsecior)andwomenare
confinedio domesiic workfor rivaie use, whichunderwriies
ihesusienanceandrenewaloflahorower.Iiisihusihaiihemod-
ernfamily,aseconomicandsocialunii,assumesiisideologicaland
organizaiional characier, and siruciures of gender and class in-
equaliiyaredefined.
Likeihe oihervariani, ihisonesuggesisihaicomaraiivesys-
iemicanalysiswillesiahlishwhy, indiuerenilacesandeochs,
ihedomainsassumesuchvaryingcharacier.Evenihoughihefirsi
addresses resiaie/reclass socieiy while ihe second focuses on
siaie/classoliiies, hoihseedomesiicandfamilyorganizaiionas
anhisioricalroduci,and,jusiasihesecondvarianidoesnoideny
ihaidomesiicarrangemenisinresiaiesysiemsdiueraccordingio
exisiingrelaiionsofroduciion,exchange,andinequaliiy,ihefirsi
doesnoiholdihaiadisiinciionheiweendomainsisanecessaryfea-
iureofsuchsysiems. Thereis, insum,liiileineiiherihaiwould
coniradiciiheoiher.
Inlighiofiheshoricomingsofihecomaraiiveandiransaciional
64 John L. Comarof
soluiions,mighiweihenconcludeihaiihesysiemicaliernaiivesai-
isfaciorilyresolvesiherohlemofreihinkingihedisiinciionhe-
iweenihedomains?Asynihesisofiisvarianisceriainlyseemsio
ouer a ersuasive way io ireaiihe rohlem in comaraiive er-
seciive.IidisiinguishescarefullyheiweenWesiernideological con-
sirucis,whoserooisiiilluminaies,anduniisofanalysisihaimay
exlicaiesimilariiiesandvariaiionsinsocialsysiems,iishunsuni-
versalisiicassumiionsahouiihehumanfamilyandgenderasym-
meiries,iheoriginsofsocieialforms,andiheuiiliiarianismofhomo
economicus; and,ideally,iiiniegraiesihehisiorical,siruciural,and
culiural analysis of ihe inierconneciions heiween domesiic ar-
rangemenis,relaiionsofgenderandclass,andsysiemsofroduc-
iionandexchange.
Allihisamounisioaheadyrogram.whaimighiheiislimiia-
iions?AlihoughI concurwiih many asecis ofihe sysiemic a-
roach-ahoveall,iisfocusonioialformaiionsandiheirhisioric-
iiy-Imainiainihreereservaiions.Firsi,ihissoluiionsiillremains
largelyschemaiicandleavesmuchasyeiunsecified.Second,ihe
radical dichoiomy heiween resiaie, reclass sysiems and siaie
siruciures echoes ihe division of human socieiies inio hinary
caiegories-hoi/cold, comlex/simle, oen/closed-socommon
and so commonly criiicized in anihroological imagery (Goody
z,,.zu) . Thus,recaiialisiordersareviewedasheingcaahle
onlyofreroducingihemselves, iheyare (kinshi) socieiies io
which hisiory haens under ihe imaci ofexiernal forces, noi
oneswhichhaveahisioriciiyofiheirown. Thishasmanyimli-
caiions,oneofwhichiseseciallysalienihere.Ifsuchsysiemsare
onlycaahleofiheirownreroduciion,iifollowsihaisocialrac-
iicecandonoihinghuirealizeexisiingsiruciures. Buiiiisnoionly
in resiaie coniexis ihai raciice is ihus ordained. The accouni
givenofiheriseofsiaiesandclassesimliesihaisocialaciionand
socioculiuraliransformaiionaredeierminedinasimilarlymecha-
nisiicvein.Insofaraseolemakeiheirownhisiory,iheydosoas
marioneiiesaciingouiasiruciurallyscriiediahleau.
This,immediaiely,evokesanumherofgreaidehaies-heiween
normaiive and inieraciionisi sociology, heiween whai Worsley
(z8o)duhs sysiems andPromeiheanMarxism,andheiween
siruciuralisiandhenomenologicalculiureiheories. Fornow,ihe
oiniissimlyihaiihesysiemicaroachsiandsindangerofegre-
giousreduciionismuniiliirovidessomehasisonwhichio deal
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 65
wiihihevariahiliiiesinsocialsysiemsofasingleiye,wiihihe
oieniialofhumanaciorsioiransformiheirsocialorders,wiihihe
eueciofreexisiingsocioculiuralformsonihehisioricaldesiinyof
anysocieiy,andwiihihesuhilechangeswroughihyasocieiy'sen-
counierwiih alien sysiems, eseciallyundercolonialism. These
clausesareallofaiece.Theyareiheesseniialdemandsofadia-
leciicalrereseniaiionofhisioricalsysiems-andofihesocialand
maierialrelaiionseniailedinihem.
Third,alihoughIagreeihaiiheemergenceofihedomesiic/uh-
licdichoiomyaccomaniesrocessesofclassformaiion,iisexclu-
siveassociaiionwiihiheriseofmaiuresiaiesmayhemisleading,
forihecomlexdynamicsofnoncaiialisiordersmayiherehyhe
ignoredor ohscured. The following eihnograhic case noionly
makesihissecificoinihuiillusiraiesmyargumeniforadialec-
iical aroach ioihe analysis of siruciural domains, familyand
householdorganizaiion,andgenderrelaiions. Thiscasedescrihes
ihesocialsysiemofiheTshidiBarolong, aSouihAfricanTswana
eole,aiihreeeriodsiniheirhisiory.
IV
TheTshidichiefdomofiheearlyiweniieihceniurymayheana-
lyzedaiiwolevels. Aionelevel,iiconsisiedinihesocialandma-
ierialformsofalived-inworld,aworldofvaluesandinieresis,con-
veniionsandrelaiions, conicisandconsirainis. Fromwiihin, ii
waserceivedasanegoiiahleandindividualisiicuniverse.Desiie
anelahoraieadminisiraiivehierarchyandareerioireofnormsio
governinieraciion,relaiionsandrankwerefrequenilyconiesied,
andgrousandallianceswereseenioreecicoincideniinieresi.
Beneaihihesesurfaceforms,aianoiherlevel,layanorderofcon-
siiiuiiverinciles-aioncealangue ofsignsandcaiegoriesanda
seioforganizaiionalforms-ihaisiruciuredsocialandeconomic
arrangemenisandinscrihedaconiradiciionaiihecoreofhoihso-
cioculiural order and oliiical economy. * This coniradiciion noi
onlymoiivaiedsocialaciion,huiunderlayiheeverydayworkings
ofihesysiemailarge.
Twoeihnograhicfacisilluminaieiheconiradiciorycharacierof
*See, for example, Coraro (1982) and Coraro and Roberts (1981). Limita
tions of space make it impossible to ofer annotation in support of this summary
account. The early twentieth-century data and their documentary bases are dis
cussed in Coraro (1973), Coraro and Coraro (n.d.), Coraro (n.d.), J. Cor
aro (1985).
66 John L. Comarof
ihe socioculiural order. Firsi, Tshidi relaiional caiegories were
founded uon an irreducihle oosiiion heiween agnaiion and
mairilaieraliiy. Thisoosiiionhadwidesymholicandragmaiic
ramificaiions.Iniissocialaseci,agnaiionsignifiediiesofrivalry
andinimicalinieresiheiweenranked,huihroadly equal, individ-
uals, infaci, desceni grouswereliiilemoreihangenealogically
definedsiaiusorders,senioriiyinihemdeierminngaccessioo-
siiionihroughouiiheadminisiraiivehierarchy.Inihisreseci,ag-
naiion, andiherules ofrankiiemhodied, rovidediheculiural
ierms in whichmen had necessarily io negoiiaie and legiiimize
iheirsianding. Inaddiiion,iheagnaiicnexuswaslinkedideolog-
icallywiihuhlicaciiviiy. ii was amaleconiexiwhereinaciors
soughiio eaieachoiherhymaierialandmysiicalmeans.Bycon-
irasi,mairilaieraliiywasfemale-cenieredandassociaiedwiihihe
houseand iisconfines. Unlikeagnaiicrelaiions, whichwereal-
ways ranked and suhjeci iomanagemeni, mairilaieral relaiions
wereunrankedandmorallynonnegoiiahle, ihey connoied su-
oriivenessandcomlemeniariiy,ofienheiweenunequals.
Thefull salienceofihesecaiegoriescanheundersioodonlyin
lighiofihesecondeihnograhicfaci.Tshidiencouragedallforms
of cousin marriage, including marriage wiih a faiher's hroiher's
daughier.Thegeneralimlicaiionsofsuchendogamicunionsare
wellknown.iheyiransformagnaiicrelaiionsiniomuliilehonds
ihaiare ai once agnaiic, mairilaieral, and auinal, iheyhlurihe
houndaries of desceni grous and segmenis wiihinihem, ihey
laceiheonusforiheconirivanceofsocial,oliiical,andeconomic
relaiionsonihehousehold,andiheyindividuaieihesocialfield.
However,foriheTshidi,amongwhomcousinmarriageswovean
esecially dense weh ofoverlaing conneciions, ihis yielded a
aradox.howwereihesemuliilehondsiohereconciledwiihihe
radicaloosiiionheiweenagnaiionandmairilaieraliiy?Afierall,
iheiwomodesofrelaiionshieniailednoimerelydiuerenihuimu-
iuallyexclusivesocialconveniions.
The simle answer is ihai ihey could noihe reconciled. The
coniradiciionheiween culiuralcaiegories and socialrealiiies de-
mandedihaiiheTshidimanagerelaiions,andreduceihemiosome
definiiion,iniheconiexisofeverydaylife.Norwasihisamaiierof
voliiion,individualswerecomellediodesignaieoihersassenior
orjunioragnaies,mairilaierals,auines,orouisiders.Iifollowsihai
iheselahelsreeciedihenegoiiaied conieniofrelaiions.Thus, if
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 67
iwohouseholdscameioheinaclearlyhierarchicalrelaiionshi-
ifiheirhondwasunequalenoughiorecluderivalry-amairila-
ierallahelwasalied,ifiheywereinamoreequalandcomeiiiive
relaiionshi,agnaiiciermswereused,relaiivesenioriiysignifying
ihe siaieoflayheiweenihem. Auiniiywassiressedinaari-
nershi ofsymmeiricalinieresi, and remoie agnaiion descrihed
iiesihaihadlasedorhadneverexisied.Ofcourse,iheariiesin-
volvedcouldconiesiandiryiorenegoiiaieiheirhond,sucheuoris
wereaervasivefeaiureofsociallife.
ThisilluminaiesihedualisiicnaiureofTshidisocieiy. Sinceiis
consiruciionmaderelaiionsinherenilyamhiguousandconiradic-
iory,Tshidicouldnoihuiacioniheirworld,andsoaearassocial
managers,ihesocialandideologicalsiressonindividualisiic,uiil-
iiarianmanagemeniwaseniailedinihelogicofihesysiemiiself,
noiinsomeverygeneral[human]moiive (Leach|.o) .And
yei,hecauserelaiionsalwayscameiohelahelledaccordingioiheir
negoiiaied conieni-and iherehy defined wiih reference io re-
ceivedculiuralcaiegories(agnaiion,mairilaieraliiy, eic.)-iheyul-
iimaielydidconformionormaiiveexeciaiion. Forinsiance, ihe
Tshidiclaimihaiamanandhismoiher'shroihersneverfighiwas
irue,ifiheyhadfoughi,iheywouldhaveheenagnaies,noimairi-
laierals. Similarly, alihough osiiion and ouice were ofien con-
iesied,iheouicomewasalwaysraiionalizedaccordingioiherules
ofagnaiicrankihaiunderinnediheadminisiraiivehierarchy.As
aresuli,ihesocialuniversecouldaearhoihasasiruciuredorder
ofrelaiionsandasauidsocialfield.
Theconsiruciionofihaiuniversealsoshaedinieniionalaciiviiy
andihevaluesiowhichiiwasdirecied. Thus, ihenegoiiaiionof
agnaiicrankwasexresslymoiivaiedhyiiscaaciiyiodeiermine
righisineoleandroeriy. Bui,whereasagnaiionchariedihe
disirihuiionofsocialandmaierialresources,mairilaieralrelaiions
werecrucialiooliiicalsuccess.wiihouimairilaieralconnivance,
iherewasliiileroseciofcoingwiih,leialoneeaiing,agnaiic
rivals.Thecreaiionofsirongiiesofihiskind,iherefore,waser-
ceivedasarimary ohjeciive. Ifiheycouldhesecuredhyirans-
formingagnaiesinioclienimairilaierals-andiherewere recog-
nized means for doing so-all ihe heiier. From an individual
siandoini,iigaveiheseniorariysuhordinaieswhereheforehe
hadaniagonisis,foriheclieni, iimighirovide accessiowealih
and influence ihai were oiherwise unavailahle. Prediciahly, ihe
68 John L. Comarof
roduciionofinequaliiyin ihisveinwasseenasiheoiimaloui-
comeofsocialmanagemeni,aileasihyihose,usuallyofiheruling
cadres,whosucceededinharnessingiiioiheirownends.Fromihe
analyiicerseciive,iisconsequencewasiherelacemeniofcom-
eiiiive relaiions among ranked-hui hroadly equal-agnaies
wiihiiesofcomlemeniaryandunequalinieresi.
Inasmuchasiheconirivanceofrelaiionsheldihekeyioroeriy
andosiiion,marriageandauiniiywereseenioouerareadycon-
iexiinwhichsuchrelaiionscouldhenegoiiaied.Thesiruciureof
conjugalchoice,infaci,refleciedihemajoravenuesofsocialman-
agemenioeniomales.Threeoiionswereenieriainedand,he-
cause auiniiy involved a oieniial arinershi heiween house-
holds,eachhaddiuereniconnoiaiions.unionsheiweenunrelaied
sousesimliediheaiiemiioforgealliancesheyondihefieldof
closekin,ihoseheiweensousesdefinedasmairilaieralseniailed
ihe ereiuaiion of exisiing relaiions of comlemeniariiy, and
ihoseheiweensousesdehnedasagnaies oenedihewayforri-
valsioseekioreduceeachoiherio(mairilaieral)clieniage.While
managerialaciiviiywasnoiconfinedioiheshereofmarriageand
auiniiy, ihisrangeofchoiceindicaiesihaisocialraciicehadihree
aradigmaiic momenis. ihe creaiion of new alliances heiween
equals,ihereroduciionofinequaliiies,andiheeuoriioiransform
iiesofrelaiiveequaliiyinioasymmeiricalones.
Asihissuggesis,iheTshidisysiemconiainedconiradicioryien-
denciesiowardhierarchyandegaliiarianism.Moreover,iheseiwo
iendencies had io he realized in some measure relative io each
oiher,and,sinceihiscouldnoiremainconsiani,ihesocialuniverse
wasalwaysinux.Clearly,iheconsiiiuiionofihesysiemcouldnoi
deiermineihereciseconioursofiheeverydayworldaianymo-
meniiniime.ihaideendedonsocialraciice. Andraciice, in
iurn,wascondiiionedasmuchhyiheexigenciesofoliiicalecon-
omyasiiwashyihesignsandcaiegoriesofihesocioculiuralorder.
TheTshidioliiicaleconomywasalsofoundedona coniradic-
iion-inihiscase,heiweeniheceniralizedconirolsoverihecom-
muniiy vesied in ihe chiefshi and ihe social ecology of ro-
duciion. Ideally, all households were domiciled in villages and
disersedioiheirfieldsforiheagriculiuralcycle.Theregulaiionof
annualmovemeniwasa chiefly rerogaiivewhich, alheiiin ihe
roduciivedisinieresiofiheoulaiion,wascloselyroieciedhy
ruling cadres wherever ossihle. A ceniury earlier, women had
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 69
heenassignedioculiivaiion,gaihering,anddomesiicwork,young
menandserfshadhuniedandherdedcaiile,iherimemediumof
symholicandmaierialexchange,underihedireciionoffreeaduli
men.However,iheiniroduciionofihelowandenforcedlahormi-
graiion changed ihis aiiern and, hy 1900, ihe household culii-
vaiediogeiherasagrou.Theiendencyofiherevailingsocialor-
derioindividuaiedomesiicuniiswasalsoreeciedinrelaiionsof
roduciion and roeriy, and iiwas visihlyreinforcedhyihe ef-
fecisofcolonialismandcaiialisieneiraiion.
Furihermore,whenlargercohorisofworkerswereneeded, re-
cirocalarrangemeniswereusually made heiween households.
Suchrecirociiiesrarelyinvolvedagnaiicrivals,huimairilaierals
were areliahlesourceofaid. Indeed, owerfulmencould some-
iimes esiahlish a semiermaneni work force, and generaie sur-
luses, hy exaciing lahor from mairilaieral clienis, oiher ari-
ners,andserfs. Asihisimlies, socialmanagemenihadadireci
exression in economy. jusias ihe individuaiion ofhouseholds
was reflecied in maierial relaiions, so ihe eaiing of eole
amounied io ihe social roduciion of a lahor force. And yei,
hecause ihe universe was highly fluid and comeiiiive, ii was
diuiculiforanyoneiosusiainaosiiionofrominence.iheemer-
genceofindividuaiedinequaliiieswasnoiiiselfasuuicienicondi-
iion for ihe rise ofa siahle dominani class, save under secific
condiiions.
Alihough relaiions ofroduciion emhasized ihe rimacy of
households,resideniialarrangemenisandchieyconiroloversea-
sonalmovemeniconsiraineddomesiicaciiviiies.TheTshidiihem-
selvessawiheseceniralizedconsirainisioheinimicalioiheirin-
ieresisiniworesecis. Firsi, in adrylandecologywiihmarginal
andunevenrainfall,iheiimingofarahleoeraiionsiscriiical.Each
dayihaiassesheiweenihefirsirainsandihesiarioflowinglow-
ers final yields. Given ihai ihe decision io allow dispersal de-
ended onrainfallaiiheruler'sholdings, hisannouncemenial-
wayswasundulylaieformanyihroughouiiheierriiory. Second,
hyregulaiingdomicileandmovemeni,achiefcouldensureihaise-
leciedworkersgaveirihuiarylahoronroyallandsheforeiheyscai-
iered,iherehycausingihemyeigreaierloss. ThaiiheTshidiwere
acuielyawareofihisisrovenhyiheirreeaiedenumeraiionofihe
advaniages oferennialdisersalandhyiheirhasie ioesiahlish
ermaneniruralhomeswheneveriheycould.
70 John L. Comarof
Siill, ihe coniradiciionheiweenceniralizaiionanddeceniraliza-
iionwas noisimlyan oosiiionheiween chiefand oulace.
Thevillagewasihearenaofsocialmanagemeni,soihaiallaciivi-
iiesconduciedinursuiiofroeriyandosiiionauirmedexisiing
sociosaiial arrangemenis. The coniradiciion inhered, raiher, in
ihe structure ofTshidieconomyandsocieiy. Buiiiwasragmaii-
callyexressediniheoliiicalconiexi,inwhichchieylegiiimacy
was ihe consiani ohjeci of evaluaiion and negoiiaiion (see Co-
maron1975). Folkiheoryhadiiihaiihe righisofchiefs, asmea-
sured in ihe willingness of ihe oulace io execuie iheir com-
mands, varied according ioiheirrovenerformance, and ii is
ceriainlyirueihaiiheexieniofiheirauihoriiyuciuaiedwidely
wiihinandheiweenreigns. Significanily, whenarulersuuereda
cumulaiivelossoflegiiimacyandsurrenderedconiroloverexecu-
iiverocesses,hewouldeveniuallyheunahleioregulaiedomicile
andmovemeni.Iiwasihenihaihouseholdswereaiioscaiier,re-
iurningonlywhenceniralizedauihoriiywasreesiahlished.
I siress, however, ihaiower relaiions and execuiive conirol
werenoideierminedurelyhyrheioricalexchangesoroliiicalde-
haies. Raiher,iheirlogicderivedfromihedynamicinierrelaiion-
shi ofoliiicaleconomyand socioculiuralorder. Chieydomi-
nanceandceniralizaiioniniheoliiicaleconomyhoihnecessiiaied
andcondiiionedihesocioculiuraliendencyiowardhierarchy,de-
ceniralizaiionandweakrulewerelinkedioiheiendencyioward
ihe egaliiarian individuaiion of ihe social field (Comarou 1982;
ComarouandComaroun. d. ).
Forexamle, whenihe socialfieldwashighlyindividuaied,ii
wasdiuiculiforanyrulerioexerciseeueciiveoliiicalconirol,for
such conirol required ihe allegiance of high-ranking men who
ihemselves commandedlower order consiiiuencies. Bui when a
measureofhierarchizaiionexisied,achiefcouldhuildaowerhase
hy making alliances wiih inueniial ersons, hy suhordinaiing
someofhisclosekin,andhydividingrivalswiihinhisowndesceni
grou.Ifsuccessful,ihisermiiiedihelacemeniofalliesinim-
oriani ouices and consolidaied a faciion of chief's men for
whomexecuiiveceniralizaiion,iheexiraciionofsurluses,andihe
managemeniofrocessesofchieflyevaluaiionhecame common
cause. These allies mighi ihen exloii iheir osiiions io exiend
fieldsofunequalrelaiionsaroundihemselvesandioexandiheir
economicenierrises.
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 71
Suchaciiviiy, iniurn, ledioanincreasingemhasis onasym-
meiricalallianceandioiheencomassmeniofhouseholdswiihin
largerroduciiveuniisandrelaiionsofmaierialinequaliiy.If,ihen,
ihe emergence ofaceniralizedoliiicaleconomydeended, ini-
iially,oniherevailingsiaieofihesocialfield,anymovemeniio-
wardceniralizaiioniiselfalieredihaifield.Conversely,rocesses
ai!heceniercouldleadiniheoiherdireciion.sirongoliiicalo-
osiiionioaregimemighiweakenchieyconirolandfragmeniihe
socialfield,ihusa1lowingiheoulaiioniodiserse.
ThisschemaiicaccouniofiheTshidiworldhasseveralinierr-
laiedimlicaiions. Firsiandmosihroadly, iiunderscoresihe in-
dissoluhiliiyofsocioculiuralorderandoliiicaleconomywiihina
ioial sysiem, a sysiem whose underlying rinciles exressed
ihemselvesascaiegoricaloosiiionsinculiure,asconiradiciions
insiruciure,andasunavoidahledemandsforaciioninsocialex-
erience.Inshori,iheserincilesmoiivaied-inihedualsenseof
imelled moiion and gave meaning io-everyday raciice.
Andraciiceimariedformiosocial,roduciive,andoliiicalre-
laiions. Sincesuchrelaiionsnecessarilyvariedoveriimeandsace,
iihecomesclear, second, whyTshidisocieiyiookondiverse a-
earances-someiimeshierarchicalandceniralized,aioiheriimes
individuaiedandegaliiarian,wiihaweakauihoriiysiruciureaiiis
core.Thesewereconirasiingiransformaiionsofahisioricalsysiem
wiihacomlexconsiiiuiion. Thelaiierwasnoiinvarianieiiher.ii
changedinresonseiohoihiniernalrocessesandexiernalforces.
Third,ihisaccounirevealshowideologiesofegaliiarianindividu-
alismandhierarchicalceniralismcouldcoexisiiniheTshidiuni-
verse.Boihwereariialrereseniaiionsofihemannerinwhichihe
everydayworldwasconsiiiuied,eachheinganexressionofone
iendencywiihiniisconiradicioryscauolding.Inihissense, ideo-
logieswereneiiherauionomousnordeiermined.Theywere
aniniegralariofTshidisocieiyandiishisioriciiy, anirreducihle
elemeniiniherocesswherehyconiradiciorysiruciuresrimed
humanaciionandwereiherehyfashionediniolivingrelaiions.
Themoresecificimlicaiionsofihiseihnograhyflowfromihe
faciihai ihe naiure ofihe domains,familyandhouseholdar-
rangemenis, and gender relaiions varied wiih ihe uciuaiing
Tshidiworld.Suchvariaiionsmayhedescrihed,ifonlyiniiially,in
ideal-iyicalierms. Whenihaiworldwashighlyceniralizedand
hierarchical, ihedivisionheiweenuhlicandrivaieseciorswas
72 John L. Comarof
welldeveloed, andsociallifewasmarkedhoihhy exiensivein-
siiiuiionalaciiviiyandhyaninienseconceniraiiononagnaiicol-
iiics.Thisisnoisurrising.iheroduciionofinequaliiyinvolved
iheconirivanceofrank,andrank,iohavecurrency, hadiohesii-
uaiediniheadminisiraiiveaaraiusofihesiaie. Sincesenioriiy
inihaiaaraiusgaveaccessiouhlicvalue-conirolovereole
androeriy, courisandcouncils, lahorandland-aceniralized
siaie,agnaiicoliiics,andadeveloeduhlicseciorwereinsea-
rahle. Significanily, ioo, iheelahoraiionofihis seciorwascondi-
iionedhyiisconirasiioihedomesiicshere.jusiasiheculiuralor-
der oosed agnaiion io mairilaieraliiy, so social raciice
underwroie a comlexinierdeendenceheiween ihem. lndeed,
Tshidi held ihaiihe negoiiaiion ofagnaiicrelaiionshymen de-
endedonihehackingofiheirmairilaieralkinandihewomenwho
horeihelinkageswiihihem,ihesecreiivesiraiegizingassociaied
wiihiherivacyofihehomesiead,andihesirengihofihehouse-
holdiiself.Hence,anaciiveuhlicseciorlacedgreaisiressonihe
closureofihedomesiicunii -andonsocialandriiualeuorisioro-
ieci ii from inirusion-and sharened ihe division heiween
sheres.
Byconirasi,undercondiiionsofdeceniralizaiion,iheuhlicdo-
mainharelyexisied.Muchofiheoulacedisersedandiookliiile
ariincommunalaciiviiies. Duringsuch eriods, ouice-holding
waslargelyanominalauair, forihesiaieaaraiuswasviriually
morihund.Trihuiecouldnoiheexacied,assemhlieswererareand
oorlyaiiended, legislaiionhadliiileroseciofexecuion, new
adminisiraiiveuniiswerenoicreaiedandexisiingwardshecame
inaciive,andagnaiicoliiicsweresuhdued,iheirconiexiandihe
valuesiowhichiheywereaddressedhavingheendislaced.The
majorformofexiradomesiicinieraciionwasiheexchangeoflahor
and goods and, for some, involvemeni in Chrisiian secis wiih
siruciuressirikinglysimilariodomesiicuniis.
Theconirasiwasalsoexressedinfamilyanddomesiicorgani-
zaiion. Inihe deceniralized mode, householdsvariedincomo-
siiionhuiwererarelynuclearorolygamousuniis,manyincluded
sihlingsand iheirfamilies, agingarenis, and oiherkin. Inihis
mode,ioo,iheraieofcousinmarriagewaslow,whichmeaniihai
a dense neiwork of muliile iies was less likelyio envelo ihe
household.Thus,ihemanagerialqualiiyofihesocialfieldwasre-
duced,andihemechanismsihaiiniegraiedandsiraiifieddomesiic
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 73
uniiswiihiniheoverarchingoliiywereeclised.Asaresuli,ihese
uniiswereasliahleioinieraciwiihoihersonihehasisofresideniial
roximiiyaskinshi.
Wiihinihegrouiiself,moreover,ihedivisionoflahorhygender
andagewaslesssharlydrawn.Ranchingwassiilldonemainlyhy
menanddomesiicworkhywomen,huiagriculiuraliaskswereun-
deriakeniogeiherhyeveryonereseni.Decisionsahouiiheuseof
resourcesalsoiendedioinvolvealladulis,noijusiihemalehead,
andheriiahleroeriywascommonlymanagedformosiofihede-
velomenialcycle.Alihoughiheheadhadfinalconiroloveriheas-
seisandmemhersofihehousehold,heusuallysharediiwiihhis
wife.Infaci,givenaiiernsofmigranilahor,iheuniiwaslikelyio
remainunderherjurisdiciionforlongeriodsduringhisahsence
andafierhisdeaih.
In a ceniralized universe, however, households were more
iighilyincororaiedinioiheadminisiraiivehierarchyofihesiaie,
eachheingariofanagnaiicsegmeni,award,andaseciion.Under
suchcondiiions, iheaciiviiiesand decisions associaiedwiihdo-
mesiicgrousinanindividuaiedfieldhecameiheconcernofihe
segmeniorward. Sinceanouiceholder'sowerdeendedonhis
ahiliiy ioconirolihe flow ofeverydaylife, headmenhroughias
muchasossihlewiihiniheurviewofiheircourisandcouncils,
hodiescomosedofmalehouseholdheads.Thisroducedacon-
iradiciionheiween ihe auionomy ofdomesiic uniis and ihe de-
mandsofihesiaie,iialsoengenderedconicisofinieresiamong
iheseuniis,sinceiheiraccessiovaluedeendedonihenegoiiaied
siaiusofiheirheads. Thus, aiiensofrecirocalexchange gave
wayioeuorisiocreaiedehiandredefinerank,noncoincidenially,
raies ofkin marriage were high, householdswereenmeshed in
muliile honds demandingmanagemeni, and disuies and sor-
ceryallegaiionswerefrequeni.
Domesiicrelaiionswerealsoauecied. Forexamle,uniiswere
smallerduringeriodsofdeceniralizaiionhecauseamarriedcou-
lehadioseiuiisownresidenceinorderioohiainlandandini-
iiaieihemale'ssocialcareer.Also,insiiuaiionsofluralmarriage,
sonssoughiearlyindeendenceiogainanadvaniageoverhalf-
sihlingsin iheir siruggles forheriiahleasseisandsiaius. Faihers
also hadcause io encourage iheirousringio leave, amanwiih
adulisonsandsons-in-lawonwhomiocallforaidandsuoriwas
greailyadvaniaged.
74 John L. Comarof
But the most stark efect lay in the division of labor itself. While
Tshidi were resident in the village, the allocation of tasks by gender
and age was unequivocal: women did domestic work, young males
husbanded stock, and adult men engaged in managerial enter
prises and public activities. During the arable season, however, so
cial inequalities mediated relations of production. Afuent house
hold heads stayed at the center, in order to advance their careers
there, and their wives, children, and clients were sent out to cul
tivate. Poor families toiled together, much as in periods of decen
tralization; however, if they were in need or debt, males would go
away to work and leave women to plow alone. Of course, this lim
ited their yields and so reinforced inequalities and proto-class dif
ferences. In short, in a centralized feld, the division of labor was
sharper, and, because households were entailed in a structure of
relations that drew males to the public arena and women to do
mestic and agricultural work, it was marked by gender and age
asymmetry. Men tended to wield tight control over the household
and take decisions on its behalf, and leadership passed directly to
male heirs rather than through widows.
The degree of centralization also had a dear impact on the ten
dency toward gender asymmetry. Under decentralization, when
the public sector was absent and the integrity of domestic units was
emphasized, this tendency was largely invisible: the division of la
bor was less markedly sex-linked; women participated in decision
making processes, which usually took place in the household, and
exercised control over their own conjugal choices; males and fe
males were not rigidly separated in everyday social life; and the
proportion of female-headed units was high. The more centralized
the political economy, however, the greater the gender asymmetry.
Most significantly, women were debarred from public arenas and
confined to the house and the marginality of the felds; they could
not manage cattle, the premier medium of transaction; they were
treated as minors and excluded from decision-making at all levels;
and their marriages were arranged by others.
In summary, gender and age asymmetries inhered in the very
logic of a centralized universe. The elaboration of the state appa
ratus not only yielded a distinction between public and private
spheres but also integrated households into a ranked administra
tive hierarchy according to the conventions of agnatic seniority.
This meant that the social and material situation of any household
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structurl "Domains" 75
depended on the status of its head, which made the negotiation of
men's position the central theme of the political process. Men were
drawn into the public sector to manage their resources on behalf of
their households-in particular, their children's marriages, their
cattle, and their arable wealth-whereas women and youths were
relegated to the production of those resources. If males failed in
their managerial activities, they too were excluded from the public
sector and forced to alienate their labor. If they succeeded, they in
creased the resource base of the household, accumulating both
wealth and clients.
I have discussed the nature of domains, family and household
organization, and gender relations in terms of ideal-typical con
trasts in order to demonstrate that these were interdependent ele
ments of a total, dynamic social system. But precisely because this
is so, it is necessary next to examine the dialectics of that sys
tem. For, from the perspective of the Tshidi, relations within and
between households, their political and economic encompass
ment in the state, and the exigencies of gender and age were not
abstract correlates of their social order. They were the lived-in
forms of the everyday world. As such, they contained, in micro
cosm, all the contradictory features of that world and were at once
the arenas for, and the objects of, social practice in response to the
status quo.
This was vividly exemplifed, in a centralized universe, in the re
action of poor commoner and junior royal men to the constraints
imposed on them by chiefy regulation of movement and by their
subordination in a network of unequal relations. Essentially, two
alternatives presented themselves. One was to seek advancement
by slowly renegotiating their rank in relation to erstwhile seniors.
But in order to do so, they had to gain the support of their wives,
adult children, and matrilateral kin through cooperation or coer
cion (Coraro and Roberts 1981: chaps. 5, ) .Either way, this in
volved making the domestic unit-replete with gender asymme
tries and a highly segregated division of labor-into a political base
for males in the public arena. The efect of such activity within and
upon households, even where it failed, was to afrm the central
ized state.
The other alternative was to withdraw entirely from the social
field. Although this was easiest when a regime was weak and could
not hold people at the capital (Coraro 1975), a household head
76 John L. Comarof
could always resist centralization by not participating in ward af
fairs. A strong headman might avert this, but, if enough groups
withheld their involvement, the oficeholder's loss of authority
might be so great that the ward would become politically inactive,
thereby weakening the state at large. In its social aspect, a stategy
of withdrawal entailed the avoidance of agnatic interaction and
kin marriage, with all their inevitable embroilments. Above all,
though, this strategy depended on, and in turn afected, domestic
organization itself, for it required a distinct division of labor, modes
of property holding, and familial politics. This confirms Nelson's
point that the conflation of the private with the domestic and the
public with the political is misleading. The construction of house
hold relations, here as elsewhere, was a profoundly political mat
ter. Indeed, the politics of the family and politics in the public sector
always condition each other. *
The same analysis is applicable to gender relations. If we view
the Tshidi world from a female standpoint, two considerations
stand out. First, the greater the degree of centralization, the more
acutely women in general sufered inequality. And, second, insofar
as women cooperated, voluntarily or not, in the male-centered pol
itics of interhousehold relations, most were placed in a position
whereby they contributed to their own subordination. Like men, i
other words, they were confronted by a contradiction, if a some
what diferent one, that primed their action. Again, this was me
diated by status diferences. For a woman in a subordinate house
hold, the options were clear, if not always palatable: either she
supported her husband's managerial eforts-and there were com
pelling reasons to do so, despite the costs-or she could try to per
suade him to adopt a strategy of withdrawal. When a man es
chewed this second option, his womenfolk could challenge
with their noncooperation (and perhaps that of their children
kin) or the dissolution of the union. The outcome of such !
tions depended on circumstance, but the fact that they occurred
all indicates that gender and household politics were two sides
one coin; they entered equally and complementarily into the

nal dynamics of the system. To be sure, women's responses to
*I have illustrated the point with respect to social practice in a centalized
verse. However, the converse processes may be demonstrated for a
social feld; for an ethnographic example, see Comarof (1982).
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structurl "Domains" 77
contradictions in their position had as great an impact on the social
field as did men's.
In afuent households, the alternative to participation in the po
litical process was not withdrawal; hence, women's strategies for
shaping their lives and relations were diferent. Two factors af
fected their options. First, wealthy units could depend on client la
bor, which decreased their reliance on cultivation by wives and
daughters; in addition, they tended to build their fortunes on cattle
and other forms of wealth. Women in these households could thus
resist participation in agriculture if they so desired. Second, the
wife of a powerful man had strong potential sanctions against him:
she was a vital link to his afnes and, in the web of ties woven by
cousin unions, to his allies and rivals. As a result, she could inter
vene either to threaten those ties or, conversely, to influence her kin
to aid her husband's managerial eforts. Women who played the
role of broker in this way often emerged as potent forces in intra
and inter household relations. Of course, the fact that some women
became prominent did not remove gender asymmetry as a generic
property of centralized polities. These women remained jural mi
nors; and inasmuch as they became powerful-and contributed to
the dominance of their households over others-they abetted the
reproduction of a centralized order and the predicament of female
members of subordinate units. As elsewhere, class and status dif
ferences created a situation in which the resolution of contradic
tions by individual women reinforced gender inequality at large;
the only way to reduce that inequality was to subvert centralization
itself.
In sum, then, the construction of gender relations was insepa
rable from the workings of the total system. It was an integral part
of the process whereby the principles underlying the Tshidi social
order motivated action and so fashioned concrete relations of
widely varying and ever-changing contours. Before summarizing
the implications of all this for the conceptualization of domains, for
kinship theory, and for the analysis of gender, however, I must
place these ethnographic data in broader historical context.
It goes without saying that the Tshidi system at the tur of this
century was not an isolated "precapitalist formation." Like all so
cieties for much of their history, it had been shaped alike by its own
i nternal dynamics and by its encounter with external forces. A cen-
78 John L. Comarof
tury before, prior to settler or colonial penetration, the tendency to
ward centralization was more firmly entrenched, more regularly
reproduced, than that toward decentralization. * This is not to say
that the contradiction between these tendencies was absent-al
though it was not identical in content-or that it never produced a
fragmented polity. Tswana chiefdoms did disappear, and some
times reappeared, of their own accord, and there is record of a
number of acephalous communities in the region. Nor is their his
tory reducible to a pattern of oscillation of the sort described by
Leach (1954) for Highland Burma. The transformations of these
polities over the long run, due both to their interior working and to
their external relations, simply did not conform to a regular, me
chanical movement between polar forms of social organization.
However, there were specific factors-stemming from the inter
action of the Tshidi with the contemporary outside world-that fa
vored hierarchy and chiefy dominance: the control exercized by
ruling cadres over the spoils of war and raiding, especially serfs and
cattle; the royal monopoly of cross-regional trade; and the existence
of alliances, military and marital, with other dynasties. Although
chiefs could never eliminate the tendency toward individuation
and were always vulnerable to enmities that could split the polity,
Tshidi society was more stratified in the early nineteenth century
than it was to be later. Gender and age asymmetries were highly
marked and symbolically inscribed in rites that were submerged in
periods of decentralization and were to disappear under colonial
ism (J. Coraro 1985).
Inequalities also took on the form of class diferences, diferences
in access to the means of production and redistribution. For the
control of serf labor and trade goods by senior royals and com
moner headmen-through the crucible of the chiefship-under
wrote the subordination of the rest of the citizenry. Indeed, by sup
porting executive dominance, such controls further facilitated the
exaction of tribute and the hierarchical integration of domestic
units into the polity. All this, moreover, promoted rivalries among
households over rank-rivalries often intensified by kin marriage
and always rationalized with reference to agnatic status. It also en
couraged patron-client relations between groups of unequal stand-
*For accounts of the Tshidi social order in the early nineteenth century and full
supporting documentation, see J. Comarof (1985), Comarof and Comarof (n.d.),
and Comarof (1973).
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 79
ing, expressed through the loan of cattle. In short, all the features
of centralization were evident during much of this earlier era, and
its realization was favored, if not guaranteed, by an external con
text that gave a dominant class the means to control the fow of
value.
In the remaining years of the century, the Tshidi were gradually
absorbed into the concentric spheres of colonial domination: the
subcontinental economy, the British Empire, and the expanding
world system. From the native perspective, this process had three
interrelated facets. The first was the presence of missionaries,
which had both a material and an ideological aspect. For the Tshidi
not only were subjected to a Methodist vision of "civilization"
shaped by English industrial capitalism but also were introduced to
the plow and other technical innovations. The immediate impact of
Christianity, as measured by numbers of converts or by the removal
of such "barbarisms" as bridewealth and polygyny, was distinctly
equivocal. But, in the long run, it laid the ground for important
transformations. Specifically, the church became an alterate focus
for political mobilization and for the rise of an anti-chiefly faction;
the leadership of the congregation, equipped with mercantile and
clerical skills, became the core of a small local bourgeoisie; the com
ing of the plow sharpened the contradiction between the demands
of household production and centralized constraints, altered the
division of labor by drawing men into agriculture, and facilitated
cash cropping; and the ideological justification of the Protestant
work ethic and the worth of money prepared the Tshidi for the labor
market.
The second facet of the encompassment of the local system lay in
the expansion of the regional economy and the growth, from the
late-nineteenth century, of its mining and industrial sectors. The ef
fects of this expansion on rural comunities are by now familiar: it
led to the proletarianization of much of the black population, to
their impoverishment and restriction to reservations from which
labor migration could be regulated, and to the origins of moder
apartheid. The means by which this situation was contrived, its
bases in coercion and mystification, are well documented. Above
all, they depended on the third facet of the process, the political
agency of the colonial and post-colonial regimes.
Although the Tshidi had themselves sought imperial protection
from Boer settlers, the establishment in the 189o's of a crown colony
So John L. Comarof
over the southern Tswana hastened their absorption into the sub
continental system. The British administration, followed by an in
dependent South Africa in 1910, not only hastened the entry of
Tshidi into the labor market by imposing taxes and levies but also
had an impact on internal political processes. "Indirect rule" left
the constitution of the polity intact, but it put an end to war and
raiding-and, with it, the access of ruling cadres to their major ex
ternal source of wealth and power, cattle and serfs. In addition,
their trade monopoly was subverted by white merchants, who
bought and sold grain and stock on terms disadvantageous to local
producers. And, finally, chiefs were reduced from tribute receivers
to tax collectors, from the judges in their own legal order to lower
functionaries in a state judiciary, from politicians to civil servants.
These ideological, economic, and political agencies gradually
eroded the mechanisms underlying centralization. Nonetheless,
those mechanisms were not immediately removed: ruling cadres
still enjoyed greater wealth than others, monopolized the alloca
tion of land and authority, and dominated local political institu
tions. Some also earned new forms of income from trade and sal
aried work, and forged alliances through such arenas as the
church. Furthermore, the cultural terms of social management
kinship categories, marriage arrangements, and so on-remained
largely intact. Hence, although the indigenous political process
was undermined-its demography altered by migrant labor and its
content diminished by overrule-its principal forms were perpet
uated. Nonetheless, as it became increasingly dificult to sustain a
centralized order, the contradictions in the system became more
acutely manifest. Thus, by the early-twentieth century, the dynam
ics of centralization and decentralization, of domestic organization
and gender relations, of the private and public domains came to as
sume the character described above. For, as external processes took
their course, the changes they wrought were incorporated into the
c
u
ltural and practical logic of the Tshidi system.
The Tshidi world underwent further transformation as it was
drawn yet more tightly into the regional political economy. Espe
cially after 1948, the South African state asserted increasing control
over such diverse features of everyday life as marriage and divorce,
local legal procedures, and ranching practices. It also continued to
denude chiefs and headmen of power, thereby undercutting the
political order that had given form to internal social processes.
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 81
Moreover, by imposing additional levies and by allowing pressure
on land and erosion to reach unprecedented levels, it seriously un
dermined agricultural and pastoral production. Established forms
of social practice finally lost their salience; there was no point in so
cial management, and hence in agnatic rivalries or kin marriage,
once its context and material bases had been eliminated. As this im
plies, the mechanisms underlying hierarchical centralization dis
appeared entirely. Yet the rationale for perennial dispersal-opti
mal household production in a dryland ecology-had also been
eclipsed. With the ebbing prospect of yielding subsistence crops
from infertile soil, many households ceased plowing or did so on a
very small scale. Thus, by the 1950's, the local system was no longer
workable, its constitutive principles no longer able to motivate rel
evant forms of action. What remained was an impoverished com
munity with no choice but to depend for survival on migrant labor.
This had a direct impact on the construction of domains, do
mestic arrangements, and gender relations. With the removal of
the local political machinery, administrative units ceased to func
tion as a public sector; wards and sections were reduced to mere
residential neighborhoods, the archeology of a vanishing order. In
sofar as the public sphere persisted at all, it was a creature of the
South African regime, an imposed bureaucracy of "tribal authori
ties" and assemblies to which the Tshidi were peremptorily sum
moned, ostensibly to discuss policy. Few attended, though, most
expressing their resistance in silent nonparticipation and in the one
form of collective action allowed blacks under the law, Christian rit
uals (J. Comarof 1985).
Equally marked transformations in domestic and gender rela
tions were refected in the division of labor. Since most men had be
come wage laborers, they were removed from the household and
fom its limited productive eforts for much of the time. Women,
who were not allowed to j oin their husbands in the cities, had
either to enter employment-usually as farm hands or domestic
servants in nearby towns-or to eke out an existence through cul
tivation; the regulation of black wages made it impossible for
household
s
to live on the income of male "breadwinners." Con
sequently, families were divided for long periods and rarely lived
as domestic units, which generally consisted of women and their
children, or grandparents and grandchildren, with other kin and
visiting husbands occasionally present. Like the household's strat-
82 John L. Comarof
egies for economic and social survival, its membership, though
typically female-centric, was a situational response to external
pressure. Demonstrably, the removal of men to cities and the con
signment of women to the rural "home" was a deliberate state pol
icy that not only hindered the rise of a permanent black proletariat
in "white" South Africa and depressed labor costs but also assured
the reproduction of a conveniently placed reserve army of workers.
Under these conditions, too, gender relations were no longer the
product of internal processes. Men and women had become pro
letarians and peasants, complementary fractions of an underclass
within an overarching structure of inequality. Notwithstanding the
association of women with the rural domestic sector and men with
urban wage labor in the public sphere, their relations cannot be re
duced to the language of symmetry or asymmetry, equality or dom
inance. All alike were caught up in an historical movement wherein
the contradictions of a prior order gave way to those of an intrusive
capitalist state-all, that is, except the small bourgeoisie which,
unaficted by the need to alienate its labor power, earned an in
come locally from trade, salaries, and commercial farming on the
large holdings accumulated during the preceding century. This
bourgeoisie had long been identified with the mission church and
its ideology, and maintained a patter of domestic and gender re
lations that resembled middle-class England more than anything to
be found among the Tshidi.
v
This historical sketch is far from exhaustive. Still, by revealing
the workings of the Tshidi system over both the short and long
term, it encourages us to recast our understanding of the public and
domestic domains, family and household organization, and gen
der relations. Indeed, the Tshidi case afirms and amplifies the
conclusions of my earlier critical discussion. It underscores the
irremedial limitations of the comparative and transactional ap
proaches: since neither addresses the subtle dialectic of structure
and practice that gives form to all historical systems, both reduce
social existence to a shadow of its true complexity. Likewise, the
analysis speaks to the twin dangers of the systemic alternative.
First, it repudiates the notion that the distinction between public
and private spheres can occur only in capitalist or mature state for
mations; more generally, i
warns against reducing noncapitalist
Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 83
orders to such caricatures as the self-reproducing "kinship soci
ety," the "tributary mode of production," or the "domestic com
munity." And, second, by demonstrating that it is motivated hu
man activity that realizes and transforms social arrangements, it
establishes that the social process is not mechanically determined
by structure. How, otherwise, do we account for radical fluctua
tions in the lived-in universe, for the processes that bring about
these fuctuations, or for the contradictions that underlie them?
One last critical point warrants repetition. At the outset, I noted
that social science imagery typically confates the domestic/
politico-jural distinction with other oppositions, such as private/
public and family/polity. The Tshidi ethnography shows that this is
misleading and that the classical conception of these domains is no
longer defensible. Domestic relations are always afected by the ex
igencies of political economy, just as wider political and economic
structures are predicated on the division of labor and the produc
tion of value within the household. The dynamics of historical
practice weave together these two dimensions of the social system,
a process that not only imparts substance to the domains but also
establishes the very terms of their existence. The implication is that
the emergence of a distinction between private and public sectors
does not denote a "balance" between the domestic and the politico
jural, kinship and polity. Rather, it indicates a specific mode of ver
tical integration whereby elementary social units are incorporated
in higher-order structures. And it is the manner of their incorpora
tion that determines the ideological and social content of each
domain.
Let me elaborate. Above all else, the Tshidi ethnography sug
gested that the distinction between domains was a function of the
hierarchical centralization of the social world. For centralization en
tailed, by its very nature, an opposition between an encompassed
("domestic") sphere, the source of social value, and an encom
passing ("public") sector in which the fow of that value was ne
gotiated and regulated. Of course, the use of the terms "domestic"
and "public" to describe these domains is an arbitrary use of West
er folk categories. The former, put in more general terms, refers
to culturally constituted units of production and social reproduc
tion, the latter to the apparatus by which they are integrated into a
centralized political economy. They are, in other words, distinct
and complementary levels of a hierarchical social universe.
84 John L. Comarof
At the same time, the articulation of these levels and the content
of the "domains" are not always the same. The precolonial Tshidi
world, even at its most centralized, difered markedly in these re
spects both from its neocolonial counterpart and from capitalist Eu
rope. In the first, households were integrated within higher-order
structures through the politics of chiefly dominance, an ongoing
process that generated a hierarchical field of relations and was but
tressed by a specific division of labor. In contrast, centralization in
the neocolonial context rested on a house forcibly divided: on the
segregation, by a repressive state machinery, of men into the in
dustrial labor market and women into the rural sector, where they
cultivated for use and entered local employment. These two modes
of centralization yielded quite diferent domestic forms, similar,
perhaps, only in their position at the lowest level of systems in
which the production of value was regulated from above.
This fact afirms the suggestion that the "domestic" is defined
less by its intrinsic nature than by a total order of social and ra terial
relations. The point is underlined by considering the social archi
tecture of mature capitalism, where centralization involves the
commoditization of production and labor power, the organiza
tional and ideological ascendance of market forces and, in variable
measure, the executive agencies of the state. This, in turn, gener
ates yet another transformation: the "domestic" becomes synon
ymous with the nuclear family and is subsumed into the division
of productive and reproductive labor so familiar in the folk imagi
nation of the West. Significantly, this transformation is found, in
the Tshidi context, among the bourgeoisie, in whose collective con
sciousness the moral and social value of the monogamous family is
deeply engraved.
Here, then, are three contrasting instances of centralization
the precolonial, the colonial/neocolonial, and the industrial capi
talist-each with diferently constructed "domains." But these are
not taxonomic types, frozen in time. For, the very fact of hierarchi
cal centralization implants a contradiction at the core of any social
order, a tension that primes human action and, through it, shapes
the surface contours of economy and society. Among the Tshidi,
where the contradiction cast household autonomy against the
structures of state authority, these contours were inherently fuid.
The "domains," family and kinship arrangements, and gender re
lations-inseparable elements in the dialectics of social life-var-
Feminism, Kinship Theor, and Structural "Domains" 85
ied predictably along with related patterns of devolution and
succession, communal ritual, and residence. Thus, an understand
ing of the logic of this covariance clarifies both short- and long-term
diversities in household and family relations; the dynamics under
lying the division of labor and gender asymmetries, and their con
nection to political processes; and the impact of practice, male and
female alike, on the world.
This study of Tshidi thus confirms the significance of feminist cri
tiques of orthodox anthropological percepts and concepts, and il
lustrates an analytic method in response to the vital challenge they
pose. Creative anthropological discourse on any aspect of social
being-be it family and kinship or gender relations, polity or econ
omy, culture or ideology-depends fnally on the ability to reveal
the subtle logic of total social systems and their historicity.
Mixed Metaphors: Native and
Anthropological Models of Gender
and Kinship Domains
Sylvia ]unko Yanagisako
THIS ARTICL explicates native and anthropological models of
gender and kinship domains in an attempt to locate them in a spe
cifc historical process of transformation. * begin by bringing to
gether two sets of analytical oppositions-each of wich has o

cupied a central place in its field of study-to better display their


common theoretical underpinnings as aspects of the same model
of kinship and gender. The two analytic oppositions are the dis
tinction between the "domestic" and the "public" spheres, which
Michelle z. Rosaldo identified as the structural framework neces
sary for arriving at an understanding of a universal sexual asym
metry, and the distinction between the "domestic (familial)" and
the "politico-jural" domains, which Meyer Fortes identified as
heuristic framework for understanding kinship in all human soci
eties. Although they share the same label for one of their cate
gories, these two oppositions might seem to constitute rather dif
ferent frameworks of analysis. One was formulated, above all, to
address the problem-which has been traced at least as far back as
Lewis Henry Morgan's research-" of how kinship and polity are
interconnected in tribal society" (Fortes 1969: 219). The other was
proposed as "a universal framework for conceptualizing the activ
ities of the sexes" (Rosaldo 1974: 23). In the past decade, however,
we have begun to recognize the gender model underlying our kin
ship analyses and the kinship model underlying our conception of
gender domains (Yanagisako 1979; Yanagisako and Collier, this vol-
*This paper has benefited greatly from the comments of Jane tkinson, Maurice
Bloch, James Boon, Jane Collier, Donald Donham, Frank Dubmskas, James Fer
nandez, Jack Goody, Yukiko Hanawa, Thomas James, Marilyn Strathern, and Anna
Lowenhaupt Tsing.
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 87
ume). Hence, we have become both more conscious and more sus
picious of the parallels between the heuristic devices of what are
purportedly diferent fields of study motivated by diferent analytic
intentions.
The gendered character of the domestic/politico-jural opposition
is refected in Fortes's conception of the diferent types of normative
premises regulating the two domains. Indeed, for Fortes, the de
fining feature of each domain is the character of its normative prem
ise. Underlying the politico-jural domain are jural norms guaran
teed by "external" or "public" sanctions that may ultimately entail
force. The domestic or familial domain, in contrast, is constrained
by "private," "afective, and moral norms, at the root of which is the
fundamental axiom of prescriptive altruism" (Fortes 1969: 250-51).
At the core of the domestic domain in "primitive societies" is the
"matricentral cell" of a mother and her children (Fortes 1958: 8),
which is the source of the afective and moral convictions per
meating the entire sphere. The biological, reproductive, and in
herently female core of the domestic domain is perhaps most ap
parent in the following admittedly speculative aside by Fortes:
If a person who is not a kinsman is metaphorically or figuratively placed
in a kinship category, an element, or at least a semblance, of kinship amity
goes with it. It is conceivable-and I for one would accept-that the axiom
of amity refects biological and psychological parameters of human social
existence. Maybe there is sucked in with the mother's milk, as Montaigne
opined, the orientation on which it ultimately rests. But this is not my sub
ject (Fortes 1969: 251).
Although the biological and psychological parameters of human
social existence and, in particular, the processes through which
mothering generates kinship amity may not be Fortes's subject, as
sumptions about them pervade his conception of the domestic do
main and its articulation with the politico-jural domain. It is hardly
surprising, therefore, to find that other anthropologists have em
phasized the reproductive, biological ("natural") constraints of the
domestic domain. Raymond Smith, for example, suggested that
"matrifocality" can be observed in the domestic relations of a wide
range of societies because "mothering, or child-rearing, is the cen
tral activity of the domestic domain and is productive of the intense
relations which pervade it" (1973: 140). For Maurice Bloch, "do
mestic kinship" is characterized by natural constraint, which is ne
gated in the politico-jural domain (Bloch 1977: 291).
88 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
Finally, the gendered nature of the opposition is apparent from
its usage by researchers who assume that female activities are "do
mestic" activities and groups in which females are found are "do
mestic" groups (Bender 196T 498), whereas activities and groups
from which females are excluded (or in which their participation is
limited) belong to the politico-jural or some other extra-domestic
domain. Evans-Pritchard, for one, excluded "the relations between
the sexes and between children and adults" from his analysis of
Nuer social structure because they "belong to an account of do
mestic relations rather than to a study of political institutions"
(Evans-Pritchard 1940: 178).
Although Rosaldo ( 1974) drew no explicit link to Fortes's distinc
tion or to any particular institutional model of kinship in her initial
formulation of the domestic/public opposition, she later came to
recognize the existence of that link along with its troubling analyt
ical consequences (Rosaldo 1980) . If she still found domestic/public
"as telling as any explanation yet put forth'' of universals in sexual
asymmetry, she also traced its roots to a "Victorian theory [that]
cast the sexes in dichotomous and contrastive terms, describing
home and women not primarily as they were but as they had to be,
given an ideology that opposed natural, moral, and essentially un
changing private realms to the vagaries of a progressive masculine
society" (Rosaldo 1980: 404) .
Despite Rosaldo's reconceptualization of her initial proposal and
her misgivings about a distinction that, following Reiter ( 1975), she
came to view as the ideological product of a particular social for
mation, the domestic/public contrast continues to be used in an
thropology and related disciplines as if it constituted an empirically
observable, uniform diference in the orientations and interests of
men and women in most, if not all, societies (Yanagisako and Col
lier, this volume). Ortner and Whitehead (1981: 7), for example,
suggest that the domestic/public distinction is one of the "sets of
metaphorically associated binary oppositions" that recur fre
quently in gender ideologies. Like the nature/culture opposition
(Ortner 1974) and the contrast between "self-interest" and the "so
cial good" (Strathern 1980 ), the domestic/public formulation is said
to derive from the central sociological insight "that the sphere of so
cial activity predominantly associated with males encompasses the
sphere predominantly associated with females and is, for that rea
son, culturally accorded higher value" (Ortner and Whitehead
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains
1981: 7) . Which one of these oppositions appears in the idiom"
particular culture is said to be an empirical question. However, "all
could be present without inconsistency; all are in a sense transfor
mations of one another" (Ortner and Whitehead 1981: 8).
In this article, I hope to shed further light on the "gender" op
position of domestic/public and the "kinship" opposition of do
mestic/politico-jural by analyzing them together. For by examining
the interpenetration of models of kinship and polity and models of
gender domains, we may see more clearly their relation to partic
ular social formations and historical transformations. Such clarity
is of crucial importance, because failure to recognize these models
as the products of a particular culture undergoing a particular his
torical transformation can lead to faulty analysis of cultural oppo
sitions that emerge from cultures undergoing diferent transfor
mations. As Strathern (1980) and others have convincingly argued
with regard to the nature/culture opposition, we cannot assume
that the terms we use "identify straightforwardly a genuine ana
lytical focus" (Bloch and Bloch 1980: 25); rather, we need to examine
our own concepts and the historical processes that have produced
their ambiguities and their social implications.
My attempt at such an examination here reverses anthropologi
cal convention by using "native" explications of gender domains to
illuminate anthropological models of gender and kinship. This re
versal is less presumptuous than it might appear, however, given
that my natives have participated-albeit in a particular way-in
the same historical processes out of which our analytic oppositions
have emerged. By allowing two generations of Japanese Americans
to explicate anthropological categories, I hope to ground a rather
sweeping hypothesis about the transformation of conceptions of
gender and kinship in Western industrial-capitalist states in the
daily discourse of the members of a middle-class, urban commu
nity in northwestern America.
The Two Generations: Issei and Nisei
Japanese Americans are one of those rare populations in which
historical events have rendered kinship-defined generations iden
tical with birth cohorts. The political history of Japanese im
migration to the United States created relatively discrete, non
overlapping generations. The concentration of the marriages of the
(
90 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
first generation during the period from 1907 to 1924 in turn con
centrated the births of the second generation and created a distinct
bimodality in the age structure of the pre-Second World War pop
ulation. Second-generation marriages were similarly concentrated
and so produced a third generation-the vast majority of whom
were under thirty in 1970. The discreteness of the generations con
tinues to be recognized by Japanese Americans and is refected in
their usage of distinct terms (Issei, Nisei, and Sansei) for each gen
eration. In this article, I will consider only the first two generations:
Issei and Nisei.
Like other Japanese American communities on the West Coast,
the Seattle community originated in the 189o's with the immigra
tion of young and, for the most part, unmarried men from farm
ing households or small-town, entrepreneurial households in the
southern prefectures of Japan. During the initial "frontier period"
of the community from 1890 to 1910, these men worked primarily
as wage laborers. Between 1910 and 1920, the number of males de
creased as a result of the "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the
United States and Japan, which was intended to halt any further
immigration of Japanese laborers. In an historical irony of unin
tended consequence, however, the decrease in the male population
was more than compensated for by the arrival of wives and brides
and, shortly thereafter, high birth rates.
The period of marriage and family building among the Issei co
incided with the economic boom accompanying U. S. entry into the
First World War. In Seattle, the Issei moved quickly to establish
small retail businesses and services catering to the large infux of
white workers as well as to the Japanese farmers in the surrounding
rural areas. Whether marriage preceded or followed the movement
from wage labor for any individual Issei, for the Seattle Issei as a
whole, marriage was historically linked with the shift to entrepre-
|
neurship. But the expansion of the community was short-lived.
The growing anti-Japanese sentiment tha already had led o he
passage of discriminatory laws in Califorma brough about s1milar
restrictions in Washington. In 1921, the state of Washmgton passed
the Anti-Alien Land Law denying foreign-born Japanese the right
to lease or own land. A year later, in Tako Ozawa v. United States,
the U. S. Supreme Court upheld the ineligibility of Japanese im
migrants to citizenship through naturalization. After passage of
the Immigration Act of 1924 halted immigration from Japan, the
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 91
economy of the Seattle Japanese American community was further
crippled and its population growth limited to the births of the sec
ond generation.
Up until the Second World War, the Seattle Issei presented a col
lective tale of small-business enterprise in early-twentieth-century
America. In the 193o's, two-thirds of Issei men and women were
self-employed entrepreneurs in "trades" or "domestic and per
sonal services" (Miyamoto 1939: 71). Their businesses were re
stricted to a narrow range of service-oriented enterprises, includ
ing hotels for single workingmen, groceries, grocery stands,
produce houses, restaurants, greenhouses, gardening services,
barbershops, laundries, and peddling routes. Less than twenty
percent of the Issei were wage earners at the outbreak of the Second
World War.
The predominance of small-business enterprise among the Se
attle Issei encouraged high rates of female participation in income
earing work during the childbearing and childrearing years. Fifty
percent of Issei wives worked in family businesses or wage-earing
jobs during their first year of marriage, and this percentage rose un
til it reached a peak of 75 percent in the twentieth year of marriage.*
Within this general rise in the percentage of women engaged in
income-earning work in addition to their own housework, patterns
of work in family business and work for wages showed diferent
trends. There was an increase in the percentage of women working
in family businesses, but a decline in the percentage of women
working for wages. Women whose husbands were entrepreneurs
worked more continuously in productive activities than did
women whose husbands were wage earners (Yanagisako 1985).
The events following immediately upon the outbreak of the Sec
ond World War destroyed the community's entrepreneurial char
acter. The imprisonment of the Japanese population on the West
Coast, immigrant Japanese citizens and second-generation U. S.
citizens alike, resulted in the forced sale or abandonment of busi
nesses and the liquidation of assets. From studies of the "relocation
camps" and of the resettlement period that followed the camps' clo
sure in 1945, we know of the disruption of family life, the decline
in the first generation's political and parental control, and the fi-
*These figures are based on a sample of zqIssei married couples interviewed in
Seattle between 1973 and 1975. For more information on the study, see Yanagisako
]977 and 1985.
(
92 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
nancial and social hardships Japanese Americans faced trying tore
build their communities. We know, too, that the majority of the Jap
anese Americans who returned to Seattle after the war did not
resurrect their businesses, but instead moved into wage and sala
ried employment (Miyamoto and O'Brien 1947).
By the end of the war, the majority of Issei men were over fifty
five years old; the majority of Issei women were in their late forties
and early fifties. Most of the couples who had small family busi
nesses before the war were forced back into the unskilled, low
paying jobs in which they had started their work histories in Amer
ica. Less than a third of the men and women in my Issei marriage
sample who had been self-employed entrepreneurs at the outbreak
of the war were in the same line of business in 1946, one year after
the war had ended and the camps had closed. Two-thirds of the
men were unemployed or had taken wage-earning jobs as janitors,
kitchen helpers, and handymen. A third of the women were un
employed housewives, and half of the women had become do
mestic servants, seamstresses in garment factories, and cannery
workers.
After the war, the children of the first generation, who by the
196o's surpassed whites in median school years completed, moved
into predominantly white-collar, managerial, and professional oc
cupations. In Seattle today, there are higher percentages of college
graduates, white-collar employees, and professionals among Nisei
men than among white men. Less than 29 percent of second
generation men are self-employed businessmen. Nisei women
evince even lower rates of self-employment; the vast majority of
employed Nisei women are in secretarial, clerical, and low-level
managerial positions. Because of the dramatic turn of events
caused by the wartime imprisonment and its aftermath, Nisei
wives in diferent marriage cohorts (prewar, wartime, resettle
ment, and post-resettlement) exhibited very diferent rates of em
ployment (from 8 percent to 93 percent) during the first year of mar
riage. Over time, however, these four Nisei marriage cohorts
converged toward the same pattern of female employment: a
steady decline in the percentage of wives employed until the tenth
year of marriage (when it reaches a low of around 15 to 20 percent)
followed by a steady rise to the twentieth year of marriage (when it
reaches a peak of around 65 to 75 percent).
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 93
Issei Gender Domains in Marriage: Inside and Outside
Marriage fo
:
the Issei is above all a relationship that brings to
gether the diferent, but complementary, gender domains of
women and men, which, in turn, are conceptualized in terms of the
opposition between "inside" and "outside. " By far the most com
mon way for the Issei to describe the responsibilities, activities, and
concerns of spouses is to say that wives take care of things "inside"
e h

us
,
, home, or family and tat husbands take care of things
outside those spheres. When usmg English, the Issei say "inside
the house," "inside the family," or "inside the home" in reference
to the wife's domain, and" outside the house," "outside the home "
or "outside the family" in reference to the husband's domai.
vhen J

pa

ese is spoken, the phrases "uchi no koto" (things in


Side, thmgs mdoors, or things of the household) and" so to no koto"
(thing

outdoors or outside) are used to describe this opposition.
?omet

mes, howe

er

only the wife's domain is clearly specified as
mclum
?
m

tters
_
mside the house, home, or family; the husband's
domam IS smd to mclude "everything else."*
*Te
y
rase "uchi no koto," which several of the Issei used to describe the re
sponsibIhes of wives, can be interpreted in several ways. "Uchi" can be translated
as "the mside," "the interior," or "one's house," "one's home " or "one's house
old." he addit
?
n o "no" (p
,
?ssessive
_
marker)
_
and "koto" (thngs) makes it pos
sible to mterpret uch1 no oto
.
as refer
_
nng to thmgs physically inside the physical
structure of the house,
_
thmgs I

doo

s II general, or things of the home or house


hold (a
_
nd not nec

ssanly physically ms1de them). Similarly, "ie no naka no koto"


can be mterpreted m a number of ways depending on whether "ie" is taken to refer
to the physical structure of the house, a home, a household, or a family. As it can
mean an
r
of th

se things or all of these things at the same time, it would be a mis


take to pm our Interpretation on any one literal, and narrow, translation.
.
The same is true of the meaning of the English phrases "inside the house " "in
side he home," and "inside the family," which the Issei used to define the dmain
of Wives. Here, as well, there is some ambiguity as to whether that domain is a
physically crcumscribed one (the interior of the physical structure of the house or
th prope
_
rt on which
_
the home
_
sits) or a more socially circumscribed one (the re
lations w1thm the family). In this paper, my explication of the meaning of such
phrase

as "inside the home" and "uchi no koto" is not the sum of my explication
of the hteral, di

t!onary defin!tions of each of these phrases and their constituent


wors. Rather, It Is my

nalys

s o the s
_
m of the Issei usages of all these phrases
En
!
hsh an Japanese-m their discussion of the conjugal relationship and the do
ams of

:
s and husbands. For the above reasons, have not emphasized the
hteral
_
defmJtJons of terms such as the Japanese term of reference for one's wife
(kanai)-which means, literally, "inside the house" -and the term of reference for
a

oth

r man's wife (okusan)-which means the person (honorific "san") of th


"1ntenor" or "depths" (oku).
'
e

I
94 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
In its most narrow sense, the opposition between the female in
side sphere and the male outside sphere refects the spatial location
of tasks around the home that wives and husbands assume. Every
thing inside the walls of the house is said to be the responsibility of
women; everything outside the walls is the responsibility of men.
Women do the dishes, cook meals, iron, sew, and clean everything
in the house. Men do yard work, maintain the external appearance
of the house and its structural soundness, and wash and repair the
automobile. The division of indoor and outdoor tasks extends to
work in the family business. If a couple had operated a hotel, for
example, the wife took care of cleaning everything inside the build
ing, and her husband took care of the exterior. If they operated a
laundry, she worked in the back room, and he made the deliveries.
The spatial referent of the opposition has another broader mean
ing. Here, the boundary between "inside" and "outside" divides
familial space from non-familial space. Both the home and family
business are considered "inside," first, because they are controlled
by the family. Thus, although a woman's work in the family busi
ness brings her in contact with people outside the family, it does so
in a space that is controlled by the family and, thereby, separated
from the non-familial world. Second, in interactional terms, work
in a family business remains "inside" to the extent that a woman
interacts primarily with family members or people with whom the
family is familiar, even if she does so outside the home. A major dis
advantage to women of work outside the family in wage-earning
jobs is the necessity to interact with non-kin and strangers (em
ployers, clients, fellow workers) .
The outside domain of men comprises both the sphere of extra
familial activities and the interstice that links the household to in
dividuals, groups, and institutions outside it. Politics, community
organizations, and the construction of a social world outside the
household are the proper concern of men, who bear the ultimate
responsibility for the security and reputation of their households in
that social world. A husband's activities outside the household
provide him with a broad network of relationships-primarily
with other males-that establishes his family's identity in the com
munity. A wife needs no such extrafamilial relationships because
her social identity is derived from her place within the family and
from the public statuses of other family members.
There is yet another level of contrast between "inside" and "out-
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 95
side" within the household itself, however. The "inside" encom
passes specific tasks like child care, housecleaning, and any of the
routine, day-to-day chores that are considered necessary for the
operation of the household but oflittle consequence for the family's
relations with the larger social world. Thus, "inside" also refers to
"small" actions of lesser consequence-including making minor
purchases and decisions. Whereas women may pay bills and make
daily purchases for the upkeep of the household, large and extra
ordinary financial decisions and decisions in the family business
are left to men. Likewise, the care and supervision of small chil
dren, whose actions have little impact on relations outside the
household, are viewed almost entirely as the responsibility of
mothers. But when children begin to interact with the world out
side the home, their behavior becomes the fathers' concern. Fa
thers, therefore, should make decisions about their children's ed
ucation and occupations and their participation in churches, social
clubs, and other community organizations.
Finally, "inside" and "outside" symbolize the diferent motives
and orientations of women and men. Above all, a woman's proper
motive for action is to provide for the well-being of her family. In
deed, motive appears to be the ultimate criterion for evaluating the
gender correctness of female behavior. The propriety of a woman
who goes outside the home to work or to engage in any social ac
tivity is judged according to whether she is acting out of concern for
the family or seeking to satisfy other interests. As one Issei man
stated, "If [a wife] wants to work because her family needs the
money that's fine, but if she wants to work just to kill time or get
out of the house, that's her problem." Accordingly, a woman who
operates in the world outside the family, such as the woman who
was a successful entrepreneur, says that her ambitions are moti
vated solely by her desire to provide for her family.
Men's actions, of course, are also subject to evaluation on the ba
sis of intention. But because men are expected to have a broader
range of concerns than women have, they can engage in a wider
range of activities with a wider range of people without having to
justify their actions. No Issei man I interviewed felt the need to at
tribute his strivings for wealth or social advancement solely to con
cern for his family. Although men are expected to share these con
cers, they are also expected to have other (potentially competing)
concerns arising from their wider sphere of relationships outside
\"
/
96 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
ihefamily. Thus, iiisacceiahleforaman'smoiivesforfinancial
gainioderivenoionlyfromhiscommiimeniiohisfamilyhuialso
fromhisdesireforuhlicacclaiminihecommuniiy.
Furihermore, ihehoundariesofihemaledomainarecomara-
iivelyvagueandmorediuiculiiolocaie,hecauseouisideisanex-
ansivecaiegoryihaicanonlyhedefinedinconirasiioinside. As
Imeniionedearlier,severalofiheIsseisaidihaiwivesiookcareof
everyihinginsideihehouse,home,orfamilyandmeniookcareof
everyihingelse.The image conveyedhyihesesiaiemenisisof
ahoundedfemaleshere,clearlydelimiiedhyamaleshereihai
is unhounded, exceihy ihe excludedfemale elemenis, and ex-
andahle.
Ideally,marriageisiheharmoniouscoordinaiionofihesediuer-
eni,huicomlemeniary,genderdomains.Eachsousefulfillshis
orherroerresonsihiliiieswiihouiinierferinginiheoiher'sdo-
main.Menshouldnoiengageinhousekeeingandchild-careac-
iiviiies. womenshouldnoirereseniihehouseholdiniisrelaiions
wiihihe communiiy. Ifawoman siesheyond her shere, iiis
hecauseshehasheencomellediodoso,eiiherhyherhushand's
failureiomeeihisresonsihiliiiesroerlyorhyunusualcircum-
siances.
AlihoughiheIsseiconsideriheiwodomainsiohecomlemen-
iary,iheydonoiconsiderihemioheequal.FromIsseimen'soini
ofview,ihefemaleinsideshereisencomassedhyihemaleoui-
sideshereand,iherefore,issuhjeciiomaleauihoriiy.Awifemay
hemisiressofherownshere, huiherhushandismasierofihe
whole,andshemusifollowihedireciioninwhichheleadsiheen-
iirefamily. Hisknowledgeofiheworldouisideihefamilyaswell
aswiihiniiisihoughiiogivehimahroaderhaseuonwhichio
makedecisionsandshaesiraiegies.lnihehesiofallossihlemar-
riages,amandoesnoihaveioinierveneinhiswife'sshere,he-
causesheconsianilyadjusisheraciionsiohis. lfshedoesnoi,he
shouldcorreciher.Hemayhecomassionaieandundersianding,
huimoreimoriani,hemusiexercisefirmleadershiasheadofihe
household.
Women'snoiionsahouiiheconiroloveriheiwodomainsandihe
relaiionsheiweenihemarecloseiomen's,ifahiimoreamhivaleni.
Oniheonehand,iheyemhasizeihenecessiiyofmaleleadershi.
AgoodJaanesewife,iheyauirm,isquiei,reserved,nonaggres-
sive,andsomewhaisuhservieni.Ahoveall,sheisconsianilyloyal
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 97
andohedieniioherhushand,whoideallyisaresonsihleandwise
leader. Oniheoiherhand, iheyemhasizeihaiagoodhushand
alsogiveshiswifeihefreedomiomanagehersherewiihouimed-
dlingorclosemoniioring.lnaddiiion,hekeesherinformedofim-
orianimaiiersaueciingihefamilyandconfidesinhersoihaiihey
haveamuiualundersiandingofiheirauairs.Alihoughuliimaiely
he makes ihe decisions, he is consideraie of her concerns and
wishes and does noihullyher inio suhmission. Thus, alihough
ihey accei ihe legiiimacy of male auihoriiy and men's righi io
makedecisionsihaiwomenmaynoilike, Isseiwomenofiencom-
lainahouiihe inconsideraie mannerinwhich aariicularhus-
handexercisesihaiauihoriiy.
"Japanese" and "American" Marriage
The recedingconceiions of marriage emergefrom Issei ac-
counisofiheirownmarriages,whichiheycaiegorize,forihemosi
ari,asJaanese.Americanmarriage,*acaiegoryinwhichihe
IsseilaceihemarriagesofiheirchildreniheNisei,iseniirelydif-
fereni, indeed, iiisdefinedinsymholicoosiiionioJaanese
marriage. Jaanese marriageisrooiedingiri(duiy),Ameri-
canmarriageishasedon(romaniic)love.Jaanesemarriage
is enmeshed in a siruciure ofohligaiions io arenis and family,
American marriageisfreefromihesehurdens. Thefreedomio
chooseone's ownsouseis, foriheIssei, ihekeysymholforihe
freedom, ihe lack ofconsiraini and resiraini, ihai characierizes
American marriage in general and renders iiiheaniiihesis of
Jaanesemarriage.
Theoosiiionheiween'1mericanandJaanesemarriageis
evenmoreceniral ioiheNisei's discourse onmarriage. Indeed,
Niseinoiionsahouimarriageandiheiermsinwhichiheyevaluaie
iheirownmarriagescanheundersioodonlywiihiniheframework
ofihis symholicoosiiion. When ihey descrihe iheirownmar-
riages,NiseiinvariahlyconirasiihemwiihJaanesemarriage-
amodelihaiiheyerceiveiohaveheenhoihiheruleandiherac-
iiceinJaanandihaiiheyconsiderihemarriagesofiheIsseiiore-
reseni. American marriage ihey erceive io he ihe dominani
shaeofihemarriagesofiheirmiddle-class,whiieAmericancon-
*"American" was the adjective the Issei used most frequently to refer to this cat
egory of marriages. The term "hakujin" (white people) was also used occasionally.
/

98 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako


temporaries. * Sansei (third-generation) marriages are also ad
duced as illustrative cases of "American" marriage, particularly
among older Nisei who have married children.
In the Nisei's view, their own marriages are a compromise be
tween the all too whimsical and dangerously unstable "American"
marriage and the emotionally ungratifying and often burdensome
"Japanese" marriage. "Love" and "afection" have been brought
into the conjugal relationship, but not at the expense of " duty" and
"commitment. " The Nisei marriage, unless it is a marriage gone
wrong, is said to blend the best elements of the opposing "Japa
nese" and "American" types. The capriciousness of romantic love
and its inherent instability are balanced in Nisei marriage by the
stabilizing force of ethical "duty." One chooses one's spouse on the
basis of romantic and sexual attraction, albeit tempered by sound
judgment. But once "love" has brought a couple together and they
marry, it becomes more than just an emotional state. It is trans
formed into an emotional commitment. After marriage, "love" is
not merely the physical and romantic attraction between two
unique individuals, but the mutual commitment of husband and
wife to fulfill each other's needs and desires for intimacy and af
fection, to care for each other materially and physically, and to er
brace happily all their conjugal obligations.
Nisei Gender Domains in Marriage: Work and Family
The unity of husband and wife-a unity so deeply felt that some
Nisei say that a spouse is "just like a part of me" or "an extension
of myself" -is not dependent upon constant interaction, shared
activities, or expressions of afection. It is good for a husband and
wife to spend time together, to "lear to play together," to "go out
together," to demonstrate their afection, and to provide each other
with companionship. A spouse is, in a sense, one's "best friend."
But this does not mean that a couple should spend all, or even a ma
j ority of, their evenings together, or tha:t they should share the
same activities. Indeed, for the Nisei, it is important that each
spouse maintain a sense of his or her individuality and separate
identity.
*Here again I use the adjective "American" to label the construct of marriage that
the Nisei oppose to "Japanese" marriage, because it is the term most frequently em
ployed by the Nisei. However, the Nisei also use the term "hakujin" (white people)
and "Caucasian" to refer to this category of marriages.
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 99
The Nisei conception of the unity of husband and wife is best de
scribed as a model of organic solidarity constructed out of a func
tional division of labor. The terms the Nisei use repeatedly to talk
about the domains of husbands and wives are "work" versus "fam
ily" or "hore." Men's concerns and responsibilities are said to lie
in the area of work. The foremost duty of a husband is to work to
support his wife and children. Women's domain is that of the fam
ily or hore. To the Nisei, a woman's role as homemaker entails
more than just cooking, cleaning, and providing for the physical
well-being of her husband and children; it literally entails trans
forming a house into a hore. As the central node in the family's
communicative network, a wife should be aware of her husband's
and children's needs, activities, and feelings. Because the most im
portant part of her "job" as wife and mother is to "take care of the
children," she is responsible for monitoring their behavior as well
as making routine decisions about their activities. Men, too,
should be concerned with and interested in their children and
should try to ''be in touch with them," but their concern with
"work" exempts them from having to have detailed and up-to-date
knowledge of their children's lives. Hence, fathers feel free to admit
a certain ignorance of and detachment from their children without
the fear of criticism or the guilt experienced by mothers.
Women, of course, can also work outside the hore, but this ac
tivity is considered secondary to their job as homemaker and
mother and, at least ideally, a matter of choice rather than duty.
Everyone agrees that it is acceptable and, in some instances, desir
able for a woman to work after her children have grown up and are
independent. Although there are difering opinions about when
this critical point is reached, Nisei agree that a woman should not
work as long as any of her children are of preschool age. Nisei
women place great value on the experience of mothering. For them,
the greatest drawback of an income-earing job is that it takes them
away fom constant interaction with young children. Several
women explained that mothers with jobs "miss so much," even if
their children are well cared for. Returning hore tired from work
reduces a woman's capacity to enjoy her children and her "expe
rience of being a mother." For this reason, women say, the best job
for a mother who must work is one that allows her to be at hore
when the children return from school, even if this job is only part
time, with little security and reduced earnings. Furthermore, a
/
1oo Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
woman returing home at the end of the day wants to leave all con
cern for "work" behind so that she can devote her full attention to
her family. If she has been away for the entire day, it is all the more
necessary that she be "there for her family" when she returns
home-that is, fully available to minister to their needs. So a Nisei
woman who is an elementary school teacher and the mother of a
preschool child explained that she no longer brought her "work"
home as she used to before her child was born, because when she
is at home now her "job is to be a mother."
What the Nisei say in some contexts about the work domain of
husbands and the home domain of wives depicts them as equally
important, complementary sets of functions that must be fulfilled
if a marriage and a family are to survive. People often speak of
men's income-earning work and women's housework and child
care in terms that portray them as functionally diferent, but struc
turally equivalent, activities. For example, when the Nisei say that
it is a wife's "job" to take care of the family and the home, they con
vey a sense of symmetry in the domains of men and women. A mar
riage functions smoothly i each spouse does his or her "job."
Hence, although it is husbands who should work at income
earing jobs while their wives should take care of the family and
home, in another sense both husbands and wives have jobs. As
several women put it when they discussed the conjugal division of
labor, "He has his job and I have mine."
The equivalence of men's work and women's work is also con
veyed in the Nisei's comments about men's assistance with house
work and child care. Neither men nor women feel it desirable for a
husband to share equally in the housework or even to do a signif
icant portion of it. After all, they explained, a man goes to work and
does "his j ob," so he should not have to come home and do "his
wife's job." For a husband to provide more than infrequent help
with the housework, therefore, unbalances what the Nisei view as
an equitable division of labor. What a husband must do to earn a
livelihood is equivalent to what a wife must do to maintain the up
keep of the home and children.
The logic of this equation would seem to break down when a wife
takes on a full-time j ob, for then it would appear that she is doing
twice her husband's work. On the few occasions when I confronted
Nisei informants with this problematic extension of their equation,
their response was either to admit the inequality-often in a half-
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 1o1
joking manner, as when one man said, "Well, I guess that's just
women's lot"-or to explain that if a woman "chooses to go to
work" then she must be ready to shoulder the burden of both job
and housework.
The sense of equivalence and symmetry imparted by the Nisei's
discussions of the work domain of husbands and the family/home
domain of wives extends to their use of the terms "inside" and" out
side." In contrast with the Issei, the Nisei employ these terms in
fewer contexts and in ways that convey a narrower range of mean
ing. For the Nisei, "inside" and "outside" refer to physical space,
and they are used primarily to talk about the sexual division of tasks
around the home. * Men are considered responsible for the upkeep
of objects and areas that are physically outside the house, including
the yard, automobile, garage, and the exterior walls and roof of the
house. Everything inside is the responsibility of women. No hier
archical structure is implied by the Nisei's use of these terms. "In
side" and "outside" are spoken of as two adjacent spatial domains,
and neither men nor women convey the sense that one is sub
sumed by the other.
The Nisei are quick to make known their rejection of the "Japa
nese" devaluation of females. Husbands and wives, men and
women, they claim, are equally valuable human beings. Yet, at the
same time, the Nisei are of the opinion that the husband should
"lead" in the marriage. He should act as the "head of the family"
and "be strong." In particular, he should represent the couple and
the family in community afairs. This does not mean that men have
the right to make decisions by themselves, or even that they should
have a greater say in decisions afecting the couple or the family. A
few women said that they liked to be "subordinate" and wanted
their husbands to handle all the important afairs, although they
were defensively apologetic about being "a member of the old
school of thought." Other women said that they found it dificult to
be submissive to their husbands and could not accept "Japanese"
ideas about female subordination. They were especially critical of
their Issei fathers' attitudes toward women, which they portrayed
*Another context mwhich "inside" and "outside" surface in Nisei discussions
of the conjugal relation is when people say that men "go out to work" (i.e., work
at income-earing jobs) whereas women "stay at home." Yet, here again it is the
work/home contrast that appears more salient to the Nisei conception of male and
female domains than the inside/outside contrast.
.
I
1oz Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
as "feudal. " But although they rejected the devaluation of women
and the male dominance they associated with Issei marriage, even
these women said that a husband should "lead" in a marriage.
Wives' comments show that they believe they play an important
part in the construction of male leadership: if they lean on their hus
bands, their husbands will be strong, but if they take the lead too
often, their husbands will become weak and dependent. A woman
commented, "In the papers I read about men getting less and less
able to make decisions and relying on their wives. I think this is the
consequence. The more you [a wife] boss, the more the man will
back up into the corner. Someone has to be the primary one to make
decisions."
The conviction that "only one person can be the boss" is the in
evitable conclusion of the Nisei's discussions of authority and
power in marriage. In fact, they ofer little else than this to explain
or legitimate male leadership. No one ever expressed the view that
men are inherently stronger or natural leaders, or that women are
naturally submissive. On the contrary, the idea that male leader
ship and strength is a contingent social phenomenon, dependent
upon women's eliciting behavior and their consent, is a clear thread
that runs through the comments of the Nisei.
The limits of male leadership in marriage are defined by the
"rights" of wives, the most important of which are knowledge, par
ticipation in decision making, and autonomy. First, a wife has a
right to know about the couple's current financial situation, their
prospects for the future, and any strategies or plans a husband may
have that could afect the couple and their children. Second, a wife
has a right to express her opinion and to have it seriously consid
ered before any family decision is made. A husband should involve
his wife in the decision-making process by talking the matter over
with her before he takes any action. Finally, a wife has a right to a
degree of autonomy in her life. Not only should she be allowed a
fee rein in running the house, but she should have freedom of
movement and freedom to purchase items she wants either for her
self or for others, within reasonable limits. It was these latter two
"freedoms" that Nisei wives mentioned most often as signs that
their marriages had changed for the better over time. Freedom of
movement means that a wife is not held accountable to her hus
band for her activities while he is at work. If she fulfills her house-
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 1o
keeping and childrearing duties, she can spend her remaining time
as she sees fit. Freedom to purchase means that a wife does not
have to justif to her husband every penny she spends. Men and
women agree that a wife should have some leeway to buy personal
items and gifts and to go out with her friends, within reason.
The freedom of wives to spend money, however, must be con
sidered in relation to their husbands' freedom to do the same. And
this opens up some rather murky Nisei notions about marriage,
namely those concerning the ownership and control of the incomes
of husband and wife. On the one hand, the Nisei express a strong
commitment to joint ownership and control over any income
earned by husband or wife. What a husband earns plus what a wife
earns, if she has a paying job, is automatically part of their conjugal
fund. Marriage, the Nisei claim, is after all a relationship based on
complete sharing and unity. One's earnings are not thought of as
one's own; they belong to the couple. A married man does not work
for himself; he "works for his family," and what he earns goes into
the common fund. The same is true of his wife's earnings. This is
why the Nisei say they have joint checking accounts, joint saving
accounts, or both. Common ownership applies not only to current
earings but to past earnings and inherited wealth that may be in
the form of savings, investments, or property. As one husband
summarized it, "What's mine is hers, and what's hers is mine."
Yet, the Nisei say other things that belie this notion of equal own
ership. Husbands say that on occasion they make large purchases
without consulting their wives beforehand or that they simply an
nounce their intention of doing so. Wives say they do not feel free
to make such purchases, whether or not they are themselves bring
ing in earnings. Those who are not employed say they do not feel
free to spend "his money." Those who are explain they still feel they
are using "his money" because their husbands earn more.
The reluctance of wives to spend more than fifty dollars or so ex
tends to buying gifts for their husbands. Men think it generous to
buy lavish presents for their wives; women feel uneasy being gen
erous with "his money" even if he is the recipient of their gener
osity. Likewise, Nisei husbands and wives judge a husband's gen
erosity by the amount of money he "gives" his wife to spend. No
one ever spoke of a wife's generosity in allowing her husband the
freedom to purchase independently or to use either his or his wife's
/
104 Sylvia ]unko Yanagisako
earings. Hence, men are not only accorded "leadership" in finan
cial decisions, but in a sense they are seen as owning the couple's
money because they earn all or most of the joint income.
Socio-Spatial and Functional Metaphors of Gender Domains
Both the Issei "inside/outside" opposition and the Nisei "family/
work" opposition might be classified as variations of a universal
opposition between a female "domestic" sphere and a male "pub
lic" sphere (Rosaldo 1974), or between an "encompassing" male
sphere and an "encompassed" female sphere (Ortner and White
head 1981). To classify them as such, however, would be to obscure
what renders them diferent key metaphors of gender oppositions
with diferent normative implications. "Inside" and "outside" are
the core symbols of a metaphor of socio-spatial opposition with an
inherent hierarchy of authority. "Work" and "family" are the core
symbols of a metaphor of functional diferentiation of labor that
says nothing about authority.
The Issei's metaphor of gender opposition chiefy concerns the
relative placement of men and women-their activities, relation
ships, and orientations-in a hierarchy of social space. Men are lo
cated physically, socially, and motivationally between women and
the world outside the home. Women constitute an interior that men
both shield from and link with an encompassing social order.
The Nisei opposition of "work" and "family/home" constitutes a
model of gender based on labor specialization. The central concern
here, and the critical diference between men and women, lies in
the kind of work they do, that is, in their respective "jobs" or func
tions. The core feature of the male domain is the earning of income;
"his job" is productive work. The core feature of the female domain
is homemaking and mothering; "her job" is reproductive work.
The Nisei are not particularly concerned with the relative loca
tion of men and women in social space. It is not because income
earing work takes women outside the home that it poses a prob
lem for the Nisei. When the Nisei say "women should stay at
home," they invariably add "with the children" or "when the chil
dren are young. " As we saw, the Nisei reject as "feudal" the restric
tions that the Issei placed on the physical mobility and social activ
ities of women. Accordingly, they claim the right of a wife to "get
out of the house" and do what she pleases as long as she has done
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 105
"her job." Women's right to participate in social activities outside
the home and family undermines a socio-spatial division of gender
domains.
That a functional division between income-producing work and
non-income-producing reproductive work does not define Issei
gender domains is apparent in their discussions of work. The labor
ofwives in family businesses is construed as work inside the family
and is not conceptually opposed to housekeeping and child-care
tasks. Labor in family-operated enterprises, moreover, is concep
tually diferentiated into inside female tasks and outside male
tasks. As long as Issei women engaged in inside work and did not
enter into outside spheres, income-producing work was not ex
perienced as problematic. What was problematic and what Issei
women resented most of all was having to work outside the fam
ily-and, hence, being placed in inappropriate social space-dur
ing the periods of marriage when they had no children at home as
well as during the periods when they did.
A comparison of Issei and Nisei women's accounts of early mar
ried life reveals the secondary role that reproductive functions play
in defining the Issei female domain. We have seen that Nisei moth
ers consider mothering of young children to be a "full-time job" in
which they must be constantly available to provide nurture and
care as well as to foster children's emotional and intellectual de
velopment. This functional conception of motherhood is not artic
ulated by Issei women, whether or not they engaged in other work
while their children were young. The Issei women whose infants
or young children were sent to Japan did not report any regret or
concern about not being able to raise them. They missed their chil
dren, but none of them said they missed fostering their develop
ment. Indeed, a couple of these women said that, in order to work,
they had chosen to send their young children back to Japan. An
other Issei woman, whose two sons were cared for by her adoptive
mother during working hours, said it made no diference to her
whether she worked in the family's laundry business or "watched
the boys." At the risk of oversimplification, it may be said that the
Issei place emphasis on motherhood (a social identity and relation)
rather than on mothering (fulfilling childrearing functions).
The diferent ways in which Issei and Nisei conceptualize the do
mains of men and women are linked with, and have diferent im
plications for, their conceptions of authority and leadership in mar-
/
106 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
riage. Embedded in the Issei conception of the male outsde
domain and the female inside domain is a structure of authonty.
The male domain's symbolic expansiveness and association with
the larger social order in which families are located give
.
s it prece
dence over a female domain limited to the narrow confmes of fa
milial experience. Male authority in marriage, as in society i

gen
eral, is based upon the priority of the expansive over the restncted,
the encompassing over the encompassed, the knowledgeable over
the ignorant, the experienced over the inexperienced
: .
an the ex
trafamilial (i. e. , communal and societal) over the famihal mterests
and concerns. Hence, along with describing the content of two
socio-spatial domains, "inside" and "outside" defne the hierar
chical relationship between those domains and the people who oc-
cupy them.
. . .
f , k" d " '1 " d es In contrast, the Nisei conception o wor an ami y o
not assign greater priority to either domain or set of functions.
Nisei discourse on gender domains in marriage grants each spouse
authority over his or her functionally diferentiated but equal
sphere. It is true that what the Nisei say
.
about male "leadership"
appears to grant husbands greater authonty ov

r the whole of m
.
ar
riage and the family and, tereby,
.
to subve
.
rt this

odel o equah.
That inconsistency-to which I will retur m the mal section of this
paper-generates contradictions that subvert men's autho
:
ity

ven
while it enables them to exercise financial power over therr wives.
To comprehend those contradictions, however, we must first con
sider the source of these metaphors for separate gender domains.
Core Metaphors of Gender and Kinship
The Issei's socio-spatial and hierarchical ordering of gender ,
domains bears a striking resemblance to the ideological separation
of society into gendered private and public spheres, a division
that has been linked to the development of modern European,
industrial-capitalist states (Aries 1962, Reiter 1975) and that, a

cording to Rosaldo (1980), has made its way into anthropology via
Victorian social theory. According to Reiter:
One of the mechanisms that underwrites the control of a central power

over the minds of its population is the separation of societ into publi

nd
private spheres . . . . In pre-state societies, economy, pohty, and rehg1n
are all familized; in state societies, these spheres emerge as separate and
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 107
public while the family becomes privatized . . . . As the state gains hege
mony over kinship-based organizations, its political, religious, and mili
tary elites increasingly define service to the public realm as having legiti
macy and high status . . . . In the process of elite classes legitimizing
service to their ends, it is the sphere that is extra-local, and male, to which
prestige is attached. A distinction that was functionally based on the di
vision of labor by sex and its geographical expression becomes trans
formed into more distinct public and private arenas. The state then uses
the distinction to assert its own legitimacy and to devaluate the authority
of kinship groups. While I would assert that early and archaic states all
needed to transform kin-based organization to serve legitimized, public
ends, it is clearly in the development of industrial capitalism in modern
states that the division into public and private domains is most radical
(Reiter 1975: 278).
Given that cultural distinctions, such as gender constructs, are
the "products of specific historical and cultural transformations"
and "must be examined with great caution in their own right"
(Bloch and Bloch 1980: 25), we might ask how the Issei came to ac
quire such an ideology of gender, family, and state, if, indeed, that
is what their inside/outside metaphor represents. Were we to at
tempt to explain the Issei's adoption of American gender and kin
ship and polity models as part of an "acculturation" process, we
would have to marvel at the amazing receptiveness that has en
abled them to incorporate that model in the very core of their family
relations. And, if they so willingly embraced European-American
models of gender domains after their arrival in America, why do
they not label their conjugal relations as "American," rather than
claiming for themselves a "Japanese" form of marriage?
We might adopt a rather diferent stance and hypothesize that a
generalized metaphor of encompassed/encompassing spheres is
the inevitable ideological product of all processes of modern
capitalist-industrial state formation, whether French, American, or
Japanese. The Japan in which the Issei grew up at the tur of the
century was, after all, undergoing just such a transformation pro
cess. Moreover, the eight years of schooling that, on average, Issei
men and women alike had completed upon arrival in the United
States took place in an educational system that has been described
as a "far more rationalized, secular, and state-oriented educational
system than existed at that time in most of the West" (Reischauer
1974: 137, my emphasis).
By analyzing the early history of the formation of the modern
Japanese state by the leaders of the Meiji Restoration, we can see
108 Sylvia ]unko Yanagisako
that the Issei illustrate neither an acculturation tale of immigrants
who discard the useless baggage of "Japanese" cultural concepts of
gender and kinship upon their arrival in the New World, nor an
overdetermined tale of immigrants who find that identical meta
phors of gender and kinship have been independently produced
by their native and adopted countries, whose histories have been
shaped by the same ideology of a capitalist-industrial elite. For the
leaders of the Meiji Restoration not only were intent on transform
ing Japan into a modern capitalist state but also were convinced
that the best way to protect Japan from penetration by the Western
powers was to modernize her along Western lines. That entailed
more than the acquisition of Western (particularly American) tech
nology and military organization; it meant also the incorporation of
Western political theory-in particulr, French and German
models of local government and jurisprudence. Indeed, the battle
between the two camps of jurists who worked on Japan's 1890 civil
code has been described as a struggle between French and German
schools of jurisprudence (Sansom 1943). The Meiji reformers self
consciously incorporated Western legal concepts and codes defin
ing the rights as well as the duties of citizens, because they were
"fully aware that nothing would more favorably impress the nations
of the West than a constitutional form of government . . . with rep
resentative institutions and clear and just legal procedures like
[those] of the West" (Reischauer 1975: 143).
Among the codes developed during the last three decades of the
nineteenth century were those defining the authority of the house
hold head-including his authority to determine the place of resi
dence of members of his household, to expel members from the
household if they defied his authority or threatened its good name,
and to select his children's spouses. The latter practice had not pre
viously been the custom among the peasants, who allowed their
children to select their own spouses (Befu 1971: 50). The "rules of
the Japanese family" -including the authority of the (male) house
hold head-which the Issei were taught as part of their "moral
training" in a state-controlled educational system were a blend of
Western European and elite (samurai) Japanese ideologies of gen
der, kinship, and polity. * Hence, if today these rules are viewed by
*For discussions of the incorporation of Western European concepts of polity
and family in the formation of Meiji ideologies of the state, see Befu 1971, Fukutake
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 109
the Issei as quintessentially "Japanese" and as both "Japanese" and
"feudal" by their children, we can clearly see how quickly the past
can be transformed and "tradition" created.
In contrast to the Issei model, the Nisei's diferentiation of the
spheres of work and family seems to refect the separation of pro
duction from kinship-defined units in industrial-capitalist society.
The pervasiveness of this metaphor of gender domains among
Americans (at least middle-class Americans of the Nisei's birth co
hort) suggests that the Nisei adopted it along with the rest of their
cohort in the classroom and through the popular mass media. Al
though the Nisei grew up in households that were still engaged in
income-producing activities and in which mothers engaged in pro
ductive work as well as reproductive work, the concepts of family,
work, and gender they learned were rooted in a society in which
the ideological separation of production from family had already
been accomplished. Given that the Nisei's social mobility and their
eventual acceptance into the "middle-class"* was accompanied by
a shift from family business to salaried and wage employment, they
may well have been strongly influenced by the symbolic associa
tion of this family/work model with the American middle class and
national identity.
Each generation's model of gender domains, I am suggesting,
was learned along with an institutional model of society-more
specifically, an institutional model of family and society. That in
stitutional model was, in tur, inherently gendered. Hence, de
pending on the context, we could describe such a model as a gen
dered model of the institutional domain of family and kinship or as
an institutional model of gender domains. I will refer to it hereafter
as a model of gender and kinship. It is this homology of gender do
mains and institutional domains (for example, female is to male as
household is to state) that is so well epitomized by the core meta
phors of inside/outside and family/work and that in turn endows
these metaphors of opposition with symbolic power. They help
people not only to make common sense of their relationships in
1967, Dore 1958. The inside/outside metaphor promulgated by the Meiji state, of
course, was built upon a Confucian social metaphor that had prevailed in elite Jap
anese conceptions of polity, family, and gender long before the Meiji era.
*The Nisei as a group not only are predominantly "middle-class" according to
the American folk concept of class (a socio-economic status dependent on income,
education, and occupation) but are categorically perceived to be "middle-class" by
themselves and others-at least on the West Coast, where they are concentrated.
110 Sylvia ]unko Yanagisako
marriage, in the workplace, in the community, and in interactions
with the state but also to analyze institutions and cultures in ways
that mutually reinforce the logic of the gender relationships in
each.
The recognition of the homology and mutual reinforcement of
concepts of gender and kinship in society, however, also under
scores the point that inside/outside and family/work constitute two
diferent core metaphors of gender and kinship with diferent nor
mative implications and, indeed, diferent meanings of gender op
position and the place of family in society. The Issei inside/outside
metaphor models an opposition between family and state, private
and public, female and male that is fundamentally about the
boundaries of authority in a nested system of authority. Just as the
household defines the boundaries of state interference into the do
mestic domain, so the inside, female domain defines the bounda
ries of male interference into the afairs of women. Women, men (as
heads of households), and the state are located in increasingly ex
pansive, encompassing circles.
The Nisei family/work metaphor models an opposition between
female reproductive labor and male productive labor, which in turn
is symbolically associated with an opposition between love and
money, cooperation and competition, expressive and instrumental
activity. It is not a model of kinship and polity and the boundaries
of state or male authority, but a model of functionally diferentiated
sets of activities that stand in relation to each other as means to
ward an end. Indeed, the lack of an inherent structure of authority
or hierarchy of value is refected in the fact that, depending on con
text, either gender-or that gender's domain-can be cast as the
support for the other. Quite commonly when speaking about "the
family," the Nisei refer to "work" as the means of family existence.
Men go to work "to support the family," and, as a couple of Nisei
men put it, "without the family, work has no meaning." Likewise,
men are the "means of support" of women. Yet, in the context of
talk about "work" and particularly about "careers," "family" and
the nurturant afection and homemaking services provided by
women are said to enable men to "do a good job." Here, the means
and the end are reversed, and, in a sense that corresponds to a
Marxist model of the reproduction of labor in the "domestic com
munity" (Meillasoux 1981), family and women are conceptualized
as the means of the reproduction of work (see Yanagisako and Col-
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 111
lier, this volume, for a critical review of the reproduction/produc
tion distinction).
As analysis of Issei and Nisei concepts has shown, seemingly
subtle diferences between metaphors of gender and kinship can
underlie significant diferences in the meaning of family and that
which it opposes, as well as significant diferences in the meaning
of gender domains. In the final section of this paper, I will propose
that these diferent meanings and the diferent norms linked with
them suggest a historical process of transformation in gender and
kinship models in American society. First, however, I return to the
anthropological categories most often applied to these models.
Anthropological Categories as Mixed Metaphors
Like the oppositions of domestic/public and domestic/politico
jural in anthropology, Japanese American models of gender do
mains are also models of kinship and society. Hence, if our analytic
categories of kinship are inherently gendered, and our analytic cat
egories of gender refect an institutional model of kinship and so
cial structure, we might simply congratulate ourselves on having
successfully captured native concepts in our heuristic concepts and
leave it at that. Yet, my discussion of the diferent meanings un
derlying Issei and Nisei metaphors of gender and kinship raises the
question, do these diferences underlie anthropological categories
as well? The answer I suggest below is that both domestic/public
and domestic/politico-jural oppositions combine a socio-spatial
metaphor of authority with a labor-specialization metaphor of dif
ferentiated functions. In short, each is a mixed metaphor.
Rosaldo explicitly states that the domestic/public opposition or
ganizes an institutional model of gender domains:
An opposition between "domestic" and "public" provides the basis of a
structural framework necessary to identify and explore the place of male
and female in psychological, cultural, social, and economic aspects of hu
man life. "Domestic," as used here, refers to those minimal institutions
and modes of activity that are organized immediately around one or more
mothers and their children; "public" refers to activities, institutions, and
forms of association that link, rank, organize, or subsume particular
mother-child groups (Rosaldo 1974: 23).
Domestic/public draws upon a socio-spatial image of a "hierarchy
of mutually embedded units" (Rosaldo 1980: 398) to explain the

/
11z Sylvia ]unko Yanagisako
general identification of women with domestic life and of me

with
public life and, hence, a universal, cross-cultural asymmetry Hthe
evaluation of the sexes.
Yet, it is the biological role of women as mothers that lies at the
root of these identifications: "Women become absorbed primarily |
in domestic activities because of their role as mothers. Their eco
nomic and political activities are constrained by the responsibilities
of child care, and the focus of their emotions and attentions is par
ticularistic and directed toward children and the home" (Rosaldo
1yq.zq). Here, the logic of the causal link between women's re
productive function and their identification with domestic life rests
upon an a priori separation of "domestic activities" from "eco
nomic and political activities. " A division of the social world into an
inward-oriented, particularistic sphere and an expansive, univer
salistic sphere is confated with a less explicit division of human ac
tivities into functionally diferentiated domains: that of " domestic"
(reproductive) activities and that of "economic" (productive) and
"political" activities.
The double image produced by considering domestic and public
spheres as both a functional division of social activity and as a
nested hierarchy of social space is perhaps best illustrated by the
following statement: "Although varying in structure, function, and
societal significance, 'domestic groups' which incorporate women
and infant children, aspects of childcare, commensality and the
preparation of food can always be identified as segments of a larger,
over-arching social whole" (Rosaldo 18o.8).In a telling uneven
ness, reproductive functions stand in opposition to an encom
passing social order in a model of gender and polity that Rosaldo
had come to recognize as constituting "an ideological rather than
an objective and necessary set of terms" (18o.qoz).
Whereas Rosaldo came to view the domestic/public opposition
of gender domains as an ideological distinction that had devolved
on anthropology from our nineteenth-century predecessors,
Fortes continued to view the domestic/politico-jural opposition as
a heuristic distinction that had evolved in anthropology as we re
fned the insights of our Victorian predecessors. According to
Fortes (16.6), Morgan perceived in Ancient Society that even
though the tribe was based "on the selective recognition of kinship
relations, it was a civil, that is, a political unit, rather than a do
mestic unit"; Radclife-Brown (1z)formally recognized the jural
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 11
dimension of kinship and descent institutions, and "the major ad
vance in kinship theory since Radclife-Brown, but growing di
rectly out of his work, has been the analytical separation of the
politico-jural domain from the familial or domestic domain within
the total social universe of what have been clumsily called kinship
based social systems" (Fortes 16.yz) .
Fortes was very clear that the critical feature diferentiating the
two domains is the type of normative premise that regulates each.
The politico-jural domain is governed by jural norms guaranteed
by "external" or "public" sanctions that may ultimately entail force;
the domestic domain is constrained by "private," "afective," and
"moral" norms, at the root of which is the fundamental axiom of
prescriptive altruism (Fortes 16.8, zo1). Likewise, Fortes
was adamant on the point that "this is a methodological and ana
lytical distinction. The actualities of kinship relations and kinship
behavior are compounded of elements from both domains and de
ployed in words and acts, beliefs and practices, objects and ap
purtenances that pertain to both of these and to other domains of
social life as well" (16.z1). Thus, even when the two domains
are fused and structurally undiferentiated in a single "kinship pol
ity," as in Australian societies, "the jural aspect of the rights and du
ties, claims and capacities embedded in kinship relations is clearly
distinguished" from the domestic aspect (Fortes 16.118).
A somewhat sharper image of domains emerges, however, from
Fortes's assignment of entire categories of genealogically defined
relationships to one or the other domain. Schefler (1yo.1q6)
notes that Fortes has "a tendency to treat social relations ascribed
by reference to relations of common descent as though they were
necessarily 'politico-jural relations.' " Conversely, Fortes assigns
ego-oriented, cognatically defined relations to the domestic do
main. In the following statement about the matrilineal Ashanti, he
relegates entire social relations, rather than aspects or elements of
those relations, to either the politico-jural or the domestic domain:
An Ashanti father's model field of kinship relations has two parts. On the
one side is his wife and children, on the other a sister and her children,
the two being residentially separated. In relation to his children he con
ducts himself solely in accordance with norms of the familial domain.
These entitle him, for example, to chastise his children if they misbehave.
In relation to his sister's children his behavior is ruled more strictly by ref
erence to the politico-jural domain, the source of his lawful rights over and
duties towards them. This corresponds to a field of social relations that
/
11q Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
extends beyond his domestic field-it includes his lineage, the village po
litical authorities, and the chiefdom of which he is a citizen. Thus, if we
take such a person's total field of kinship relations, we find that its man
agement involves compliance with norms that emanate from two distinct
and in some ways opposed domains of social structure (1969: 98).
TheIasttwosentencesIntheprecedIngguotatIonnotonIyconvey
a geographIcaI Image oI IncreasIngIy expandIng IIeIds oI reIa-
tIonsbutaIsoaddthedynamIcoIopposItIonand, thus, brIngdo-
mestIc/poIItIco-juraI categorIes even Iurther In IIne wIth a socIo-
spatIaImodeIoItheboundarIesoIauthorIty.
Atthe same tIme, amodeI oIIunctIonaIIy dIherentIated sets oI
actIvItIes underIIes Fortess concept oI domaIn. Each sector~
whIchIcaIIadomaIncomprIsesarangeoIsocIaIreIatIons, cus-
toms, norms, statuses, and otheranaIytIcaIIy dIscrImInabIe eIe-
mentsIInkedupInnexusesandunIIIedbythestampoIdistinctive
functional features thatarecommontoaII(16.y, my emphasIs) .
InoursocIety,FortescIaIms,wehavenodIhIcuItyIndIstInguIshIng
the domaIn oI the Iawjudges and courts, poIIce, prIsons and
Iawyers(16.y)IromthatoItheIamIIy. II, asFortescIaIms,a
domaInIs notmereIyacIassIIIcatoryconstructbutamatrIxoI
socIaIorganIzatIon,ItIsaIsocIearIymorethanaheurIstIccategory
deIInedbyItsnormatIvepremIses. Itappears to have an InstItu-
tIonaIandIunctIonaIbasIsasweII.
ForFortes,theIunctIonaIcoreoIthedomestIcdomaInaswas
arguedIntheIIrstsectIonoIthIsartIcIeIsbIoIogIcaIreproductIon.
ThereproductIvenucIeusoIthemother-chIIdunItgeneratesthe
ahectIveandmoraIcomponentsIoundInInterpersonaIkInshIp
reIatIons (Fortes 16.11). The nodaIbond oImother andchIId
ImpIIes seII-sacrIIIcIngIove and support ontheone sIde andIIIe-
IongtrustanddevotIononthe other. ThevaIuesmIrroredIn thIs
reIatIonhavetheIrrootsIntheparentaIcarebestowedonchIIdren,
not In juraI ImperatIves. TheIr obser

ance Is dIctated by con-


scIence,notIegaIIty(Fortes16.11).]ustasItIsamIstaketovIew
thepoIItIco-juraIaspectsoIkInshIpasanextensIonoItheahectIve,
moraI norms oI IamIIIaI reIatIons (the errorcommItted by MaII-
'
nowskI), soFortesarguesthatItIsamIstaketovIewthemoraIand
ahectIve componentsInInterpersonaIkInshIpreIatIonsasasanc-
tIonedconstructoItheIIneage. FortesIImItstherangeoIreIatIon-
shIpsshapedbymoraIconscIence andsentImentbuttracesthem
tothesamesource, nameIy, themother-chIIdbond.Ahectextends
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 11
IntosocIetyonIyIarenoughtoboundthesphereoIreIatIonsthat
Is not constructed by poIItIco-juraI prIncIpIes. To put It another
way, the ahect, extendIng Irom bIoIogIcaI reproductIon, IImIts
the penetratIon oI externaI authorIty Into IamIIIaI reIatIons~
whetherthatexternaIauthorItyIstheIIneageorthestate.
IIboththedomestIc/poIItIco-juraIdIstInctIonandthedomestIc/
pubIIcdIstInctIonmIxmetaphorsoIahIerarchyoIsocIaIspaceand
aI

nctIonaI dIvIsIon oIsocIaIactIvIty, It mIghtbe arguedthatIn


domg sothey approprIateIy Incorporate the two metaphors that
best summarIze the structuraI and conceptuaI opposItIons that
haveresuItedIromthe separatIonoIproductIveand reproductIve
IunctIonsInmodemIndustrIaI-capItaIIst states. Inother words,a
casemIghtbemadethateventhoughthe hIstorIcaI specIhcItyoI
these categorIes renders them InapproprIate tooIs Ior anaIyzIng
genderandkInshIpInothersocIetIes,theymIghtbeuseIuIIorana-
IyzInggenderandkInshIpInourownsocIety.AnaIytIcmetaphors,
however,shouIdheIpustoexpIIcatenatIvemetaphorsInwaysthat
cIarIIythe specIIIchIstorIcaI and cuIturaI processes out oIwhIch
theyemerge.TheyshouIdaIsoenabIeustorecognIzeprocessesoI
chang

.
.
yu

seII-conscIousIymIxIngametaphoroIsocIo-spatIaI
oppositionwithametaphoroIIunctIonaI dIherentIatIon, the do-
mestIc/pubIIc dIchotomy and the domestIc/poIItIco-juraI dIchot-
omyobscureacuIturaItransIormatIonthat,IntheconcIudIngsec-
tIon eIow, I suggest has occurred not onIy among ]apanese
Amencans but among other members oI IndustrIaI-capItaIIst
socIetIes.
The Historical Transformation of Gender
and Kinship Domains
TheexperIenceoIthe]apaneseAmerIcanswhosemetaphorsoI
genderdomaInshavebeenexpIoredInthIsartIcIeappearsto sup-
portReIters (1y.z81)hypothesIs thattheradIcaI separatIonoI
ho

eandworkpIaceInIndustrIaIIsmIeadstotheprIvatIzedkIn-
shipreaIm[beIng]IncreasIngIydeIInedaswomenswork.Atthe
sametIme,however,IwouIdarguethattheIdeoIogIcaIshIItaccom-
panyIngthe separatIonoIhomeand workpIace(ashIItthatmay
haveIacIIItatedIt)hastransIormed,ratherthanreproducedorbut-
tr

ssed,conceptIonsoIgenderdomaInsandgenderhIerarchy.The
shiItIromacuIturaImodeIoIsocIo-spatIaIIydIherentIatedgender
116 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
domaInstooneoIIunctIonaI!ydIherentIatedgender domaIns has
Indeedresu!tedInkInshIpbeIngIncreasIng!ydeIInedaswomens
work,butIthasaIsoundermInedtheauthorItyoImenIntheIam-
I!yatthesametImeasIthasreconIIguredthere!atIonshIpbetween
IamIIyandsocIety.Inotherwords,theshIIthascausednotsomuch
anIncreasIngseparatIonoImaIeandIema!espheresandoIprIvate
and pub!Ic spheres as a reconceptua!IzatIon oI what constItutes
thosespheresandstructurestheIrreIatIons.
IbasethIshypothesIsonmyanaIysIsoIthedIherentmeanIngs
and normatIve Imp!IcatIons oI IsseI and MIseI core metaphors oI
gender and kInshIp. I suggest that the transIormatIon In meta-
phorswehaveseenInthesetwogeneratIonsrepresentsthegenera!
experIenceoImembersoIadvanced, capItaIIst-IndustrIaIstatesIn
whIch productIon Is IncreasIngIy separated Irom the househoId
andIamIIy. For,aIthoughtheIsseIandMIseIhoIdattItudesshaped
byapartIcu!arhIstoryoIemIgratIonIromthenascent]apaneseIn-
dustrIaI state andbytheIrsocIaI mobIIIty In apostwaradvanced-
IndustrIaIeconomy, theywereahectedbythe same socIopoIItIcaI
dynamIcsthatInuencedaIargesectoroIthepopuIatIonInAmer-
Ica and otherIndustrIaI-capIta!Ist states. The IsseIs acguIsItIonoI
themodeIoIstate,househoId,andmaIespheresoIauthorItyIash-
Ioned by the MeIjIgovemmentas the InstItutIonaI basIs oItheIr
modern natIon-state and dIssemInated through state-controIIe
schooIs paraIIeIstheexperIenceoImanyotherpeopIescaughtup
In the Ideo!ogIcaI processes accompanyIng modern state Iorma-
tIon. LIkewIse, the MIseI, aIong wIth the rest oIthe members oI
theIrcohortInAmerIcaandInotheradvancedIndustrIa!-capItaIIst
socIetIes, acguired a gender and kInshIp metaphor oIIunctIonaI
dIherentIatIonthatprevaIIedIn the massmedIaandInthe pubIIc
schooIs.
ThIschangeInmodeIsoIgenderandkInshIpspheresInAmerIca
andotherIndustrIaI-capItaIIstsocIetIes,Isuggest, hasbeenaccom-
panIedbyadec!IneIncuIturaIIyIegItImatedmaIeauthorItyInthe
IamI!ysImIIartothatexperIencedby]apaneseAmerIcans.EarIIer,
Istatedthatwhereas theIsseIInsIde/outsIdemetaphormodeIsan
opposItIonbetweenIamIIyandstate,IemaIeandmaIe,andprIvate
and pub!Ic spheres that estabIIshes a hIerarchy oI authorIty, the
MIseIIamIIy/workopposItIonsaysnothIngaboutauthorIty.Theab-
senceoIahIerarchIcaIstructureoIauthorItyIntheIamIIy/workop-
posItIonIsdemonstratedbytheMIseIsabIIItytocharacterIzeeach
Models of Gender and Kinship Domains 117
sphereasthemeansoIsupportIortheother.FamIIy/workasacore
metaphoroIgenderopposItIon, thereIore, hasdIstInctIydIherent
normatIve Imp!IcatIons Ior the re!atIons between husbands and
wIvesthandoesInsIde/outsIde.
WhattheMIseIsayaboutahusbandsIeadershIpandhIspre-
rogatIveInspendIngmoneyIromtheconjugaIIundmIghtappear
tocountermyargumentIorsuchatransIormatIonIngendercon-
ceptsand hIerarchy. FarIromdemonstratIng contInuItybetween
IsseIandMIseIconceptIonsoIgenderandhIerarchy, however,the
MIseIstaIkoImaIe!eadershIpInmarrIagepoIntstothedIsjunctIon
between those conceptIons and the contradIctIons generated by
theIrhIstorIcaIsuccessIon.WhentheyattempttoexpIaInthehus-
bandsroIeasIeader,theMIseIreIyonadhocjustIIIcatIonsthatcon-
tradIctthe normatIveImp!IcatIons oItheIrmodeI oI IunctIonaIIy
dIherentIatedbuteguaImaIeandIemaIespheres.Whentheyoher
thatmenneedto Ieadto satIsIytheIrmaIe egosacIaImmade
bymenasweI!asbywomen-theyseemto expIaInmaIeIeader-
shIp more as a response to a psychoIogIcaI need (and one that
mIghtreadIIybechangedbyaIterIngsocIaIIzatIonpractIces)than
asa dIctate oIasocIaI, orevenabIoIogIcaI, order. When, onrare
occasIons,theyjustIIymaIeIeadershIpbypoIntIngtomensgreater
IamIIIarItywIththeworIdoIIInance, poIItIcs, andcommunItyaI-
IaIrs,theywou!dseemtodrawuponanIsseIsocIo-spatIaImodeIoI
authorIty. ut an InsIde/outsIde metaphor has IIttIe symboIIc
powerIortheMIseIInjustIIyIng genderhIerarchyor, Indeed, hI-
erarchyoIanykInd. Forone, ItIsanIsseImetaphoroIgenderhI-
erarchythattheMIseIhaverejectedasIeudaIandoppressIve.
Foranother,ItIsametaphoroItheauthorItyoIthecommunItyover
theIamIIyandoItheIamIIyovertheIndIvIdua!.TheMIseIhaveat
bestastrongambIvaIencetowardsuchahIerarchIcaImodeIoIse!I,
IamIIy, andsocIety, IorItrepresentsIorthema]apanese notIon
oIauthorItythattheyhavestruggIedagaInstIntheIrreIatIonswIth
theIrparents.
Moreover, theIsseIsInsIde/outsIdemetaphordoesnotexpIaIn
ma!e IeadershIp In marrIage Ior the MIseI because the outsIde
theyperceIveInopposItIontotheInsIdeoItheIrIamI!IestodayIs
notasphereoIoverarchIngpoIItIca!authorIty,buttheworIdoIthe
workp!aceandthemarketpIace.ItIsaneconomIcworIdratherthan
a poIItIcaI one, and, as such, It ohers IndIvIduaIs materIaI rather
than socIopoIItIca!resources. The socIo-spatIaImetaphoroI theIr
118 Sylvia Junko Yanagisako
parents doesnotworktoIegItImatehIerarchyInmarrIageIorthe
MIseIbecause the IunctIonaI metaphor oIIamI!y/workhas trans-
IormednotonIytheIrconceptIonoIgenderdomaInsbuttheIrcon-
ceptIonoIthesocIa!worIdInwhIchIamI!Iesare!ocated.AnImage
oIanexternaIpo!ItyIromwhIchmen, through theIrconnectIons

wIthIt, drawtheIrauthorIty no Ionger exIsts, IorIt hasbeen ob-


scuredbehIndanImageoItheworkpIace.
AboveaI!,MIseImensIeadershIpInmarrIageIsoIguestIonab!e
cu!turaI!egItImacyInasmuchasItIsexpIaInedbytheIrgreaterearn-
Ings. WhentheyattrIbutehusbandsprerogatIves totheIrgreater
eamIngs,theMIseIgrantmenpower thatderIvesIrommoneyrather
thanauthority thatderIvesIrommensrIghtIuIpIaceInanordered,
socIaIworId.ThesourceoIma!epowerIsnotahIghersphereoIau-
thorItyand socIeta!IntegratIon, butasphereoImarketre!atIons.
ThIs economIcwor!doImaterIa! resources, aIthoughIt provIdes
Iunds necessary Ior the support oI the IamIIy, by no means has
prIorItyovertheIamIIy. Indeed, thesphereoImoneyandmarket
reIatIonsIscharacterIzedbyaspectsIromwhIchtheIamIIymustbe
protected.AstheprImaryIncomeearners,menbothgaInprerg-
atIvesbyprovIdIngthe IInancIaI supportthatprotectsthe IamIIy
IromtheharsherworId oIthemarketpIace and, atthe same tIme,
ca!!Into guestIon theIegItImacy oI those prerogatIves bybasIng
theIrspecIa!prIvIIegeoncontroIoImoney. For, mensgreatercon-
tro!oI the conjugaIIund subvertstheunItyoIthe conjuga!bond
thatItrepresentsand, a!ongwIththat, theMIseInotIonthatIove
andcompIetesharIngIswhatmarrIageIsaI!about.
AIthough the mIxIng oI a metaphor oI socIo-spatIaI hIerarchy
wIthametaphoroIIunctIona!dIherentIatIonIshIgh!yprobIematIc
IortheMIseIsconceptIonsoItheIrconjuga!re!atIons,themIxIngoI
these metaphors Is even more prob!ematIc Ior anthropoIogIsts
anaIyses oI gender and kInshIp reIatIons. As mIxed metaphors,
neItherthedomestIc/pub!IcopposItIonnorthedomestIc/po!ItIco-
jura!opposItIonare oImuchheIpInteasIngapartthe subt!e, but
socIaI!y sIgnIIIcant, dIherences In IoIk metaphors oI gender and
kInshIpdomaIns.ArecognItIonoIthesedIherencesandacompar-
IsonoItheIrsocIopo!ItIcaIcontextsprovIdesawaytotracethehIs-
torIca!processes throughwhIchbothnatIve and anthropo!ogIcaI
metaphorsemergeandaretransIormed.
Toward a Nuclear Freeze?
The Gender Politics of
Euro-American Kinship Analysis
Rayna Rapp
THE IELDWORK STORY IamabouttoteI!I!Iustratesthepresence
oIthepastInthepresentoIoneanthropoIogIst.Inexp!orIngkIn-
shIp patterns among recent urbanmIgrantsIn southernFrance, I
dIscoveredthatevenguestIonsaboutkInshIpthatareseemIng!yIn-
spIred by IemInIsm may be premIsed on androcentrIc assump-
tIons.That!essonpropeIsmeIrom!rovencetowardageneraIex-
amInatIonoIthewaywestudykInshIpasanthropoIogIstswhoare
a!sonatIvepartIcIpantsInthecuIturethatsetsupthetermsoIour
study. InbrIngIngtogether a serIes oI theoretIca! guestIons

and
wIde-rangIngcuIturaIexamp!es,Ihopetoshowhowtheguestions
weaskaboutgenderandIamIIyarrangementsset!ImItsonthea

-
swers we are abIe to dIscover. Such!ImItsthenmaskhegemomc
thInkIng-ourownasanthropo!ogIstsasweIIasthatoIourEuro-
AmerIcan InIormantsabout how kInshIp systems operate and
howtheychange. InthecaseIwI!IdescrIbe,asetoIassumptIons
concernIng the centraIIty oImaIe-headednuc!earIamIIIesbIocks
recognItIonoIInnovatIonInkInshIppatterns.Tobetterunderstand
how both anthropo!ogIsts and theIr Euro-AmerIcan InIormants
thInkaboutIamIIyIIIe,Iproposeanuc!earIreeze.n!ywhenwe
deconstruct these c!assIc assumptIons wIII we be abIe to see the
shIItIngsymboIIsm,thecreatIvIty, andthecontInuItIesthatpeop!e
InscrIbeIntherea!moIkInshIp.
*Grateful acknowledgment is made to the 'enner

Gren Fo

ndation, wich
supported my fieldwork in Provence in 1980. Earher verswns of this ess

y beneIted
from the comments of Eric Arnauld, Judith Friedlander, Susan Hardmg, Shirley
Lindenbaum, Ellen Lewin, Ellen Ross, Marilyn Strathern, Roger Sanjek, Eric Wolf,
Sylvia Yanagisako, Marilyn Young, and other conference partici
p
ants. thank tem
all and absolve them of any responsibility for the shortcomings m the fmal verswn.
/

1zo Rayna Rapp


WhenIretumedtosouthernFranceIn18o, IpIannedacIassIc
mIgratIonstudywIthaIemInIsttwIst.IwouIdtracetheentIreco-
hortoIyoungaduItswhohadgrownupInthetInyvIIIageoIMon-
tagnac, o kIIometers northeast oI MarseIIIe, where I had con-
ducted IIeIdwork a decade earIIer. AIIbut Iour oI the 33 young
aduIts hadIeIt the vIIIage, and my sampIe oIz ex-vIIIagers was
easytoIocatewIththeheIpoIparentsandgrandparentsstIIIIIvIng
InMontagnac.
InItIaIIy, IwantedtoInvestIgatethemIgrantstransItIonIromvII-
Iage to urbanIIIe, Irom peasantrytowagework, and, especIaIIy,
Irom a sexuaIIy segregated to amoresexuaIIyIntegrated cuIture.
LIkesomanyoItheIrMedIterraneanneIghbors, these!rovenaIs
grewupIn a worId where men tradItIonaIIy partIcIpate In arIch
pubIIcIIIeoIagrarIanIaborexchange,poIItIcaIactIvIty, andaneIab-
orateethosoImaIesocIabIIIty,IncIudIngstyIesoIrecreatIonandIn-
trIcateIydeveIopedoratIon.Women, whose socIaIIIIeIsIocusedIn
the domestIc domaIn, tradItIonaIIyuse theIrextendedIemaIekIn
networks to share chIId care, work skIIIs, storIes, and cuIturaI
knowIedge. RaIsed In sucha sex-segregatedworId, butcurrentIy
IIvIng In a rapIdIy expandIng mIIIeu wIthout the IamIIIar vIIIage
sguares, maIe-onIycaIs,bouIescourts,andneIghborhoodcIrcIes
oIIemaIereIatIves, wouIdnewurbanItesconstructacuIturaIIan-
guage andway oIIIIe thatbrIdged the separate maIe andIemaIe
worIds oI theIr youth! WouId new experIences wIth cItIes, wIth
wageIaborInsectorsnonexIstentInthevIIIage,wIthpubIIccuIture
atoncemoredIstantandbureaucratIcthanthevIIIagesguarehave
anImpactonthemeanIngoIIamIIyIIIe!TheseweretheguestIons
IcontempIatedasItrackeddowntheurbanmIgrants.
AIthoughaIewvIIIagerswereIar-ung,mostwereeasytoIocate
andIntervIew.WIththeexceptIonoIthreeIn!arIs, oneInCorsIca,
andoneInMewYork,aIIhadsettIedshortdIstancesIromhome.sIx
IIvedInMarseIIIe,onewasInnearbyTouIon,threeIIvedInneIgh-
borIngOIgne orManosgue, smaIIcItIes oI 1,ooo and zo,ooo, re-
spectIveIy, andtheremaInIng IourteenIIved and worked In tIny
townsoIz,oooto,oooInhabItantssuchasGroux, RIez, Mous
tIers, and VoIxeachaboutahaII-hours drIveIromMontagnac.
*The game of boules is the most popular public sporting event in southern
France. Like Italian bocce, and somewhat like English lawn bowling, boules is tra
ditionally played by teams of men, surrounded by a highly engaged audience.
The Gender Politics of Euro-American Kinship Analysis 1z1
ThecuIturaI meanIngs oIsuchshortmIgratIonsareproperIythe
subjectoIotheressays.
At IIrst, chage
.
seemed apparent everywhere. Young men
whoseItherssttIItiIIedthesoIIearnedtheIrIIvIngsasbankcIerks,
gasstatIonowners,postaIempIoyees,eIectrIcIans,andpIumbers.
Young women whose mothers had never worked Ior wages
brought home reguIarpaychecks as secretarIes, pharmaceutIcaI
Iacor workers, nurssaIdes, andchIId-careworkers. Thegreat
maontyzoIzex-vIIIagersweremarrIed,onIyonecoupIeen-
dogamousIy. Ithe eIevenmaIe mIgrants, eIghtweremarrIed to
womenwhoworkedoutsIdethehome, andsevenhadyoungchII-
dren. ItheIourteenIemaIemIgrants,thIrteenweremarrIed. Su
werewhattheFrenchdeIIcateIycaII sansproIessIon,womenIn
thehousewIIe categorywhoperIormamuItItudeoIIaborsIIke
chIIdrearIng, IarmIng, or workIng In IamIIy busInesses, seven
workedIorwagesoutsIdethehome.AIIbutoneoIthethIrteenhad
youngchIIdren.
IhadgoneonaIIshIngexpedItIonIorchangeInkInshIppatterns
andconscIousness.WhatIactuaIIyIoundwasagreatdeaIoIcon-
tInuIty. OespIte adjustment to IemaIe paId empIoyment, these
youngcoupIesexperIencedasmoothtransItIonIromvIIIagerto ur-
banItetheIrnew homes, new work, new consumercuIture dId
ntappeartoseparatethem,IntheIrownmInds,homthegener-
attontheyhadIeItbehIndInthevIIIage.
ThIswasespecIaIIytrueIorthewomen, whothoughtoIthem-
seIvesasIIvIngastheIrownmothersdId.AndaIthoughFrancehas
perhapstheostcomprehensIvesetoIInstItutIonaIarrangements
IorchIIdcareH theWest, especIaIIycrechesIortoddIers,onIyone
oItheyoungwIveswasusIngpubIIcdaycare.AIItherestreIIedon
kInshpaId.InacompIexandcontIngentpatternoImIgratIon,they
had situated themseIves wIthIn waIkIng dIstance oI mothers-In-
IawandsIbIIngs,somehadevenmovedmothers-In-IawIntotheIr
IockoIapartments.WhereasavIIIagewomanhadtradItIonaIIyre-
IIedonhermotherIorInIormaIheIpwIthherchIIdren,theurbanIte
nowenIIstedawIdercIrcIeoIkInshIpaIddurIngherIormaIwork-
Inghours.
ThIspatternaIIowedIorareassurIngcontInuItyoIconscIousness
amongvIIIagersseparatedbyageanddIstance. Icourse, sucha
*Other essays exploring these patterns are Rapp 1986 and Rapp forthcoming.
122 Rayna Rapp
pattern depends on cIose mIgratIon and the dynamIc growthoI
smaIIandmedIum-sIzedtownswIthexpandIngservIce-sectorem-
pIoyment,especIaIIyIorwomen.ItIsaIsoreInIorcedbytheurban
bIas In the marrIages that vIIIagemIgrants make. they usuaIIy
marrysomeonewhoseIamIIyIIvesInatownorsmaIIcItyandsettIe
there. YoungvIIIagers-turned-urbanItescanapproprIateoIdsym-
boIsoIhearthandhometonewends.TheactIvItIesandembIems
oIhome andchIIdrenremaInsoIIdIy IemaIe-centeredand are In-
creasIngIy sharedwIthwomenoIthe husbandsIamIIy, especIaIIy
hIs mother. WomencanreIyontheIrmothers-In-IawandIdentIIy
wIththeIrmothers, evenastheyIIve IIves objectIveIy guItedII-
Ierent, IIIIed wIth Iood processors, urban schooIs, and automo-
bIIes. ThIs transIormatIon can be experIenced as contInuIty be-
causethescaIeandpaceoIurbanIzatIonpermItsomesembIanceoI
controI over neIghborhoods, housIng, and networks, so that aI-
IInescanmoveInandouttogether. ThesocIaIreproductIonoIkIn-
shIp networks here supports sex-segregatedcuIture, whIch then
heIpstomakethe newwomans IIIe asawage earner possIbIe.
ItIs strIkIngthatneIthermyInIormantsnorIcodedthe swItch
IromreIIance onawomansmothertoreIIanceonhermother-In-
IaworonawIdenedcIrcIeoIkInasa change.WeaIIsawthecon-
tInuItyoInucIearIamIIyIIIeandtheuseoIIemaIe-centeredexten-
sIons as the core oIa stabIekInshIp pattern. IwouIdargue that
contInuItyInkInshIpIormsIseasIertoseethanchangeasIongas
peopIeIIveInnucIearIamIIIes. SuchmaIe-headed,boundedunIts
are centraI to Euro-AmerIcan kInshIppatterns andtothe anthro-
poIogIstswho study them. WeareaccustomedtoputtIngthepa-
terIamIIIasatthejuraIandcuIturaIcenteroIourdeIInItIonsoIIam-
IIy structure. AII other Iorms oI domestIc organIzatIon are then
IabeIed asextensIons oI or exceptIons to theIamIIy, deIIned as
husband,wIIe,andchIIdren.AsIongas!rovenaImIgrantsIIveas
membersoInucIearIamIIIes,neIthertheynorIIIndItremarkabIe
thatthewomenhaveshIItedandwIdenedtheIrextendedkInshIp
reIatIons. WetherebymIss anImportantopportunItyto seehow
peopIe actIveIy (II sometImes Iess than conscIousIy) approprIate
theIrkeycuIturaIreIatIonsandturnthemtonewends.
Icourse, thIs ongoIng processoIreIashIonIng the Ianguage,
norms, and reIatIons oI IamIIy IIIe has a Iong hIstory In Euro-
AmerIcancuItures.WhenwetumtotheIIveIyIIteratureonthehIs-
toryoIIamIIyIIIeInEngIand,France,andtheLnItedStates,wecan
The Gender Politics of Euro-American Kinship Analysis 123
seehowhegemonIcIamIIyIormsInthIscase, maIe-centered nu-
cIearIamIIyIormshavebeencreatedandtransIormed. An;hro-
p
.
oIogIstsstudyIngEuro-AmerIcanIamIIyIIIewouIddoweIItocon-
sidersomeoItheIessonsthIshIstorysuggests. *
An obvIous IIrst Iesson Is that the deIInItIons and cuIturaIIm-
portance
.
oIIamIIyunItschangeovertIme.InEngIand,IorexampIe,
anarro
^
mgoItheco-resIdentkIngroupandatransIormatIonoIIts
authonty structure accompanIed !urItan moraI reIorms, whIch
made the maIe head oIthe househoId responsIbIe Ior aII hIs de-
pendents.T;tLa

renceStoneIabeIstherestrIctedpatrIarchaI
nucIearIamIIy wasmpartthe creatIonoIthedIvIne-rIghtsj uraI
system,whIchconsIeredIathe

sanddependentstobeanaIogous
tomonarchsa

dsubects.
.
RewntIngthIspoIItIcaIscrIptgaveacon-
textIorredrawingtheIamiIyasaIIttIecommonweaIthInthesev-
enteent century. y the nIneteeth century, wIth the IncreasIng
separatIonoIhomeIromworkpIaceandthenormatIveremovaIoI
womenandchIIdrenhomproductIveandpubIIcIIIe IamIIIesbe-
camehavensInaheartIessworId.

InFr

nce,thepImacyoIconjugaInucIearunItscameIater,per-
hapswithIesspohtIcaIandcuIturaIIorce. AmongbourgeoIsand
noIe peopIes, ':IamIIy reIerred to houses or IIneages, not co-
resident domesuc groups, weII Into the eIghteenth century. The
morerestrIctedmeanIngoIthetermemergedIuIIyonIyInthenIne-
teenth century, undoubtedIy strengthened by the MapoIeonIc
reIorms.
InAmerIca,theIathersroIeasIamIIygovemorwasanaspect
oI the IIttIe
.
commonweaIth modeI that settIed Mew EngIand.
ythe
.
Iate
.
ei
p
ht

enthcentury, IamIIIesbecamemoreprIvate, de-


Iir

ed m distmcuon to, rather than n the context oI, the state.


Mmeteenth-centuryreIormsIIrstthroughcharIty,Iaterthrough

eI

reus

dteIanguageoIIamIIIsmtostressaIathersrespon-
sibIIityIorhiswiIeandchIIdren. SuchIanguagewasusedtocrItI-
*

e I a conc

red with what Barrett (1980, Chap. 6) has called "the ideolo
of famihsm, not with a thorough survey of family history. For an overview see L!Z
lett 1965, Laslett ed. 1
?
<2, Flan
.
drin 1979, Rosenberg ed. 1975, Stone 1977, nd Tilly
and Scott 1978. F
.
or cnhcal revie

essays, see Pleck 1976, Rapp, Ross, and Briden
thal 1979, and Mitteraurer and Sieder 1982.
tEnglish family history is discussed throughout the pages of Histor Workshop
Journal. See also Fo-Ge

ovese 1977, and Goody Thirsk, and Thompson eds. 1976.


+For Frenc family Isto
.
ry, see Flandrin 1979, Goubert 1977, and Segalen 1983.
For Amencan farly history, see Gordon ed. 1978, Cott 1977, Zaretsky 1982,
Gutman 1976, and Demos 1970.
1zq Rayna Rapp
cIzeIIrstSouthemandEasternEuropeanImmIgrantsIortheIrex-
tended IamIIy structures and, Iater, AmerIcan !acks Ior theIr
responsestopoverty.FamIIIesassocIaIunItsareIncontInuousux.
AsecondandreIatedhIstorIcaIIessonIsthatthecu!tura!mean-
IngoItheIamI!yIsshapedInthebroadcon textoIpoIItIcsandeco-
nomIcs.AIthoughnotsImp!yareexoIthesespheres,thecu!turaI
domaInoIkInshIpdoesIncorporate, reect,andtransIormtheso-
cIa!IorceswIthInwhIchItIsembedded.FromapatrIarchatetoaIIt-
tIecommonweaIthtoahavenInaheartIessworId,theconjugaIunIt
hasrespondedtochangIngnotIonsoIapproprIateroIesIorIamIIy
membersandyetmaIntaInedareassurIng sense oIstabIIItyInthe
IanguageoIkInshIp.Thus,aIamI!IaIroIeIIkeIatherappearscon-
stant,butItsmeanIngshIItsupanddownc!assIInes,respondsto
poIItIcaI transItIons, and summarIzes current cu!turaI thInkIng
about such dIstant InstItutIons as the Iabor market, the heaIth
care system, andthe courts. Asakey symbo!, theIamIIyIsnota
rea!mapart,despItetheherItageoInIneteenth-centurythInkIngto
thecontrary.
ThIrd, thecuIturaImeanIngoIIamIIyIIIenotonIyreectsIarge-
sca!epoIItIca!and economIc Iorces buta!soprovIdes some oIthe
normatIve gIue thatho!dsotherInstItutIons, andpub!IcpoIIcy,
together.TheIanguageoIIamIIyIIIeIs hIgh!ypoIItIca!. ItIs usedto
b!amethepoorIortheIrIackoIrespectabIIItyInturn-oI-the-century
MewYork orutcast London. ItaIsoInIorms the dIscourseon
how the evoIvIng socIa! servIces redIstrIbute responsIbIIItIes be-
tweentheprIvatesectorandthestateIntwentIeth-centuryFrance.
And, oIcourse, ItIskeytothestruggIesovercIvIIrIghtsIorIack
AmerIcans Io!IowIng OanIeI MoynIhans 16 report, The Negro
Family. CuIturaI meanIngs ow In many dIrectIons, radIatIng In,
out,andaroundtheInstItutIonsweEuro-AmerIcansboundasnor-
matIvenuc!earIamI!Ies, overowIngandIegItImIzIngpubIIcpoII-
cIesandattItudesthroughtheIanguageoIIamIIIsm.
Fourth, Euro-AmerIcan IamIIy !IIe deIInes the IntersectIon oI
genderandgeneratIon.ItprovIdesa!anguageIInkIngsexandage
groups In patterns oIhIerarchy and dependence, authorIty and
obedIence,spokenIntheetIguetteoIgenerosItyandresponsIbIIIty.
The domaIn oI kInshIp overIapswIth other arenassuch as the
*For New York, see Stansell 1982. For "Outcast" London, see Jones 1974 and
Alexander 1976. For France, see Donzelot 1979. On the politics of Black American
family life, see Staples ed. 1971.
The Gender Politics of Euro-American Kinship Analysis 1z
workpIace, the schooIs, and the IashIon IndustryIn whIch the
cu!turaI meanIngs oI men and women, chI!dren and aduIts, are
spe!Ied out. Yet, ItIs stI!ItheprImary Iocus IorthereproductIon,
transmIssIon,andtransIormatIonoIcuIturaInotIonsoIgenderand
generatIon. We thusInherItasEuro-AmerIcans anotIonoIwom-
anhoodIntImate!y!InkedtomaternIty, oIIatherhoodconnectedto
economIc responsIbI!Ity, and oI chIIdhood deIIned In terms oI
maIIeabIIItyandpotentIaIdeveIopment.ThethreearenotInnocent
oIhIstorIcaIstruggIes. ThecuItura!meanIngoIwomanhood,Iorex-
ampIe, hasbeentransIormedbytheImagesdep!oyedInthe cuIt
oItruewomanhood,IemInIsmssocIaIhousekeepIng,thepsy-
choIogIcaIreIormsoIcompanIonatemarrIage,andmostrecentIy
the growIngeconomIc Importance oI workIng mothers. These
socIaImovementsanddIscoursesaIImadec!aImsonIamIIyIIIeand
ItsreIorm. *WeEuro-AmerIcansconsIderthemaIe-headedandau-
tonomousnuc!earIamIIytobenormatIve,butItIsa!soasymboIIc,
hIstorIcaIcreatIonthatreectsapartIcu!arcu!turaIconstructIonoI
genderandgeneratIon.WhenwetakethIsunItasstabIeandcen-
tra! to Euro-AmerIcan cuItures, we !ose sIght oI the actIvItIes,
choIces,andstrugg!es outoIwhIchthedeIInItIonsoIIamIIyreIa-
tIonsandnormsIIow.
WhenmaIe-headednucIearIamIIIesareuncrItIcaIIyacceptedas
normatIve (by natIveInIormants aswe!I asanthropoIogIsts, who
areusuaIIyaIsonatIveInIormants), aIIotherkInshIppatternsare
reIegatedtoa!owerstatusasextensIonsoIorexceptIonstotheruIe.
Yet,weknowthatIIctIvekInshIpandextendedmatrIIocaIItyare
crucIaItothesurvIvaIandreproductIonoIsomekInshIpsystems.
AmongAho-AmerIcans,IorexampIe,IrIendsareoItenturnedInto
brothers, sIsters, aunts, andcousIns, atactIcthatIncreases socIaI
soIIdarIty under condItIons oI economIc and socIaI Iragmenta-
tIon.
t
And apatternoIInIorma!matrIIocaIItyIsnowemergIng
throughout the AmerIcan c!ass structure among the rapIdIy In-
creasIngpopuIatIonoIwomenandchIIdrenIIvIngwIthoutma!esIn
theIrhousehoIds.
EvenInMontagnac,wherenucIearIamIIIesremaInIntact,Itcan
*For American women's history, see Cott 1977, Cott and Pleck eds. 1979, and
Kerber and Mathews eds. 1982.
tFor classic descriptions of this pattern, see Stack 1974 and Liebow 1967.
+Lewin (forthcoming) makes this argument most forcefully for American family
structure.
/
1z6 Rayna Rapp
be argued that men and women IIve In dm erent IamIIIes, the
mensmorebounded, thewomens opentoIemaIe-centered, dII-
IuseextensIons. *ThroughoutthetwentIethcentury, whenvIIIage
women marrIed, they oIten reIIed ontheIr mothers Ior aId. ThIs
patternwas most dramatIcaIIyIustratedwhenapeasantwoman
sentan extra chIIdtoIIvewIthherownmother, thus savIngex-
penses and redIstrIbutIng chIId Iabor and socIaI soIIdarIty. Such
suppIementary, oraIternatIve,patternsoIkInshIpareusuaIIycen-
teredonwomenandtheIrkInreIatIonstooneanother.Thereasons
IorthIsIemaIebIaswIthInakInshIpsystemthatIsohIcIaIIymaIe-
centeredareworthdIscussIon.
SyIvIaYanagIsako(1yy)madeamajorcontrIbutIontotheanaIy-
sIsoIsuchconIIguratIonswhensheurgedusnottoautomatIcaIIy
acceptwomensroIesasahectIveandthereIoreIInkedtokInshIp.
Amongthe]apanese-AmerIcansshestudIedInSeattIe,womence-
ment socIaIreIatIonsamong househoIds and across generatIons.
othwomenandmenconsIderthIs communItywork to occur
InsIdethehome,wIthwhIchwomenaresymboIIcaIIyassocIated,
yet,ItIshIghIysocIaIandstructuraI.IImendIdIt,ItmIghtweIIbe
perceIved asbeIongIngtotheoutsIdereaImInwhIchthey op-
erate.YanagIsakosanaIysIsoI]apanese-AmerIcankInshIppushes
ustoseethesymboIIsmoIgenderdIvIsIonsandnottoreduceIn-
IormantsbeIIeIstoanaturaIIzedoutgrowthoIwomensunIversaI
motherIng. ThebIoIogIcaIIacts oImaternItydonotautomatIcaIIy
propeIwomentowarddomestIcIty, nurturance,andextendedkIn-
shIporganIzatIon,thesearecuIturaI, notnaturaI, attrIbutIons.
WhenanthropoIogIstsassumetheIdentItyoIwomenandthedo-
mestIcdomaIn, we reect, ratherthananaIyze, aprImepIece oI
Euro-AmerIcancuIturaIIdeoIogy.LnprobIematIcacceptanceoIthe
domestIc/pubIIc opposItIon repIIcates and IegItImates the sense
that women and IamIIIes are bIoIogIcaIIy rooted. In assocIatIng
womenwIthunchangIngbIoIogIcaIreproductIonandnurturance
andsettIngtheseactIvItIesInasphereaparthomtherestoIsocIety,
we InherIttheassumptIonsoIourVIctorIanpredecessors. To the
VIctorIans, the monogamous, prIvatIzed, maIe-headed nucIear
IamIIyappearedtobeamajorachIevementoIWesterncIvIIIzatIon,
conceptuaIIzedInopposItIontotheImpersonaIIorcesoIstateand
market(RosaIdo18o,CoIIIeretaI. 18z).InourownthInkIng,the
*This is the central thesis of Reiter 1974.
The Gender Politics of Euro-American Kinship Analysis 1zy
vaIuejudgments are overtIy removed, buttheIrcuIturaI map re-
maIns, separatIngandIabeIIngasmaIeandIemaIethespheresoI

orkpIaceandhome,IaborandIeIsure, productIonandreproduc-
tion, money and Iove, pubIIc and domestIc, and ratIonaIIty and
nurturance.We tooeasIIyacceptthesecuIturaIantInomIesasnec-
essary outcomes oIthe genderdIvIsIonoIIabor, wIthout consId-

rIngthesocIaIreIatIonsthatprovIdedtheIrcontextandwhIchthey
H turnsustaIn. SeparatesphereIdeoIogyourIshedaIongwIth
campaIgns to remove chIIdren and women IromproductIonthat
accompanIedthe rapId spreadoI massurbanIzatIon and Iactory-
basedwagedependencyIormen. ThIsIsthecontextInwhIchVIc-
torIan understandIngs oI the centraIIty oI the nucIear IamIIy
deveIoped.
ThIscuIturaIImagerynowhasserIoussocIaIandpoIItIcaIehects,
ascontemporaryIemInIstshavebeenguIcktopoIntout,IorItnat-
uraIIzesbothwomensactIvItIesandvaIues.To theextentthatthe
reaIm oI paId work provIdes vaIue (cuIturaI because economIc
under capItaIIsm), womensIabors are symboIIcaIIy deprecIated.
Indeed, as SandraHardIng has poInted out, theverycategorIes
oI modern economIcsMarxIst as weII as neocIassIcaIare sex
bIased. !roductIon as a Euro-AmerIcan categoryoIanaIysIs re-
IerstothecreatIonoIweaIthInthIngs,andnotInpeopIe.ActIvItIes
surroundIng the productIon oI peopIe (unpaId, and IabeIed re-
productIve) are not cuIturaIIy work, and they create no vaIue. *
The naturaIIzatIon oI domestIc Iabor assocIated wIth unpaId
womenswork has severaIImportantconseguences. HIdden In
the househoId, thIs workappearsunreIated to the Iarger cIr-
cuIts oI economy, poIIty, and cuIture. t HousehoId actIvItIes are
thnperceIvedasunchangIng, theyareeasIIyandIaIseIyunIver-
saIIzed, reduced to breedIng and IeedIng. Oebates abouthouse-
hoId

orpoIogy and IunctIonthenbegIn to repIIcate theprob-


IemsHearherexchangesonthenucIearIamIIy.wecan Iocatesuch
bounded unIts and observe a core oI unIversaI actIvItIes InsIde
them, but we have aIreadymIsIabeIed and decontextuaIIzed the
unItwecreateaswe studyIt.l
*See Harding 1981; for an alternative reading of a cultural system where repro
duction creates value, see Weiner 1979, 1980.
tFor discussions of the economics, politics, and history of women's work in the
home, see Fox ed. 1980, Luxton 1980, Malos ed. 1980, and Oakley 1974.
tThis point is made in Harris 1981.
I
1z8 Rayna Rapp
Inrecentyears, severaIanthropoIogIstshave attackedtheIaIse
naturaIIzatIonoIhousehoIds IromavarIetyoIperspectIves. ThIs
IormoIethnocentrIsmIsapartIcuIarIyvexsomeprobIemInstudIes
oIunderdeveIoped economIes, whIch reIyheavIIyonhousehoId
anaIysIs.AsRogerSanjekhaspoIntedout,weneedtoseehouse-
hoIdsasmorethanmeretabIesoIpersonneIandactIvItIes(Sanjek
18z) .We musttakeIntoaccounttheIormandcontentoIproduc-
tIon, socIaIreproductIon,consumptIon,sexuaIunIon,andsocIaI-
IzatIonoIchIIdrenhIghIyvarIabIeIactorsthatrespondtopoIItIcaI
and economIc, asweIIaskInshIp, reIatIons. ne reasonwe have
dIhIcuIty seeIng the poIItIcaI and cuIturaI dImensIons oI house-
hoIdsmorecIearIyIsthattheIrIdeoIogIcaIIynaturaIIzedIaborsare
assIgned to women as part oI generaI reproductIon In Euro-
AmerIcancuIture.WethenspeakoIIemaIe-centeredextendedkIn-
shIpasItbInds househoIdstogether, havIngaIreadyassumedthe
IormandcontentoItheunItsunderdIscussIon.
The IamIIy Is a key symboI In AmerIcan cuIture, everyone
grows up In Its shadow. (See SchneIder 168, 1yz, YanagIsako
1y8.) And despIte Its cuIturaI prIvatIzatIon, there Is much evI-
dencethatthedomaInoIkInshIpIsdeepIyImpIIcatedInthereaIm
oIcurrentpoIItIcaI symboIIsmInAmerIcancuIture. InaworIdIn
whIchhousehoId!IIehasundergone contInuoustransIormatIon,
AmerIcansactIveIyapproprIate,reIashIon,andIegItImatetheIrex-
perIencesInIamIIyIanguage.Thus,thetermsIngIemotherhas
come to va!Idate the shared experIence oI mIIIIons oI AmerIcan
womenwhose IamIIIesmIghtprevIousIyhave been IabeIed ''bro-
ken.AsymboIIntransItIon,sIngIemothernoIongerdesIgnates
a mother oI an IIIegItImate chIId but a dIvorced mother whose
IamIIy IoIIowsthepatternEIIenLewIncaIIsInIormaImatrIIocaI-
Ity,arecentadaptatIontospIraIIngdIvorcerates.LIkewIse,work-
Ingmother condensesIormerIydIsparatesymboIsonenorma-
tIveIorthepubIIcdomaIn,oneIortheprIvatedomaIntorename
andIegItImatethe presence oI IemaIewage earners InmassesoI
AmerIcanhousehoIds.T GaymarrIageIsanotherIabeIreectIng
changedsocIaIexperIencethathasmadeaIess successIuIbIdIor
IegItImatIon In IamIIy Ianguage. ehInd such cuIturaI cIaIms Ior
*Overviews of the household literature are provided mWilk and Netting 1984,
and in Yanagsako 1979.
TA useful discussion of how elements of kinship symbolism change is found in
Yanagisako 1975.
The Gender Politics of Euro-American Kinship Analysis 1z
recognItIoncouchedInkInshIpIanguageIIedemandsIorsocIaIser-
vIces,cIvIIrIghts, andgeneraIInstItutIonaIsupportIorsuchnew
IamIIIes.
AndItIsbothkIndsoIcIaImsIorcuIturaIIegItImatIonandso-
cIaIsupportthathavebecomecentraItoAmerIcanpoIItIcaIdIs-
courseaboutIamIIy!IIeInthe18os.TheMewRIghtcametoeIec-
toraIpowerInpartbymobIIIzIngapro-IamIIyvotIngbIocaImed
atcombatIngthebreakdownoItheIamIIy,bywhIchItmeantany
chaIIengetothenormatIve, maIe-headednucIearIamIIy. MuchoI
Its dIscoursehas Iocused onabortIonrIghtsoIwomen, homosex-
uaIIty, andteenagesexuaIIty. IbeIIevethesethreeIssuesaresopo-
tentsymboIIcaIIybecausetheyspeaktotheIossoIpatrIarchaIkIn-
shIpauthorItyover reIatIons oIgender andgeneratIon. The Mew
RIght, oIcourse, speaksthe dIrect Ianguage oIpatrIarchy, hopIng
toreprIvatIzekInshIpauthorItyInthehandsoIthemaIehousehoId
head. However, IthascastthesymboIIcmantIe oIpatrIarchaIau-
thorItyoverInstItutIonsIarremovedIromtheIamIIyItseII.Itsso-
cIaIprogramsaImtoreturngovernment-IundedservIcestotheprI-
vate sector, to entrustIactoryworkers heaIth protectIonto theIr
empIoyers,andtoIeaveschooIcurrIcuIumandbusIngdecIsIonsto
thecommunIty.WhatRosa!Ind!etcheskyhasIabeIedcorporate
reprIvatIsm Is thus asocIaIagendathatspeaksthepoIItIcaIIan-
guageoIpatrIarchaI IamIIy IIIe. StruggIes overthe deIInItIon oI
normatIveIamIIyIIIeandItstransIormatIonsarethusIntertwIned
wIthpoIItIcaImetaphorsandmobI!IzatIons.
IndIscussIngtheseemIngcontInuItIesoIIamIIyIIIeIn!rovence,
and Its dIscontInuItIes In AmerIca, IhavebeenarguIng Ior a de-
constructIonoIourassumptIonsaboutkInshIpunIts.Whenweas-
sumemaIe-headed,nucIearIamIIIestobecentraIunItsoIkInshIp,
andaIIaIternatIvepatternstobeextensIonsorexceptIons, we ac-
ceptanaspectoIcuIturaIhegemonyInsteadoIstudyIngIt. Inthe
process, we mIss the contested domaInInwhIch symboIIc Inno-
vatIonmayoccur.EvencontInuItymaybetheresuItoIInnovatIon.
TheyoungwomenwhousedtoIIveIntheIemaIeworIdoIMon-
tagnacandnowdependontheIrurbanmothers-In-Iawhavebeen
actIvepartIcIpantsIntheapproprIatIonoIoIdkInshIpeIementsto
newends. Theyhave substItutedreIIanceonadIhusenetworkoI
*The analysis of corporate reprivatization and the crisis of patriarchal family
structures come from Petchesky 1981 and 1984.
.,e Rayna Rapp
sIbIIngs andmothers-In-IawIorreIIance on mothers and sIsters,
yet, Ior them, areassurIng contInuIty exIsts. TheIr experIence oI
cuIturaIchange occursIn the contextoItheurbanIzatIonoIsma!I
cItIesInsouthemFrance,undercondItIonsthata!Iowthemtoenter
wage !abor and to Iace new stresses onparentIngatapace con-
ducIvetosymbo!IcreproductIon.Theyhave!Itt!econtroIoversuch
condItIons, a!though they c!earIy beneIIt Irom them. Short dIs-
tances oImIgratIon and the possIbIIIty that severa! sIbIIngs and
groupsoIIn-!awswI!IIIndthemse!vesInthesamesmaIItowna!Iow
mInor kInshIp InnovatIons to mask the dIscontInuItIes oI mIgra-
tIon. OespIte theIr own sense oI contInuIty, mIgrants have not
sImpIykepttheIrnuc!earIamIIIesandtheIrIemaIe-centered, ex-
tended networks IntactIn theIrmove. Rather, they have actIve!y
adaptedoIdsymboIIceIementsandsocIabIIItIestomakesense out
oInew contexts. What Is contInuous Is theIr re!Iance on the au-
thorItyandaIdoIeIderkInswomenandtheIrchoIceoIchIIdcareIn
theIemaIe-centereddomestIcdomaIn.
ThIs senseoIcontInuItyIsmIssIngamongmanyAmerIcansex-
perIencIngIamIIybreakdown.ImIghtarguethattherapIdrate
oIentryoIwomen, especIaI!ymothersoIyoungchI!dren, Intothe
!abor Iorce, the precIpItous shIItIn IndustrIaIand servIce-sector
emp!oymentaroundthecountry,andtherIseoImovementssInce
theSecondWorIdWarexp!IcIt!yaImedatsexuaIIIberatIonhaveaII
contrIbutedtothepresentcontestoverthecuIturaImeanIngoIIam-
IIy!IIe.KInshIphasbecomemoreovertIypo!ItIcIzedasthematerIa!
condItIonsoIsexuaIIty, marrIage, andmatemItyaretransIormed.
We then experIence a IamI!y transIormatIon that Is cuIturaI!y !a-
beIedadecIme. nceagaIn,peopIeareactIveIyattemptIngto re-
workthesymboIIceIementsattheIrdIsposa!,InsomecasestocIaIm
IegItImacy Iornew IamI!y experIences, andIn others, to denyIt.
Andthe outcomeoIthesestruggIesIsverymuchupIorgrabs.
In1972, OavId SchneIdertoIdus, nemusttake the natIves
owncategorIes,thenatIvesunIts,thenatIvesorganIzatIonandar-
tIcuIatIon oI those categorIes and Io!Iow theIr deIInItIons, theIr
symboIIc and meanIngIu! dIvIsIons, wherever they may !ead.
Whenthey!eadacrossthe!InesoI'kInshIpIntopoIItIcs,econom-
Ics,educatIon,rItuaI,andre!IgIon,onemustIo!Iowthemthereand
IncIude thoseareaswIthInthe domaInswhIchthe partIcuIarcuI-
turehasIaIdout(SchneIder1972: 51). IbeIIeveweneedtoIoIIow
andtranscendthatadvIce. ThehegemonyoImaIe-headednuc!ear
`
The Gender Politics of Euro-American Kinship Analysis
,
IamIIIesand exceptIonaIIsm oIIemaIe-centered extendedkInshIp
networksarebothproductsoIourspecIIIchIstory. To studytheIu-
'"'
ture oI Euro-AmerIcan kInshIp, we have to break through our

ystIIIcatIonoIIts past. Ascu!turaIactorsasweIIasanthropoIo-


`
giss, we can on!yaccompIIshthIs taskby takIng genderpo!ItIcs
senousIy.
Sewing the Seams of Society:
Dressmakers and Seamstresses in
Turin Between the Wars
Vanessa Maher
Tnr POLTCO|URAL domain in a class-siraiified socieiy is ihe
roduciofiherelaiionshisamongihaisocieiy'svariousclasses,
evenifoneclassisdominani.To elahoraieonsuchasiaiemeni,I
wouldheforcedioreseniananalysisoflegiiimacyandconsen-
sus,classaniagonismandhegemony,whichIdonoiiniendiour-
sueherehuiwhichisimliciiinmuchihaifollows.
Classesihaidiueriniheirrelaiionshiioihemanagemeniofso-
cialandeconomicresourcesmaydivideuihedomesiicandihe
oliiico-juraldomainsheiweenmenandwomenindiuereniways.
Forexamle, duringihe eriodunderdiscussion, working-class
familiesconsideredihemanagemenioffamilyearningsioheihe
resonsihiliiyofihematerfamilias; inhourgeoisornohlefamilies,ii
wasihefaiherwhomanagedihefamilyairimony.Iicouldhesaid
ihaiihefirsifunciionisdomesiic,amaiieroffeedingandcloihing
ihe family, whereas ihe second concerns ihe deloymeni ofre-
sourcesinsuchawayasiocreaieoliiicalalliancesandioconsol-
idaie economic ower. However, ii was working-class moihers
whoiookioihe sireeisioroiesiihericeofhreadafieriheFirsi
WorldWarandseiouihefamousoccuaiionofiheFiaifacioriesin
Turinin1920. Wereiheyaciinginihedomesiicoriheoliiico-jural
domain?Fulfillingfemalerolesorusuringmaleones?]udgmenis
ofiheiimediueredaccordingioiheclassofiheseaker.
Accordingioihecensusfigures,iherooriionofwomenreg-
isierediniheregularlialianworkforce(includingallseciorsofihe
economy)droedfrom48. 6 erceniio28. 6 erceniofallworkers
heiween1861 and1911. Thisirendwasclearlyreeciedinihein-
dusirialworkforce,inwhichwomen-emloyedmainlyiniexiiles
andinfoodandiohaccorocessing-ouinumheredmenaiiheend
Sewing the Seams of Society 133
ofihenineieenih ceniury. Their osiiionihenworsened as ihe
iweniieihceniuryoenedaeriodofroieciivelegislaiionihai
iendedioemhasizeiherioriiyofwomen'smaiernalandfamiIial
roles. Women'schancesforregularemloymeniwereihuswhii-
iledaway, andmanywereushediniooccuaiionsihaiwerein-
creasinglyunderaidandexloiiahle,suchasouiwork.
Wiihihe secierofosiwarunemloymenilooming,women's
courageous siruggles io save iheir faciory johs were viewed re-
senifully, evenhyihe male leaders ofiheirlahor organizaiions,
whoaccusedihemofleavingiheirhomesiocomeiewiihmen
foremloymeni.
However,asRaynaRahasremarkedinihisvolume,ihese-
araiionofhomefromworklaceihaiiooklaceinindusirializing
couniriesduringihenineieenihceniury, andiherogressive ex-
ulsion ofwomen from ihe regularworkforce during ihe iwen-
iieih,didnoiuianendiowomen'swork.Raiher,suchworkwas
lacedouisideiheshereofaidconiraciuallahorandihusren-
deredofliiileornovalue.
Thefaciihaimaleiradeunionleaders, evenheforeiheadveni
ofiheFascisiregime,helievedwomenroerlyhelongedaihome
shouldnotheiakeniomeanihaiiheyihoughiwomenshouldnoi
work. Raiher, iiwaswomen'sexiradomes

icworkihaiwascon-
sideredadmissihleonlywhenwomenweremoiivaiedhyneces-
siiy and when iheywerenoicomeiingwiihmen onihe lahor
markei. Reasoning along arallel, if noi ideniical, lines, Liheral
and Fascisi legislaiors soughi io roieci only ihose women
workingonindusirialremises ouisideihehome. WomenW2
aihomewerefulfillingi__ paiy ! c]
,
Such
wo

couldheexiremelyexhausiing,wiihouiiimeoragelimiis
(e. g. , agriculiural lahor, ouiwork, or work in ihe family work-
sho),huiafierall,iiiooklacewiihinihefamilyasanaturalac-
comanimeniofdomesiicworkandsodidnoieniailexloiiaiion
and dishonor as did exiradomesiic work under a faciory hoss.
Muchheiierioheunderihehouseholdhoss,inanauihoriiarian
andrigidlyhierarchicalfamilysiruciurelike ihaiouilinedhyihe
curreni (Fascisi) Civil Code (Galoini 1980: 47-58) . Thus we
findihaihoihhourgeoisandworking-classwomenwereexecied \
iosiayaihome,whereihelaiierwereiocarryouihoihiheirown
domesiicworkandihaiofhourgeoisfamiliesorioroducegoods
l
.
forihecommodiiymarkei.
. -
1q Vanessa Maher
MyhypothesIsIsthataIthoughaIIcIassestendtoassocIatedo-
mestIcwIthwomenandpoIItIco juraIwIthmen,thedeIInItIons
theygIvetothese spheresoIactIondIher TheusethatIsmadeoI

thIsassocIatIonIsthesame,however.ItIsnormatIveanddesIgned

tomaIntaInaspecIIIcpowerreIatIonbetweenmenandwomen,In

` whIchwomenaresubordInatetomen
However, aswIthaIInorms,thIsoneIsmostapparentwhenvI-
oIated. InthIsartIcIe, IwIIItrytoshowhowseamstressesInTurIn
pIayedontheambIguItyInsexuaIroIescreatedbythecombInatIon
oIdIherentcIass practIceswIthasIngIesocIaInorm. TheIrexperI-
encebetweenthewarsseemstopoInttoatug-oI-warovergender
andcIassprerogatIves,InwhIchthecontendersknewaIternateIor-
tunes, the reaI InterpenetratIon oI the domestIcand poIItIcaI, the
prIvate and pubIIc, the InsIde and the outsIde, shows up to a
greater or Iesser extent. However, It Is not surprIsIng that those
workIng-cIasswomenwhobeneIItIeastIromsuchnormatIvesep-
aratIonstreatthemwIthnonchaIance
ThehIstoryoITurInseamstressesanddressmakersIsIntImateIy
IntertwInedwIththepoIItIcaIandsocIaIhIstoryoIthecItyand,In-
deed,oInorthernItaIy.ThepresenceoItheSavoymonarchyscourt
atTurInandthegrowthoIaIIourIshIngnaturaItextIIeIndustryIn
the!IedmontcontrIbutedtotheImportanceoITurIns IashIonIn-
dustryInthesecondhaIIoIthenIneteenthcenturyandtheIIrsthaII
oIthetwentIeth.MostImportantwastheIInkbetweenIashIonand
TurInsrapIdIndustrIaIIzatIonandsocIaIchange.TheIIIehIstorIes
oImanywomenwhosubseguentIybecameIamousInthecItyspo-
IItIcaIhIstorynotetheIrbegInnIngsasseamstresses.
MyresearchhasentaIIedaserIesoIunstructuredIntervIewswIth
zqdressmakersandIormerdressmakersabouttheIrIIvesandwork
hIstorIes, IntervIews conducted In theIr homes, workshops, or
boutIguesbetween 181 and 18z. I came toknowthesewomen
throughIrIendsandacguaIntancescIoseIytIedtoTurIndressmak-
ersasreIatIvesorcIIents, throughthetextIIeworkersunIon, and
throughmembersoItheLnIonoIItaIIanWomen(LOI)whohad
heIped to reorganIze the CIrcoIo deIIe CaterInette, or Seam-
stresses CIrcIe, aItertheSecondWorIdWar. ThIs accountoI the
seamstresses experIence between the wars reIIes on IntervIews
wIthtendressmakersandIourLOImIIItantsbornbeIore1oand
onpubIIshedbIographIesoIdressmakersbornbetween18oand
11o(Serra1yy,CavaIIo1y8o,Moce1yy) .
Sewing the Seams of Society 1
Seamstresses in the Atelier
LntIIthe SecondWorIdWarandIorsomeyearsaIterIt, down-
townTurIn wasthe scene oIIeverIshsartorIaIactIvIty, a centeroI
IashIonsecondonIyto!arIs,IromwhIch IttookmanyoIIts cues
TheownersoIthemostImportantateIIerswouIdjourneyto!arIs
tobuy desIgnsand thentraveIthroughoutItaIy, co!IectIngorders
Irom houses oI IashIon and dressmakers. OesIgns wouId be
bought,borrowed,orstoIenbytheIesserateIIersandworkshops
andsoIIIterdowntothedressmakerworkIngonherownathome
IoracIIenteIeoIneIghbors.
TheIntensItyoIworkInTurIn,then,varIedaccordIngtothesea-
sonsoI!arIsIanIashIonandwasespecIaIIyhIghdurIngtheautumn
and sprIng. OurIng these perIods, the number oI seamstresses
workIngIntheateIIersIncreasedbyoverathIrd,butdurIngthesta
gione marta, thedeadmonthsoI]anuary,February, andAugust,aII
oIthem, evenreguIarempIoyees, were sent, sIgnIIIcantIy, home.
However,rareIycouIdtheIrIamIIIesdowIthouttheIrearnIngs,and
thosewhocouIdnotIIndworkInsma!Ierworkshops,whIchhada
moremodestcIIenteIeandwereIessahectedbychangesInIashIon,
wouId sewathomeIorneIghborsordomendInguntIItheateIIer
openedagaIn.
The seamstresses were young, and most were unmarrIed. In
Iact,asaruIe,theywereIIreduponmarrIage.Mostenteredtheate-
IIersataboutagethIrteenorIourteenaIterhavIngattendedschooI
IorthreeorIouryearsandthenworkIngasapprentIcesIoraseII-
empIoyeddressmaker,oItenaIamIIyIrIendorneIghbor.utothers
weretakenIntothegrnd atelier evenyoungertoworkaspiccinin,
theIIttIegIrIswhopIckeduppIns,boughtthread,orcarrIedparceIs
IromateIIertoIIent.AIthoughan1886 IawconcemIngtheworkoI
womenandchIIdrenIorbadetheempIoymentoIchIIdrenunder
nIneyearsoId,dressmakersconsIderedthemseIvesaspecIaIcase.
An InstItutIonIorthecreatIonoIIuxurygarmentscannotbecon-
sIdered an IndustrIaI estabIIshment, protested oneempIoyerIn
1oo(MerII1yz.z).
A rIgId hIerarchy reguIatedtheseamstresss career. nIy aIter
herInItIatIonasapiccinin orcita, whensheIeamedtomakeherway
throughstreetsshehadneverseenbeIoreandthroughhousesvery
dIherentIromherown,wouIdshebeadmIttedtotherankoIsed uta,
orseatedworker,andtraInedtosewhems.
16 Vanessa Maher
Rare!ywou!d shebe dIrectIyorexpIIcIt!ytaught those skI!!s on
whIchherprogressuptheIadderoItasksandpaydepended.I was
amatteroI stea!IngwIth theeye (bisognava rubare coll'occhw), a
traInIngIntheImItatIonoIgesturesandattItudesthatwouIdbe es-
sentIaItotheIuturedressmaker, whosetaskItwastomanIpu!ate
socIaIappearances. FortheIIrstthreeorIouryearsIntheateIIer,the
seamstress receIved nothIng but token payment Ior her work.
However, whenshereachedthegradesoIaiutante (assIstant) and
lavorante (dressmaker), she wouId be compensated IdIosyncratI-
ca!!yaccordIngtoherbravura or cIeverness. (he
,
;ermbra

u
;
a has
moraIovertonesandaIsomeansgoodbehavmr. )Inadditionto
owners,!argeate!IersIncIudedapremiere, orprIncI
[
a!dress

ker,
who worked dIrectIywIthcIIentsandwas responsibIeIorItttmgs,
acoupeur, orcutter, usuaIIymaIe, andadirectrice,

mnager re-
sponsIb!e Ior work coordInatIon and empIoyee discip!Ine. There
wereaIsomannequins whomodeIedthedresses.
FewseamstressesreachedtheranksoIpremiere orcoupeur. ne
reasonwasthatmostseamstresseswouIdmarryandthenbeIIred,
thepremiere tendedtobeanoIderwomanpasttheageoImarrIage.
MoreImportant,thepremiere andthecoupeur werecar

IuIto
.
guard
theskIIIstheycontroIIedtheabI!ItytoestabhshconIidentiaIand
approprIate re!atIonshIps wIth rIch cIIentsIor thIs knowIedge
couId render the lavornte capabIe oI becomIng an autonomous
rIva!.
However, some inIormants suggested that the seamstres

es
themseIvessawtheateIIeron!yasap!acetoprepareIormarned
IIIe. Most marrIed coupIes IIrst IIved wIth one spouses parents
(usua!Iythe husbands) IoracoupIe oIyears, and thenmoved to
theIrownhome,wherethewIIewouIdhaveenoughtosetupher
worktabIeandreceIvec!Ients. TheambItIontosetupanIndepen-
dentbusIness, tobeabIeto chooseonesowncIIentsandhoursoI
work mustnevertheIessbevIewedasanambIguousone,Induced
Inpa;tbycIrcumstances,InpartbythematerIaIandmoraIrestrIc-
tIonsonmarrIedwomenworkIngoutsIdethehome.
MostdressmakersremembertheperIodspentIntheateIIerasa
tImenoton!yoIIreedomandgaIetybecause
^
ewerey

ung,

but
a!sooIcrueIprIvatIonandgrIndIngwork,whichwaspmdtohttIe
tobeconsIderedaIIveIIhood.Asonedressmakerreported, To get
marrIedwastheonIythIngIorawoman,IromtheeconomcpoInt
oIvIew,shecou!dntkeepherseII.Andwhenshegotmarned,she
Sewing the Seams of Society 1y
cou!dnoIongermeettheInIIexIbIe demands oIthe ateIIer, sInce
therewereothersathome, eguaI!yInexIb!e.
CondItIonsoIworkIntheateIIershadbeenthesubjectoIscandaI
Iordecades. Mer!IsaccountoIworkIng-cIasscondItIonsInIta!yat
theturnoIthecenturycItesanumberoIsourcesbetween1ozand
1o6thatdecrythetragIcsItuatIonoItheseamstresses.AccordIng
t
_
these sources, the sewIng estab!Ishments, commonIy ca!Ied
schooIsbytheIrowners,madethegIr!sworkeIghteenortwenty
hoursaday, andoItenonSaturdaysandSundayswhentheseason
oI hIgh IashIon was approachIng. In TurIn the wIndows were ?
bIackedoutsothatnoIIghtcouIdbeseenhomtheoutsIdeandthe
iI!egaInIght-workcouIdbekepthIddenIrompryIngeyes.
..~
!roIessIonaI dIseases were rIIe among the seamstresses. The
sources mentIondeIormatIonoI the spIne, tubercuIosIs, eye dIs-
ease,andahIghIreguencyoImIscarrIagesandmenstrua!troubIes,
sIncetheuseoIthepeda!-machInewasknowntocausedamageto
thereproductIveorgans(Mer!I1yz.zq1qz, z1, zq) .
An InguIry Into the heaIth oI seamstresses In TurIn In 111
showed themtobeIncreasIng!y anemIc, especIaIIyIntheIr earIy
twentIes,andInanoveraIIstateoIheaIthworsethanthatoIacom-
parabIesampIeoItextIIeworkers(AIIarIa111).
A!though there was agraduaIImprovementInworkIngcondI-
tIons, suchastheprovIsIonoIheatIngattheempIoyersexpense,
thec!osepersona!re!atIonsbetweenempIoyersandseamstresses,
whIch!aIdtheIatteropentoemotIona!b!ackmaIIandboundthem
totheIrexp!oItersbyexpectatIonsoIIoyaIty, andtheshrInkIngoI
the empIoymentopportunItIesIorwomenInpartas a resu!t oI
thedecIIneoIthetexti!eIndustry, In partasaresuItoIFascIstIeg-
Is!atIonmade suchImprovementsdIhIcu!ttoperceIve untII the
ear!y16os.In16,Iorexamp!e,aIawwasIntroducedthatIorbade
the dIsmIssaI oIwomen workers upon marrIage, whIch up untI!
thenhadbeenamatteroIcourse (SocIetaLmanItarIa16z).
Seamstresses' Age and Social Position
SInce most seamstresses marrIed at about twenty-IIve, they
spent!Itt!emorethantenyearsIntheate!Iers. !erhapstheIrado-
Iescenceexp!aInstheIrpecu!IarposItIon,asacategoryoIworkers,
wIthrespecttotherestoIsocIety.
TobegInwIth, theseamstresseswereusua!IyreIerred tobythe
.,s Vanessa Maher
dininutiveternsartina, whichcarriescennetatiensbethetyeuth
andetincenpletepretessienaltraining.Accerdingtethesteree-
type,theywerenetenlyyeungbutelegantandgraziose, dainty,
inclined teanereus dallyng. 1heirwerk, dedicated te the en-
hancenentettenalecharn,wasseenasakindetextensienet
theirexquisitelytenininenatureandadenenstratienetwerldly
wisden.
lnternantsthenselvestendedtedescribealitetinesgrueling
andpeerlypaidwerkinternsetapassien.ltisreallyakindet
werkwhichengagesyeurnind. ltisnetustaquestienetphysical
enert,andtebeabletedeit,yeunustreallyhaveapassienterit,
itnetyeucantdeit.lassienisaternthatbelengstetheprivate
sphereettheanectiens,butitalsepeintstetheveluntaryartistic
andcreativesideetthewerkinwhichitspractitienerstakegreat
pride. 1he tern itselt indicates a centradictien that repeatedly
energesinthelivesettheseanstressesevenattertheyhavelettthe
atelier. thatbetweentanily and pretessienal cenntnents, be-
tweenaprivateandapublicidentity.1hewerdpassienevekes
theselt-tergettulnesserprescriptivealtruisncensideredappre-
priatetetheperternanceetwenenstanilyreles. 1heseanstress
wheappliesthisattitude,learnttertanilyuse,teherwerkinthe
I
atelerisadecileandpretitableenpleyee. uewever, itisalsea
_ seurceetpretessienalprideandknewledge,suchthatshetashiens

apublicidentitythatisanenaleusingenderandclassterns.
Cnedressnakerdescribedtheeppesitienethernethersneigh-
bersteherenteringanatelier.ltwassheerperditien.1heysaid.
Yeucantsendherteanatelier,theyresuchequivecalplaces' uut
itwasnt.1hattheatelierwasperceivedasaplaceetperditien,
equivecal,suggeststhatherewearedealingwthasecialspace
thatwasanenaleusandinterstitialwthrespecttesecialstructure.
Spatial and Social Relations: Inside and
Outside, High and Low
1urn,likenanyetthecitiesetCentralLurepe,betraysinitsar-
chitecturethestrengthettheidealetseparatingprivateandpublic
lite, butalsetheinpertanceetthe eutdeer secial drana. 1he
centerettewnisaninpertantarenaterthenegetiatienetprestige,
withitsceveredarcadesthatpernitstrellingeveninbadweather,
Sewing the Seams of Society .,,
ispiazze

surreundedbycatesandwineheuses,itsbenchestersit-
tugeutsideenwarnevenings,itsicecreanparlers,cinenas,and
da

cehalls.beveall,thestreetsandsquaresinltalyarewherethe
s
.
ecial

rderI5 reprse

nted,

ecked, undernined, andrenege-


tiateduthesy

belicuteractienetreligieusprecessiens,peliti-
cal denenstr

tiens, carni

als, testivals, andnasquerades. And


ress-ressugup,res

ugteplease,dressingteinpress,dress-
in

tetnghten,dressugutancycestune-isanessentialpartet
thisrepresentatien.
Apersensdress,atleastupuntilthe-ecendwerldwar indi-
catedaclaintesecialprecedenceandcivilrghts(-aracene

.,,,-
se!. wenenwerkers,terexanple, didnetwearhats,altheugh
niddle- andupper-classwenendid.Delicatenaterialsanddainty
seeswerethepreregativeetwenenwheceuldcennandacar-
nageer,later,anautenebile.uutdespitethesenerns,nevenent
e

utetd

ersalwa

spres

ntsaneccasienternakingsecialclains,
su

cethissphereI5 eutsidethecentreletintinateswhensuch
clainsceuldanectdirectly.-uchclains,sustainedbyappearance
alene,arenadewithina

ublica

newerk.ltcellectivelystated,
the
)
naybeaneans

ettestugpeliticalbeundariesandetclaining
secialspace.1heclainsandceunterclainsteprecedenceand re-
spectturnthepublicarenainteavertexettensiensintewhich
everyeneisdrawn

willy-nilly.ln1urin,andperhapsinltalyingen-
eral,partettheskilletselt-p

resentatienliesintrappingtheglance
ettepasserbyandcenpellingrespecttulnetice.Cneetthenest
ebveusnensetdeingseisbyenesdress.uuttheexchangeet
gla

cesentalsnetenlytheneticeettheaestheticaspectetaper-
s

ensappearancebutalsetheappraisalethiserhersecialcendi-
tien. pers

nsdresstitshinerherternevngincertainsecialcir-
cles,ucertauplaces,encertaineccasiensandnetethers

ltisteknewl

dg

etthetinerdetailsetthesynbelisn
.
etdress
urelat

entesecia! circunstancewhichtheseanstressacquiresin
heateae

andwhich,becauseetitschangingandesetericnature
isth

basisetherpewervis-a-visthenenbersetethersecialcat
eger

es.1hed

essnaersclientsdependenhernetenlytertheex-
ecutienettheirrequrenentsbuttertheirveryternulatien.1he
dressnakerknewsnetenlyhewtecellecateherclientssynbeli-
callywithinthesecialsysten,butalse, unlkenanyettheether
nenbersetherewnclass,hewthesesynbelssheuldbeusedin
s,e Vanessa Maher
dnerentcentexts-thats,thenannersthatgewththeclethes.ln
kelanduarthessterns, shepessessesknewledgeetcestuneas
wellasetdress(uarthess,sa,
ltseenstenethattweaddtethsknewledgethetechncalca-
pactytepreduceclethes,censderedassynbels,thedressnaker
sseentebenapestentecreatenewrelatenshpsbetweensyn-
belsandreterentsernewreterentsterexstngsynbels.1hshap-
pens,terexanple,whenshenventsnewdesgnsteretherpeeple,
erwhenshenakestashenableclethesterherselt,tellewngde-
sgnsshehasceneacressnanateler.ltsnyhypethessthatthe
depleynentetprestgetulsynbels,heldgenerallytecerrespend
teecenencandpeltcalpewernthepeltce-uraldenan,by
peeplewhesepewerlesnesetercknewledgeetnatterscensd-
eredprepertethedenestcdenan,nayactuallychangesecalre-
latens.npartcularthesebetweenthesexesandbetweenclasses,
erethergreupsethgherandlewerstatus.
lnthe dscussenthattellews, lntendtecensderthe sean-
stressesanddressnakerset1urntrstnthercapactyasrtual
experts,tranednthenanutactureetthesynbelswthwhchthe
secalerderartculatesnthepublcspheresecend,lwllcensder
thenaspartcpantsnthatsecalerder,wheusethersynbelc
andtechncalknewledgetesubverttandcreateenclavesetanen-
aleus secalrelatens, nwhchtheyeneycertantreedens. l-
nally,lwllcensderthesecaltensenstewhchtheractvtygves
rseandthernplcatenstersecalstructure,ernereexactly,ter
therelatensbetweentheclassesandthesexesn1urn.
Dress and Undress: The Dressmaker and Her Clients
Cennentetherelatenshpbetweenawenanandherdress-
nakerandthatbetweenawenanandherdectersthecentraln-
pertanceetthebedy.Awenantacesbethpretessenalsnastate
etundress,whchestablshesaprvaterelatenshpsnlarnts
secrecyandntnacyterelatenshpsanengtanlynenberser
betweensexualpartners.lnawerldnwhchawenangansthe
censderatenetethersabeveallasatunctenethersexualattrac-
tveness,herdressrehearsalntrentetthenrrer(theetherwhch
antcpatesallethers,wththedressnakeraswtnessandadvser,

satenseandrevealngnenent.Aparttrentheknewledgethat
thedressnakeracquresetherclentspersen-herbedyntsper-
Sewing the Seams of Society s,s
tectenernpertecten-shetrequentlycenesteunderstand,and
teshare,teacertanextent,herclentsenetenalandrelatenal
cencerns
1hedressnakerettendenenstratesgreatsenstvtyterthecr-
cunstancesterwhchshesdressngherclentandterthewayher
clentwshesteappearnthen.1heclent,entheetherhand,etten
shewssgnsetdependence.stayngwththesanedressnaker
terdecades,cenngteseeherenanypretext,telephenngherte
receuntherweesAndthenterestsrecprecal,asthetellewng
dressnakersacceuntndcates.
When I take up a fashion magazine-and really I'm a nobody, I'm just a
working woman-but as I leaf through that magazine, and I see a dress I
like, I know that sooner or later I'll make it for a client, because I know who
ought to wear that dress . . . . I link it straightaway to a person, and if I
don't manage to make it for myself, I make it for someone before the sea
son is over. Because it is something that seizes me, and somehow I succeed
in convincing my clients, and those of them that have been coming for
many years know that already. They come here with the material and they
say, "Think about it, then you decide what to do with it." And it is the only
way because if they come saying "I want this dress" we start of badly be
cause I don't feel like doing it.
1hssanedressnakersadhewnuchsheeneyednakngwed-
dngdresses.
Perhaps because you participate in this moment, in the euphoria which it
gives you, and perhaps you go to the wedding feast, and they toast the
dressmaker. That made me cry once; it was lovely, a marvellous thing. You
see, that girl was a secretary, but her husband was a notary, and her in
laws were all notaries from way back. And that was a fine wedding and
so was the wedding dress. I had copied a design of Nina Ricci's; it was
lovely and everyone liked it very much, with a turban head-dress. We try
to add something personal, otherwise I say, "Go and buy it already made."
lnthscentext,eneceuldtentatvelyadvancethehypethessthat
theweddngdress-andperhapsdressntspublcandcerene-
nal aspect, ngeneral-sadennantsynbelnVcter1urners
sense.1hesynbelsaslhaveanrned,preducetheacten,and
dennantsynbelstendtebecenethecentersettecalzatenetthe
nteracten 1he greups neblze areundthen, venerate then,
carryeutethersynbelcaetvtesnearthenandaddethersyn-
belcebectstethen. . . . Generallythesegreupsetpartcpants
ndcatenpertantcenpenentsetthesecularsecalsysten,lke
thetanlesandlnesetdescent(1urners,-,.,,,.
142 Vanessa Maher
1heprecessbywhchthedressnaker, usngpersenalknewl-
edgeveluntarlyernveluntarlycenveyedteher, centrbuteste
thesecalandpersenaldenttyetherclent,senenwhchshe
ettendsplaysnerewerldly(ercerenenal,knewledgethandees
thelatter.-hehandlesthesecalsystenntssynbelcaspect,and
thstunctencreatesntheclentastrengsenseetdependenceand
cenplcty.uuttsntheatelererratherdurngtheyearsspentn
thecenterettewnandncentactwthpeepleetallstatusesand
walksetlte,thattheseanstressacquresthsknewledge,whch
wllbenecessaryterestablshngsuccesstulrelatenshpswthher
tutureclents.Yet,ntheateler, sheexperencesthecentrastbe-
tweenherewnrelatentethesesynbelsetstatusandthatetthe
rch clents. whereas the bedes etthe latterare cessetted and
aderned,herewnsabusedandneglected. Huchetthebehaver
ettheseanstressesandlateretthedressnakersappearsteben
rebellenaganstthsstuatenandndcatesthattheyusedallthe
neansavalabletethentened(t.
The Body in the Atelier
uattles betweenenpleyers andwerkers everthe questenet
werkersphyscal needs ceneundertheheadngcendtenset
werk.lntheateler,thesebattlestakeentheextrasgntcanceet
struggles ever secal werth and dentty, gventhe centrast be-
tweenthesuppressenettheseanstresssphyscalrequrenents
andtheelevatenettheclentspersen,everpresentntheternet
adunnyprepertenedteherszeandshape.
1heseanstresseslntervewedvvdlyrenenberepsedesn
whchtheywerephyscallyneglected.Cnerenenbersthatagrl
wthacutenenstrualpanswasnetallewedtenterruptherwerk
tertennnutes.Anetherrenenbersbengtercedtestterheurs
enabrekensteelandthen,whenshehadduculty, bengstruck
enthebackbythedirectrice, wheteldher, Yeurenetheretele
dewn. Athrdrenenbersherndgnatenwhenasanapprentce
shewasteldtedelverahatlatenthe evenngteaclentwhe
neededtewearttethekeyal1heatre.lbegantesaytenyselt,
ustleekatthat.lstllhavetehavenysupperandeverythng,and
shesthereustwatngterneandnakngherseltelegantnher
tneevenngclethes,ustwatngterherhattegetethetheater.
Altheughtstherrelatentepreductenthatdeternnesthe
seanstressesstatus, theyarewellawarethattheyarepreducng
Sewing the Seams of Society 143
thesymbols etstatusenwhchawenanwtheutrealpewernthe
peltce-uraldenanshghlydependentterpublccensderaten.
-ncetheyaretanlarwthbethcestuneanddress,theyare
ascapableasanyeneelseetdsplayngsuchsynbelsandeneyng
thebenettsetpublccensderaten-ttheycanescapethesecal
sanctensthatweuldpreventthentrenusurpngthepreregatves
etetherclasses.
1henannequn,altheughshesawerkerandsharesthesecal
ergnsettheseanstresses,recevesattentenasaphyscalpersen,
andnthswaynayclanahghersecalstatus.whentheLaber
lnspecteratecarnedeutannquryntethehealthetwerkersn
thedressnakngestablshnentset1urnn1911, theynetedthat
thenannequnsretusedtheappellatveetoperaia (werker,, and
clanedthatetsignorina (yeunglady, .Signorina ndcatesanun-
narredlady,andteacertanextentheldseuttheprespectetbe-
cenngsignora, narredladyetneans.lntactaltheughnanyet
theseanstresseshadamici, trendsandleverstrenetherclasses,
thegrlstheyctedashavngnarrednteanetherclasswereetten
nannequns.
uewever,narrageeutettherewnclasscensttutedapartetthe
seanstressesanddressnakersdrean.ltsncdencewasrarebut
thetactthattddeccursasynptenettheperneabltyetclass
partcularly n a secety subect te rapd secal and ecenenc
change.
lntheseanstressessteresetwerkntheateler,theclentsap-
pearsenewhatrdculeus,thertatdunnesthebuttetthewerk-
ersebsceneekes.1heyeungandprettyseanstressesneckedthe
dgntysuppledbycestunetetheseclentswhentheyddnet
censderdgntedersecallysuperer. uecause etthersynbelc
knewledge,theseanstresseswereacentnualchallengetetheup-
perclassesnenepelyencertankndsetappearance.
lerthsreasen,therenpleyerstredtepreventthentrenac-
qurngthewheletrade,asnentenedabeve.1hecuttngeuteta
desgnwasakeypartettsrealzaten,andnnestatelersthstask
wascarredeutbyananwheceuldntsewerbytheewnerherselt.
uuttheseanstressesnadecepesetthedesgns,eutlnngthenen
tnetssuepaperwththechalkternarknghensandsnugglng
theneutundertherclethes.Cnewenanreceuntedthatshehad
cepedaskrtwththreesdepleatsterherseltandterhersster,a
snpleeneughdesgn.lnprudently,shewerettewerk,andthe
144 Vanessa Maher
nanagerettheatelierwasseturieusthatshecutittebits. Cther
seanstressessaidthattheyknewthattheyweuldbetireditthey
werecaughtsnugglingadesignerwearingitnearthecenteret
tewn.ltagreatladysawalittleseanstresswithadresslikehers,
therewas treuble'Nevertheless, the seanstresses were receg-
nizedasagreupthatdressedwithtasteandelegance.1herewere
werking-classgirlswhehadlearnedtesew,whewereanicelittle
hat,tweerthreestylishgarnents,andyeuceuldntseetheywere
peer.
lerhapsevennereinpertantwasthetactthattheseanstresses
tilteredtheteptashiendesignsdewnthreughthe dressnaking
tradeand,teacertainextent,actedteregulatetashienasasysten
etsecialdinerentiatien.Cnenillinerwhewerkedinatashienable
atelierteldnethatshewasnevereutetwerkinthe deadseasen
becausethesnallwerkshepsteekheren,hepingsheweuldbetray
thesecretsettheceningtashiens.Anevengreaterthreattetheate-
liers was the seanstresses habit et keeping their dressnaker
triendsandrelativesinteuchwiththetashiensintheateliersand
ettakingenclientsintheirneighberheedsatterwerkingheurs.ln
seneateliers,seanstresseswereterbiddentehavetheirewncus-
teners,andsincethenanagerandeventheewnerswereettenet
thesanenilieuastheirenpleyees,theywereabletehavethen
watched.1hedinusienetdesignsneantthatneweneshadtebe
intreducedteactassynbelsetsecialdistinctien.uewever,itwas
thistunctienettheseanstressesthatcreatedadenandtertheir
skillintherestetseciety.
The Dressmaker and the "Quartiere Popolare"
The Liminalit of the Atelier
Hydiscussienettheseanstressesanddressnakerset1urinhas
begun,asdidnanyinterviewswithnyinternants,withthenest
visiblephaseintheirlives.theirwerkinthecenterettewninthe
tashienableateliers,thesethatdeninatedappearanceinthepublie
arena.1hisperiedintheirlivesisrenenberedasthenestexciting
andrenantic,characterizedinthepepularinaginatienbysteries
etanereusrelatiensbetweenuniversitystudentsandprettysean-
stresses.uewever,altheughthiscelertulandcentradicterypicture
etthedressnakersyearsintheatelierisarresting,itcapturesenly
Sewing the Seams of Society 145
asn

llpartetherwerkinglite,theyearstrenearlyadelescencete
narnage.1hepeculiarcharacteristicsetthisperiedhavelednete
describeitaslininal.Duringthistine,yeungwenentendedte
transgress class beundaries, te evade the denesticandprivate
nernscensideredprepertetheirsex,tewerkwithinananenaleus
assenblyettenalepeers,teexperiencetenalesecialityeutsidethe
heneandanengnen-kin,tetakepartintheebsceneandcarni-
valesque ekingcharacteristicettheatelier,teaveidnalecentrelet
relatiensanengwenen. lntact,theyretertrequentlytedreans
andnasqueradein descriptiens ettheirwerkandthetinegar-
n

nstheypr

duced.linally,itwasclearlyatineandplaceter
trauug,techracalandsecial,andtheacquisitienetknewledge se-
cialandsexual.

1hetellewingdescriptienetatelierliteby1eresaNece,laterata-
neustradeunienistandCennunistnilitant,isteacertainextent
astereetype,nanyex-seanstressesdescribetheirexperiencein
theseterns.
Although I didn't

ow how t
?
sew at all, I liked the work straightaway.
It see
J
ed new, excit

ng (appasszonante) . It wasn't easy like ironing, because


here It was a question of creating lovely, elegant, flmy things. All the
workers loved the work. They wanted to get married but not to leave of
working after marriage. Their dream was to set up on their own.
Through the talk of these seamstresses, I discovered love for the first
time. All of them had boyfriends and while they worked, they talked
freely of them. The othr apprentice Marcella took charge of my sexual ed
uca
.
hon. I
.
knew very httle. She unveiled many mysteries to me, and ex
plamed thmgs that I hadn't understood until then. First of all, the mystery
of woman, because she already had her menstrual periods and so could
p
rocrea

e, whereas I was still a girl (childbaHbina) . Thanks to Marcella's


Istruchon, whe

I became a woman too, I did not go through a trauma
hke many other girls did (Noce 1977: 11).
heuseetwerdskenysterysuggeststhatsuchknewledge,
lketheneretechuicalknewledgeacquiredintheatelier,wasre-
gardedaseseteric.ltisknewledgethatbeurgeeisandaristecratic
wenen-

heweresuppesedtebevirginsatthetineetnarriage
an whedidnethavesinilareppertunitiesterspendingtinewith
:|eir peers tar tren parental centrel-prebably acquired nuch
|ater,itever.
1e grasp thesigniticanceetthe atelier asaplaceinwhichthe
seanstressespassedalininalperiedettheirlivesandteunder-
standitsrelatientesecialstructure,wenusttakeinteacceuntnet
s,- Vanessa Maher
enlythenetwerketrelatensnwhchseanstresseswerenvelved
betere narrage but alse these they set up atter narrage. we
sheuldcensdernetenlytheternsetthenetwerkbutalsethena-
tureettheexchangeswthnt.Atternarrage,nestdressnakers
wentenwerkngtertertyertttyyears,altheughthswerkwasnet
nenerabletersecetyatlarge.lercevedasdenestc,prvate,n-
deerwerk,tsneverthelessthenanbulketpreductennthe
dresstrade.
Work, Leisure, and Sociality in the "Quartiere Popolare"
lnthelastquarteretthenneteenthcentury, thepepulatenet
1urnncreasedbya,,,eeepeeple,andanethers,,,eeewerere-
tused resdence. 1e accennedate the new nngrants, nestly
werkerstrentheceuntrysde,whelenewresdentalareaswere
bultentheedgesetthecty,thus,therelatenetcenterteperph-
eryteekenprecseclasscennetatens.1henewquartieri weren-
dcatedbytheternborgo, andtsgenerallytetheseborghi thatwe
reterwhenweusetheternquartieri popolari.
whenanalyzngtheclassergnsettheseanstresses,wesheuld
takenteacceuntthetactthatnanywerkerswerealseartsans
part-tneeratsenephasentherlvesandthattheshepkeepers
nthequartiere werealsepartetthewerkersnetwerketsecalre-
latensandsharedthesanesetetculturalassunptens.Altheugh
enly twe-thrds et the seanstresses tathers were dentted as
werkers,theartsansandshepkeeperswhenadeuptherenan-
ngthrdnayhavebeeneneyngnerelyatenperaryascendancy, ,, ,
nanyartsansexpectedtherdaughterstenarrywerkers. 1heltal- ,
anphrasequartiere popolare seens nere aptterthscennunty

thanwerkng-classneghberheed,tertrenectsatludtyetec-

cupatenalstatustypcaletltalanpreductveerganzatenuntl
quterecentlyandpartcularlynarkedbetweenthe wars(seealse
Grbauds,s,,Levetal.s,,s,.
lnthewerdsetHassnelac,anltalansecelegstwellknewn
terhs researchentheltalanlabernarket, thelate-nneteenth-
centurypreductvestructurebasedensnallwerkshepsandeut-
werkwascensderedtebetunctenaltetheneedetthedevel '
epngnatenalnanutacturngndustrytenake thebestuse
whatwasperhapstsenlyrealreseurce.anabundantandcheapla-
berterce.1heethertactersetpreductenwereerganzedareund
thstundanentalreseurce. . . . 1heresnuchevdencethatthe
Sewing the Seams of Society s,,
entrepre

erialclasswaswellawareettheadvantagesetthsknd
eterg

nzauenetpreductvelte(lacs,sa. a,,a,, .
lascistecenencpelcestaveredtheenergenceandrenterce-
nentetasharpdualsnbetweenthetradtenalsectersnanutac-
turngtextles, clethng, teed, and weed bypreducts, nwhch
en
}
eynentwasncreasedbyenphaszngcasuallaberandbyex-
plotugthecentnbute

etpart-t

etarners,andtherelatvely

dvan

edsecterscenpnsugchenicalandengneerngndustres,
uwhichthe state had a strengerncentvetewardpreductve
cencentraten.
lnaddtentethsdualsnnpreducten,whchplaceddress-
naersand

estettheartsansnthequartiere popolare nthesecter


ethighlaberuputsandrelatvelylew-prcedpreducts,therewas
alseadualsnncensunpten.
1hequariere pop
?
lare nustneseenasanenvrennentwthahgh
cencentratienetdinerentsklls,achrencscarctyetcaptal anda
n

glgle
.
crculatenetneney. 1heexchangeetgeedsadser-
vices

thuthequartiere enablednanypeepletenakealvngand
teacquregeedsthatweuldhavebeenteeexpensveterthente
buy.lereanple, thewenanwheselddressnakerstnshngs
wasettenlnkedtehercustenersasaclent.
ue

wever,perhapstslegtnatetevewthepeeletskllsnthe
quarttere

asacellectve reseurce enwhch alnest everyenehad


seneclain-and

tewardwcheveryenehadaneblgaten.ueys
we

ldbe
.
pprenucedtethentather

swerknates,ergrlsweuldge
t
`
learn
.
trendressnakerswerkingathene-neghbers,rela-
ives,e

tnendsetthernethers.1hus,altheughthedressnakers
innediatecencernwashertanlyandprnarykn,herrelatente
theetherwenenshenetntheshepsandthestreetsweuldn-
velvehernaseresetexchanges,suchthatshecanetebeakey
tgurentheneghberheed.Hereever,thedressnakersskllsand
thecentactsshenantanedwthwenenwhecentnuedtewerk
natelersweuldper

the

tecultvatearcherclentelewhepad
cashandwhesebusuessusenecasesprensedherrealsecal
nebilty.1hesecalwerldettheclenteccasenallybecanetused
wththatetthedressnakertetheextentthatthelatterschldren
beca

epartett,attendngtheunverstyandbecenngteachers,
architects,erevenpretessers.
.
All

th

dressnakers,ntact,talkedettheuendshpandanec-
uenankugthentetherclentsandwthnwhchtheyexper-
.,s Vanessa Maher
enceaanessentialequality.Altheughnestaressnakerswithate-
lertrainingpetentiallyattractbethneighberheeaanarichclients,
theircheiceetclienteleisettencenaitieneabytheeccupatienset
ethernenbersettheirtanilies.lerexanple,enewiaeweaaress-
nakerwassupperteabybusinesstrenhersecretaryaaughters
werknates. lanilynenbersnayrestrictaswellasexpanabusi-
ness, hewever, ascennenlyhappenswhenawerkerhusbana
teelsthreateneabyhiswitesrichclientsanaterceshertearep
then.Atterthelirstwerlawar,inparticular,nanyhusbanaseb-
ecteatetheirwivesattenaingteclientsatterwerkingheurswhen
theywereathene.1hehusbananetenlytelthispreeninentright
tehiswitesservicestebethreateneabutalseresenteahiswite,in
his presence, representing the heusehela te nenbers etether
heusehelasanaetherclasses(seeCavalle.,s., .1hatis,shewas
assuningapublicrelethatwas nernativelyhis asheaaetthe
heusehela. -uchahusbananightwellaccepthiswitewerking
eutsiaethehene.
lneraerteunaerstanathewayinwhichthearessnakerwas
cenaitieneabytheecenenicanapeliticalrelesetethernenbers
ettheheusehela,itwillbeusetultetakeabrietleekattheaevel-
epnentalcycleettheaenesticgreupinwhichshewasinvelvea.
The Household i n the Quartiere Popolare
1hesingleheusehelain1urinbetweenthewarswasaunitin
whichreseurceswerepeelea. Larners puttheirearningsinthe
tanily,tetranslatetheltalanexpressienliterally.1eacertainex-
tent,thenenbersetthetanilyweresuberainateterulesetcen-
sunptien accepteawithinthegreupbutnetcennenteallits
nenbers,girlsassnallerearnersreceiveahaltthepecketneney
tewhichtheirbretherswereentitlea. uewever,itsheulabeen-
phasizeathatthereseurcesetnenberslivingwithintheheuse-
helawerenettheenlyenesthatceulabecalleaupen. lntact,
prinarykin,livnginetherheusehelas,wereexpecteatebeas-
seciateainacleseitsecenaarywayinitsnaterialwell-being.
Aschilarennarriea,theyweulaliveterashertwhilewiththeir
parentsuntiltheyteunaaheneettheirewn.uewever,theirnew
apartnent was nest ettennearby, anauntilthenewlynarriea
aressnakerhaachilaren,sheweulaettenvisitherparentsheuse
tehelpwithaenestictasksanaanyeutwerkinwhichnenberset
theheusehelawereengagea.Cneaeesnethavetheinpressienet
Sewing the Seams of Society .,,
abrusqueerarasticseparatienbetweenthearessnakeranaher
kin.Cnthecentrary,theirlivescentinueateweaveinanaeutet
eneanether.
lnallcasesinwhichanethreutliveaherspeuse,sheweulage
analivewith ene ether aaughters, etten the aressnakerwhe
werkeaatheneanawheweulatakecareether.uycentrast,awia-
eweatathergenerallyretuseaterelinquishhispesitienasheaaet
theheusehela.Aslengasbethparentswerealve,theystayeain
therewnheuse,evenitthenetherwereteeilltecepewithheuse-
werk,anatheiraaughtersvisiteaaailytetakecareettheirneeas.
ltispessiblethatanethersaesiretehaveheraaughterslearna
traaerenecteaherneeatetacilitatetheiranaherebligatiensas
heusekeepersratherthanherhepethattheyceulaearnaninae-
penaentliving.lnaeea,nestseanstressessaiathattheirtathers
haaaeciaeatetrainthenasaressnakersanasenetathersseen
tehavehaagreateranbitienstertheiraaughtersthantheirneth-
ershaa.Cnetather,terexanple,planneaterhisthreeaaughters
tesetupabusinesstegether,he,inhiselaage,weulahaveerga-
nizeatheaeliverysiae.uewever,thenarriagesetallthreeaaugh-
tersapparentlyputanenatehispreect.Hanywerkshepsana
evenatelierswereinaeearunbytweerthreesisters,aquarteret
alltheselisteaintheCennercialCatalegueet.,.,haathisstruc-
ture.Giventhelewcapitalinvestnentnecessarytersettingupa
werkshep, thiswasenewayetpreviaingtanilynenberswith
nerelucrativeenpleynentthanceulabehaasotto padrone anaet
naintainingthetanilytunaunaiviaea.
The Place of the Dressmaker in the Family Economy
Ctalltanilynenbers,itisusuallythearessnakerwheleeks
atterthe ela ana ill. Yet it is alse the aressnakerwhe is best
equippeatehelpeutthetanilywhenethernenbersarenetcen-
tributing incene. A wenan canbe put te werk at herlaber-
intensivewerkbench,ananencanrelyenherearningswhenstill
inscheel,unenpleyea,erinaebt.
1hetanlytasksettheseanstresseraressnakerseentarless
relateatethecareetchilarenthanteheusekeepinganaitsclese
relatien,step-gapearning.Ctthesixteenwenenm ny sanple
whewerkeainthisperiea,sevenhaanechilaren,sixhaaenechila
anathreehaatwe. Yetperhapstheirsenseethavingasureana
s,e Vanessa Maher
censtantnarketterthersklls,heweverbadlypad,durngthe
whele ceurse etther ltetnes prenetes the descrpten nany
dressnakersgveetthenselvesasndepende

t.:

.
ltsdnculttedervesuchanepthettrentheirtuanc:alcircun-
stances,tertherearnngsareettenbarelyeneughteceverthelv-
ngexpensesetenepersen,letalenetherente

taheuse.1hey

re
tercedtelvewththertanlyetergnerwithawage-earnng
husband andna pesten suberdnate tethe heuseheld head.
uewever, nnere generalterns, ths selt-descrptenrenects

a
centdencenthercapactytesuppertthenselvesunderanycir-
cunstances,aprdentherskll,andanassuranceettherablty
teenternteadvantageeusrelatenshpswthnen-knernegh-
bers,thats,teactnthepublcspherewtheutneednganalene-
dater.Andtsthscapactythatspenalzedwthnnarrageand
prevestebeaseurceettensenwthnh

tanly,scetcentrasts
wththeacceptedherarchynetenlywithuthetannybutalseeut-
sdet.
Atthspent,tnghtbellunnatngterevewthenernatve
categeres tewhch the dressnakers are sup

esedt?

ce

tn.
lublcandprvate haveadnerentextensiente us

de er
eutsdetheheuseheld,terwenensprvatenetwerksuclude
knlvngnetherheusehelds.lnanerecentu

ngway,adress-
nakersprvatecrclealsencludesseneethercaentsetwhenshe
speaksnanectenateterns, altheughherhusbandnayreg

rd
thenaseutsdersrelatedteherenlybycentract. ltnayalseu-
cludeneghbers,tewhensheacknewledgesaneralbe

1here-

tere,therearenanydscrepancesbetweentherealacuv:uesand
secalrelatensetdressnakers(andperhapsetetherwenentee,
andthesedeallyattrbutedtethennthesecalcenstructenet
genderdentty.Andtweaccepttheexstenc

etanetw

rketex-

tradenestcrelatenshpsanengwenen,kin,andneighbers~
relatenshpsthatdenetcencernenlytheanectveerrepreduc-
tvetunctens-thedcheteneset denestc/peltcal,prvate/
publc,and nsde/eutsdebecenedncultteapplynasex-
lnkedway.
Asuaynauapppentseutnherartclenhscellece

,L1IgO
actvtesarenetcarredeutexclusvelywithuthetanuy,it
thelattercanberegardedasabeundedentty.lurther,tOOr= ,
tcreterstethesphereethunanrepreductenandsete
Sewing the Seams of Society s,s
naltunctens,whysheuldtbeatenalespherengenercterns,
unlesstscenstructedareundculturailyratherthanbelegcally
detnedreles(seeLdheln,uarrs,andYeungs,,,,uarrss,ss,:
Andtthedenestcuntsrepresentednthepeltce-uralsphere
bytsnalehead,hewdewecenceptualzetherelatensetwenen
acressdenestcunts:Andhew,nthecaseetthedressnakersand
seanstresses, dewecenceptualzetherelatensetwenenwth
neneutsdethedenestcunt:lertsperhapsthsaspectetther
behaverthatenerstheneststrkngcentrasttesecalnernster
genderdentty.
Geographical Mobilit and Gender in Turin
lnerdertepenteutthedstnctvenessetthebehaveretthe
seanstressesn1urn,twllbeusetultepletthenevenentset
ethersegnentsetthectypepulaten.Asgrlsnprnaryscheel,
and atter narrage, werkng-class wenen tend te be centned
wthntherewnquartiere, wheretheyettenseektlatsterthernar-
reddaughters.As adelescents and asunnarred wenen, they
neveeutetthequartiere tegetewerk.ueysarenereneble,beth
asyeungsterswthnthequartiere andasadelescentsattendngeve-
nngscheelandtrequentng,teseneextent,thecenterettewn.
uewever, the tacteres nwhchnenwerkand theartsanste
whentheyareapprentcedarelkelytebentherewnquartiere.
Harrednenarecleselytedtetheneghberheed,theynayneet
atawneheuseteradrnkatterwerkbutrarelygeeutatnght(see
Grbauds,s,,.
1hetewncenterstheplaceterences,sheps,andpublcbuld-
ngssuchastheunversty,andterthenereelegantplaceseten-
tertannent.theaters,cates,cnenas,dancehalls.ltstrequented
bypeepleetlesureand,durngregularwerkngheurs,bynddle-
andupper-classnen,unverstystudents,andwerkng-classad-
elescents.1helattertwegreupsalsetrequenttherverbanksand
therversdeparks,reanngnbandsthatettenengagensavage
ights.
1heseanstressesweretheenlycategeryetwenen,aparttren
atewsecretaresandtheshepassstants,tewerknthecenteret
tewn. Certanly, they were the nest nunereus. lerhaps te a
greaterextentthanthernalewerkng-classpeers,theytrequented
152 Vanessa Maher
nddle-classprecncts, cates, andtheater. Gven

ther

regular
heurs andtherdstancetrenhene, theirbehavierdunngand
atterwerkngheurswassub ecttetewcentrels.Cttentheyweuld
gedancng,nternngthertathersthattheyweuldbelateat

erk.
1hernethersregularlyadedthennthssubtertuge,senetines
accenpanyngthentethedancesandhelpngthennetherways
teeludethertatherssenewhatdstractedeye.
1hswastheperedetleveanarsbetweenseanstrese

sandun-
verstystudents.1helatterwerealsegengthreughalnualphase
nwhchtheyweresubecttetewdenestccentrelsbutnetyet
integratednte thepretessenalandnstttenl trnewerk et
therclass. -upertcally, thsknd etrelatienshipghtappar
snlartethatbetween the senoritas etAlcaladescnbedby litt-
kvers,andyeungwenenetthepueble.
If the behaviour of the senoritas [of Alcala] conforms less strictly to the mo
rality of the pueblo, it is because they escape the full fore
:
of the

oral
sanctions of the community. They demand, at the same hme, a

tr

cter
mode of conduct from their women-folk . . . . In efect thes

restnchons
virtually exclude any young woman who is regarded as

social equ

l, and
in this way the manifestatio

s of a

ti-s

cial sex are proJected outside the


circle of local upper-class society (Pitt-Rivers 1971: 118) .
1hereseenstebeseneevdencethattheyeungseanstresses
ddnetregardtherrelatenswthtestudentsasanatter

etant-
secalsexandndeedtheternamtco, ettenusedtedescnbeastu-
dentleve,suggestsanerecenplexrelatenshptha

dee inn
morato eramante, whchhavenddle-class,extra-cenjugal:npl-
catens
Hanyettheatttudesthatseanstressescenveynthercceunts
etrelatenshpswthstudentshavealreadybeenneteduether
centexts.asenseetndependence,adesreterknewledge,acer-
tanaspratentesecalneblty,adenandterequlty,andacen-
sderablenenchalancetewardthenernsthatdetuedpreperbe-
haverterthersex.lnpartcular,theyexhbtedacertanlucdty
abeutsecalandclassrelatens,whchprenptedenedressnaker
tesaythatshetheughttheseanstressesgettarlessnvelved

than
thestudents,altheughnthepepularnyththeseanstressdieset
abrekenheartwhenherstudentlevergetshsdegreeandaban-
denshertenarryawenanethsewnclass.Asthetellewngn-
tervewexcerptsdenenstrate,theseanstressesacceuntsetthese
anarscentrastsharplywththsstereetype.
Sewing the Seams of Society 153
They talk a lot about the girls today, but we were wide awake; perhaps it
was because we went to work at twelve years old, and so we always had
a lot of boys paying us attention. You see, it was like that. I began to go
around town very early and so you get used to such things.
You see what happened. They were very pretty girls, very elegant and fine
with nice manners, because they were used to working and talking with
those ladies, and so they liked the students, and the middle-class boys
liked these girls too, and so there were always problems.
There were so many problems; for example the fear of being pregnant,
of pregnancy and with the families as they were then, the work and
everything.
Tobe sincere, at that time, we were romantic; we liked love to be like that:
At that time, we were in young company, we had met boys of good family
who were marvelous, and now when I hear of certain things happening,
they seem impossible. At one time they behaved like real gentlemen. We
went out together, it was lovely because we were all friends (amici).
Then there were many students around, we had a thirst for knowledge,
we always frequented the students. We learned a lot of things because
they were at the university, and you see that means we really had a thirst
for knowledge; it was always like that.
Then there were some workers who studied, certainly my brother did, but
there were also workers who had very little culture, but we had a great
desire for culture and we wanted to get to know these boys [the students]
also to learn to speak Italian well [because at home the seamstresses spoke
Piedmontese dialect] .
In my opinion, I think it right that they want to be equal [uguagliarsi is al
most "get equal"], frequent people in order to know more about things.
And then we didn't have the problem of getting married; it irritated us to
hear people talking of marriage; it wasn't our problem. When you have a
work qualification, what happens? You are always independent and then
you create, you really choose. Not that they told you to marry that one,
but we didn't agree to. We chose him ourselves, also because we were al
ready at work.
uypursungtheserelatenshps,seanstressesweretransgress-
ngbethgenderandclassbeundares,creatngatensenthreugh-
eutthesecalerder.unlkewenenetetherclasses,theyattended
theatersandtrequentedcatesngreups,wtheutnaleescerts,they
crculated eutsde ther secal nleu and dd net ebserve the
nddle- andupper-classrestrctensenprenartalsexualactvty.
ltsnetsurprsngthatrelatensbetweenstudentsandwerkers
werehestle,nerthattwasthestudentswenentelkwhetended
tepreventhnuennarrynghsarica, whentheytreatedwth
s,, Vanessa Maher
centenptanddescribedasaleesewenan,whateverherrealvir-
tues. 1hes
,areenlyseneetthesanctiensthateperatedterestere
classbeundaries.
The Seamstresses' Ball
uewever,itwasthestuaentsthenselveswheteltuneasyabeut
theseanstresseschallenetegenderbeundaries.ltisperhapsthis
uneasiness
thatwasexpressedinthestudentsribaldbehavierat
theseans
tressesuall lestedelleCaterinette,heldeveryyearen
Nevenbera,th,theteastaayettheirpatren,st.Catherine.1his
celebratien
was an inpertant public appearance ter the sean-
stresses treatedwitnallserieusness.
Varies tirns and shes weuld centribute their preducts er
lengthsetnaterial,whicitheseanstressesweuldusetecreate
.
a
tshienparadethatteeklaceinanelegantballreen,usuallyH
thecenterettewn.
We all went with the students to the Valentino Park, in the evening you
saw all the students with bunches of flowers because it was the seam
stresses' day . . . . [We went] always [to] the Valentino, and then tere

as
a great ball, there was a fashion parade . . . . It was a romantic thmg,
everyone knew there was this big party, and so everyone made herself a
new dress, a new hat, there was such a coming and going and the

it was
wonderful the way these girls were dressed. And so we went to th1s party
and there was the ball and afterward the fashion parade. We went, all the
girls who worked in our workshop, and there were te boys fro

the
_
fa
culties of
medicine and engineering and all the faculties of the umvers1ty,
with their
hats [feathered three-cornered fancy-dress hats], then they
used to wear these hat s. Then there was the ball an whe

we came
_
out
there were
all the couples in the Valentino. Because m Tunn at that time
we used to go to take a walk [are Ia passeggiata] in the Valentino, or in the
via Roma.
1heballwasthesceneettheseanstressesreapprepriatienet
theirewn
creatiens.Heretheyparadedinthelatesttashiens.uere
theycelebratedtheirart+rditsauthership,nernallyclainedby
theewnerettheatelierDJ bytheclientwhereapedaharvestet
prestigeandadniratien.1hese

anstre
.
sseswer

nernally!nvis

-
ble. 1hevisibleeneswerethenchlad:eswhe censuned theu
werk.Attheball,thcseastressesnetenlycensunedtheirewn
werk butdidsewitnthenaxinunpublicity.Hereever,theydid
sein

theirewnnamc,netaspartetthepublicidentityetanan.
Sewing the Seams of Society s,,
1heserieusnessettheseanstresses,whestillkeepphetesetthe
eccasiensanddescribetheninnestalgicandtriunphanttenes,
centrastswiththestudentsribaldry.1heyusedteceneintancy
dressandenactanunberetekes.Cneetthesewastheattenpt
tecarryenthegirlwhesedressandwhesebeautyhadwenherthe
titleetCaterinettaettheYear.shesynbelized,inetherwerds,
the seanstresses clain te represent thenselves in the public
arena. Here etten the students ekes were directed at the
dresses et the girls, the neans et their distinctien. 1hey sur-
reundedagirlandthreatenedtesethertulledressentirewiththeir
cigarettelighters,ertheyterethewinningdress entheCateri-
nettaettheYear.
lnsuchcases,itseenstenethattheirainwasnetsenuchte
huniliatethegirl(asitwas,perhaps,incaseswherenenstripped
girl strkebreakers,astereduceherteherprivate identity, te
stripheretherpretensiensteappearinpublic.ltwasanattenpt
tedestreythecerenenialaspectettheeccasienandtumitinteene
thatrecalledtherelatiensetnaxinuninternalityandintinacyte
whichtheywishedtheseanstressestecentinethenselves. ltwas
alse, teacertainextent, asexual assault, sanctieningthe sean-
stresseserganizingtheirewnpublicappearancewitheutthenale
cenpanythatnadeitlegitinate.
Conclusion
lnnystudyetthelivesandwerketseanstressesanddress-
nakersbetweenthewars,lhaveteunditinpessibleteusethe
gender-linkeddicheteniesdenestic/pelitical,private/public,and
inside/eutsideasdescriptiveeretherwiseheuristiccategeries. lt
seenedratherthattheseweretelkcategeriesusedbysecialacters
andlegislatersinsituatienswhere,terexanple,thebehavieretthe
seanstressesanddressnakerstendedtechallengeexistinghier-
archiesandpewerrelatiens.1hatis,thedichetenieshaveaner-
nativetunctienservingteguaranteetecertainsecialgreupsthe
persenalservicesandsurplusvaluepreducedbyethers.
)ehnCenarensarticleinthiscellectiencennentsentheidee-
legicalnatureetthedichetenybetweendenesticandpeliticaland
peintseutthat,withincapitalistsystens,theseparatienethene
andwerkplaceisessentialtethisrepresentatien.1hepeintlwish
tenakealseecheesenenadeins,sebyHichellekesalde,whe
/
156 Vanessa Maher
suggested that the terns denestic and public (here in ny
senseetpelitice-ural,reterringteactivitiesratherthanteseciai
relatiens,areusedteevaluateactivitiesinawaythatgivestheter-
nerlessweightthanthelatter.lntheirsex-linkedversien,theyare
used tedescribewenensactivitiesasdenestic andnens as
public,whatevertheirrealnature(kesalde1980) . 1hesaneis
trueteacertainextentandatcertainpeintsinwesternLurepean
histeryterthenature/culturedicheteny(ulechandulech1981).
wenenaretaughtthattheactivitiesprepertetheirsexareetsec-
endaryinpertance, andnenare taught the eppesite. lurther,
wenenarepertrayedascentinuingteperternthesanedenes-
tictasksevertine,whilenenarepertrayedasnakinghistery
inthepeliticaltield.lnpeintingeutthatthedenestic-pelitice-ural
dichetenyisbethnernativeandevaluative,lsuggestthatitisan
inpertantinstrunentetwenenssuberdinatien.wenensactivi-
tiesinallclassessheuldbededicatedtewardenablingnenswerk
andsecialityandrepreducingthetanily.
uewever,terwerking-classnen, hene,withitscennetatien
etpersenalservicebythewenenettheheuseheld,neansthesat-
istactienetphysielegicalandenetienalneeds,terbeurgeeisnen,
itisaplacetereceiveseciety,teexhibit. 1eacertainextent,abeur-
geeiswiteandnetherissuppesedteparticipateintheexhibitien
etherhusbandsandherchildrenssuperiersecialstatus, rather
thantecatertetheirphysielegicalneedsuence, dressassunes
greatinpertance.
ltseenstenethat,inbethcases,wearedealingwithaturther
dichetenyetnernativeinpert,betweenprivateandpublicsecial

relatiens.lngeneral,therepresentatienetwenenissubsunedby
nenintheirewnpublicaspect.uewever,asLdheln,uarris,and
Yeung(197T 26) renark.wenendenetnaturallydisappear,their
disappearanceisseciallycreatedandcenstantlyreauirned.Otten
nensselidarityiscreatedpreciselyenthebasisettheabsenceet
wenen . . . keepingweneneutetpublicrelesisintactapesitive
andtine-censuningaspectetsecialerganizatien
Altheughrenderingweneninvisibleentails,teacertainextent,
shuttingthenaway,thecenceptsetpublicandprivateseente
netebelessspatialthanrelatienalcencepts.lublicrelatiensare
inpersenal, ettencentractual,andteacertainextentrepresenta-
tienal.Generally,theyaregevernedbyaternaletiquetteereven
cerenenialetwhichdressternsapart.lrivatesignitiesaclesed
Sewing the Seams of Society 157
setetpersenalrelatienshipsinwhichbehavierisinternalandseg-
regatedtrenthepublicgaze.uereagain,thedichetenyisideal,
andthesesetsetrelatiensinterweaveinagenerallyunacknewl-
edgedway.
1helastdichetenythateccursrepeatedlyinthesecialcenstruc-
tienetgenderidentityinwesternLurepeisthatetinside/eutside.
1hisdivisiendeesnetceincidewithprivate/public,nerwithde-
nestic/pelitical, but the everlap is inpertant. wenen are sup-
pesedtestayathene.1hesecialtensiensderivingtrenthetact
thatnanywerking-classwenendenetdeseduringatleastapart
ettheirlivesareclearlyseeninthisacceuntettheseanstresses
experience
1hesedichetenies,whichappeartebeinplicitinnuchetthe
literatureetthetine-andindeedhavenetdisappearedsinceten-
inistspeintedeutthatthepersenalispelitical-arealsereuected
inthewaythedressnakerslinterviewedtreatedcasa, thatis,hene
erheuse.
There was that kind of mentality that at a certain point it was a good thing
that a woman learned a skill because she could work at home and look
af

er her house . . . . Eve



my father used to say to me, "Oh yes, it's a good
thmg that you learn a skill; at least you won't go outside the house. Be
cause I know what it means to go and work under a boss . . . . " Nowa
days, it is all right that these girls go outside the house, that they should
study, create a world of their own. But then it was like that, and unfor
tunately one's husband was like that too, even if he had seemed so ad
vanced. But he said: "I can see these secretaries who work with me. I see
them; there's no point. That's fine that you're at home. You look after the
children; if you want to make some little thing, you can." And in the mean

ime, the wo
_
n is kept under, even if we never said so. But anyway she
Ib shut _p withm fou
_
wa!ls, the child
:
en, husband. Then at the end you
had a httle feedom M this work, which perhaps you even liked doing.
Once you left of that, it was all over.
lthinkseveralthenesenergequiteclearlytrenthisdialegue.
thenernativecententethome andhouse; thecentrapesitienetin-
sideandeutside,husbandandbess,privateandpublic,thedis-
regardterwenen, suchassecretaries,whechallengethesedis-
tinctiens,andtherelesethusbandsandtathersinentercingthe
whele.lenalelabersheuldbedevetedtetheheuseheld,accerd-
*ayna Rapp Reiter tends to treat this distinction as empirically rather than nor
matively based and consequent on state organization. See "Men and Women in the
South of France," mReiter ed. 1975.
158 Vanessa Maher
ngteanethcetprescrptvealtrusn.werkeutsdetheheuse
terneneysnnanyacceuntsassecatedsynbelcallyerexplctly
wthpresttuten. 1hekeyssue nthe attenpts,partcularlyby
nen, te centne the seanstresses and dressnakers te certan
spheresetactvtesandrelatenshpsappearstebethecentrelet
therservcesandthesurplusvaluetheypreduce.
1hushusbandsandtathersntendedtherwvesanddaughters
tewerknsde,teleekattertheheuseandchldren,ratherthan
teprevdeservcestetherenpleyers. uusbandseppesedther
wveswerkngterclentsttdetractedtrentherpersenalcentert
and prestge. upper-class wenen eppesed narrages between
thernalerelatvesanddressnakers.-uchnarrageshadanequal-
zngeuectthatthreatenedbeurgeeswenensaccesstetheser-
vcesetwenenetlesserneans.-tudentsandenpleyersattacked
thedressnakersapprepratenettherewnskllstertherewn
benett, ratherthanusngthenterthegreaterprestgeetnale
cenpanenserupper-classwenen.
ltsclearthatsuchsanctenswereapplednetenlytedressnak-
ersbutteallwenendurngtheperednquesten. Haletrade
unensts advsedtenalendustralwerkers te ge hene and
leavetheaebstethenen. Yetwenencentnuedtewerk. 1he
sanctensappledtetherwerkwerelewpayandlacketlegaland
secalrecegnten,whchguaranteedtherdependenceennale
eamngsandpretecten,nexchangeterwhchtherpersenalser-
vcesweretertet.
lewer relatens wthnthe ctywere expressed n terrteral
ternsthatdeternnedwhesheuldeccupywhchsecalrelesand
wheceuldcennandwhchservcesnwhchcentext.1hervalry
between adelescentwerkers and students was exacerbatedbe-
causetwasndeternnatewhchgreuphadtheclearrghttecen-
nand the seanstresses tenaleservces. lt sths elenent-the
pessbltyetupper-classnennarryngpeererwenenandthe
challengeeueredbythelattersnalepeers-whchduerentatesa
classsecetysuchasthatet1urntrensecetesbasedenherar-
chesetcasteerrace,suchasthesentheCarbbeandescrbedby
kaynend-nth. Harragete seneene hgherntheracalher-
archywasnetpessbletertheslavenstressnthelattercentext,
andhernale peers ceuldeuernechallengete thewhtenans
clantehersexualanddenestcservces.
wherethedenestcandprvatespheresaresuberdnateteand
Sewing the Seams of Society 159
encenpassedbythepeltcalandpublcspheres,secaldeelegy
enenswenenteservenenandthelewerclassteservetheupper
class. lnthelastanalyss,statensttutenstendterentercethese
nernatvearrangenentsntaveretupper-classnen. 1e thsex-
tent,thenernatvedstnctenbetweenatenaledenestcanda
nalepeltcalsphereweuldseentebeanaletctenthatnany
wenendsappentnpractceandderidenspecch.
lnthsartcle,lhavetredtendcatehew,partlythreughcen-
sceuseuertandpartlythreughthenatureettherwerkandther
keyrelemtherepresentatenetthesecalerder,theseanstresses
anddressnakersn1urncaneteebscuretherelatenshpbetween
thesynbelcartculatenettheclassesandthesexesandtherac-
tualnteracten.lnthsway,theycreatedanenaleusenclavesetse-
calrelatens,wthnwhchtheyeneyedcertantreedens.1hese
needenswere teleratedby secetyaslengas the seanstresses
werenlnnalpestensnsecety, eraslengastheywerenaln-
nalperedettherlves. uewever,sncetheywerelnkedteaskll
thatthedressnakercentnuedtepractceandteasecaldentty
thatshenevercenpletelyrelnqushed,thytendedtecentrbute
tethetludtyetgenderandclassrelatens. 1heareasetuncer-
tantyarethesenarkedbyexplesensetcennct.betweennenand
wenenwthnthetanly,betweennenetduerentclasses(stu-
dentsandwerkers,,betweenwenenetduerentclasses(sean-
stressesandtherupper-classleversnethers,,betweennenand
wenenetduerentclasses(studentsandseanstresses,.ltsre-
narkablethattsnprecselytheseareasthatthedressnakerset
uprelatenshpswthnwhchsheexercsedacertanpewerand
clanedequalty.Certanly,herallanceswthethergrlsntheate-
lerandwthetherwenennsdeandeutsdethetanlyprevided
herwthacertanceverage.Asenedssnakersad,wewerethe
trsttennsts.
``''-- ---..., , ,,,_________ _
Part Two
The Politics of
Marriage
Hierarchy and the Dual
Marriage System in West Indian Society
Raymond T Smith
The Problem and Theoretical Considerations
1heCaribbeanhasalwaysbeenatestcasetertheeriesetthetan-
ilyandwenansreleinseciety.uighillegitinacyrates, unstable
cenugaluniens,andahighprepertienettenale-headedheuse-
heldspeseapreblentertheerieswhichassunethatnucleartan-
iliesarenecessaryinallsecietiesandthatnenarethenaturalheads
ettanilies.1hesetheeriesgenerallyadeptthedistinctienbetween
denesticandpelitice-uraldenains,assigningwenentethe
eneandnentetheether.uecauseetitsdeepreetsinLurepeancul-
ture,thatdistinctiencentinuestebeapreeccupatienetnedern
teninistwriting, buttheCaribbeancaseshews thatitebscures
nerethanitilluninates.
lntheperiedatter.,,,-theperiedetpestwarnatienalistsen-
tinent,thephenenenalexpansienetsecialscienceresearch,and
ageneralyearningterchange-breadagreenentwasreacheden
thetacts. Negre,black,Atre-Anerican,erlewer-class(theterns
wereettenusedinterchangeablyerlinkedtegether,asinNegre
lewer-class,tanilyrelatiensweresaidtebecharacterizedbyun-
stablecenugaluniens,ahighincidenceetillegitinatebirths,and
ahighprepertienettenale-headedheusehelds. -harpdinerences
intheexplanatiense:whythissheuldbese,ceupledwiththeac-
rinenieusnatureetthedebate,cencealeda surprisinglevel et
agreenentenunstatedassunptiens.
VirtuallyallinvestigaterstreatedtheNegrelewer-classasan
entity that ceuld be detined (it senewhat inprecisely, and
beundedterpurpesesetdiscussien.AparttrenHelville]. uers-
kevits,whesawcentenperarytanilyternsasreinterpretatienset
.-, Raymond T Smith
survvngAtrcanterns,secalscentstsassunedthatdevatens
trenanernaltanlypatternwerethepreductetclasspestener
peverty. ltwasagreedthatevenlewer-classwestlndansvaluea
Chrstan,neneganeustanlylte,andthattheyweuldlketelve
asthenddle-classwasbelevedtelve.1hecenclusenwasnes-
capable.crcunstancespreventthentrenestablshngstabletan-
les 1heyaretercedtestretchthervalues,asenewrterputt
(kednan.,-,,.1henddle-classwasbelevedtebequtedner-
ent-tebetheculturalhersettheurtshcelenalupper-class-al-
theughlttleerneattenptwasnadeteunderstandtheactualse-
calpractcesettheclasstewhchtheeghteenth- andnneteenth-
centurywhtesbelengederteexannetheexactgenealegyetthe
nedernnddle-class.
lthasalwaysbeenassunedthatupper-classwestlndanshada
tanlyltethatwasessentallyLnglshandthattwasverydt-
terenttrenthedserganzedcenjugalandtanlypatternsetthe
blackandceleredpepulaten. 1hsartclewllshewthattheap-
parentlyLnglshupper-classwasntnatelynvelvednthecre-
atenandnantenanceetasystenetnarrageanddenestcre-
latensthatenbracedallsectensetthepepulaten. lthasbeen
custenarytethnketanernalsystenetlegal, Chrstannar-
ragetrenwhchcertan sectens etthepepulatendevatedter
enereaseneranether.becauseslaveswereterbddentenarryle-
gally,becauseetpeverty,erbecauseetthepersstenceetethercul-
turalterns.larguethatthesesuppeseddevatensareannte-
gralpart et ene narrage systenthatncluded alternate terns
apprepratetednerentclassandracalgreups,ertecertannter-
classandnter-racalrelatens.lretertethsasthedualnarrage
systen.
Structure and Function
1hedeathatthelewer-classsdevant(bethhstercallyandn
thepresent,wasrentercedbyanethersetetsharedassunptens,
theeretcalthstne,cencernngthetunctenalnecesstyetanu-
cleartanlyrelatenshpcenplexnallhunansecetes.1alcett
larsens(.,,,,gaveaplausbleacceuntetwhythssheuldbese,
GeergeleterHurdeck(.,,,,declaredthatthenucleartanlys
teundnall hunansecetes,andHeyerlertes(.,,,, .,,s,.,-,,
.,,s,retnedurenslawHalnewsksvewettanlydynancs,n-
Hierrchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society .-,
tegratngtwthnewdeasabeuttheknshppelty,erexternal
peltce-juraldenan.1heanalyssetwestlndantanlystructure
ntheperedatterthe-ecendwerldwarwasnternedbythsde-
velepngstructural-tunctenaltheery,andtheresultswereused,n
tum, tevaldate and suppert thattheery (see lertes .,,,.,-s,
lertes.,,-.x,lertes.,-,. a,,,a,,,larsens.,,,..,,n. ..,.
-tructural-tunctenaltheeresetthetanlyandknshpnewtace
neuntng crtcsn. Attenpts tesave, and evennpreve, then
etherretnedetntensteaccennedatenargnalcases-suchas
theayarandtheAshant-thatthreatenthedeaetaunversal
nucleartanly,ertheyseektebreakapartclustersetvarablested
tegether by preveus theersts. 1he nest netable attenpts are
theseetackGeedyand1erence1urner.Geedyhasredrectedat-
tententrenthenecessarytunctensetnucleartanlyrelatens
tewhataresuppesedtebetheactual snlartesnthewaythat
denestcgreupsareerganzedthreugheutthewhelerangeethu-
nansecetes(Geedy .,,a..a,,.1akngneteetseneenprcal
cenplcatens,hehaslettntacttheessentalteaturesetthetunc
tenal nedel prepesed by lertes and larsens (see k. -nth
.,,sa.,,s,,,.1urnersreternulatensneretheeretcallyanb-
teus,attenptngtesyntheszethewerketHeyerlertes,Claude
Lev--trauss,1alcettlarsens,andJeanlagetbynakngthersev-
eral centrbutenspartetanereabstractnedel,whchhehepes
wll rseabeve thelew-level centusen ettanly and denestc
greupandenbraceawderangeetenprcalvaratenbyredetn-
ngtas surtacestructurepreducedbygeneratvenechansns
(1urner.,,-,.ltsnpessbletedejustcete1urnerscenplextext
here,butheteeendsupargungtercertansubstantvereterence
pents-sexualty,theltecycle,thenether-chlddyad-thatare
alwaysculturally apprepratecandtransterned. 1heanalyss
renanstathtultelarsenssvewthattanlyanddenestcgreups
perternessentaltunctens, thereplacenentandntegratenet
ndvidualsntethesecetyassecallyandpsychelegcallynature
adults,and,attheleveletsecalerganizaten,theregeneratenet
the secal greupngs wthn whch these tunctens are accen-
plshed(1urner.,,-.,,e, . kevsenststructural-tunctenalthe-
eressuchasthesecarryterwardthedeaetdenans,theprnacy
etthenether-childrelatenshp,and,ultnately,thelnkngetsex
reledstnctenstedenandstnctens.
.-- Raymond T. Smith
lennstsanalyzngwestlndantanlyltetendteadeptths
paradgn, andnanywrtersarepreeccupedwththedeaeta
valuestretch.Hesttennststrytecerrectnalebasbytecusng
enwenenandtherpreblens.-ncelewer-classwenenbearthe
bruntetecenencdeprvatenandtherespensbltyterchldcare,
theyrenanthecenteretattenten.Altheughtsagreedthattan-
lylteandthedenestcdenanarespheresetpartcularnper-
tance and relevance te tenale status (Hckenze .,sa.v,, n-
creasedattentensbengpadtethereseurceswenenareable
te-eraretercedte-neblzetrenwagelaber,trenpreductve
ecenencactvtysuchastarnng, ertrenextemalnetwerks.
-enetennstcrtcsnsetdenandstnctenshavebeensn-
plstcteatault,suggestngthatthewheledeaetdenanssn-
vald ust because nen havereles n the denestc sphere and
wenenengagennarketactvtes(see,terexanple,ueurgugnen
.,se.,,s, . A naer excepten s Verena Hartnez-Alers .,,,
analyssetnarragepatternsnnneteenthcenturyCuba,whch
arguesthattheherarchcalrelatenanengraces,andnetpeverty
ernalesnabltyteprevdeterthertanles,preducesthesex-
ualnargnalzatenetwenen(see k.-nth.,,sa.,,,-,etertur-
therdscussen, . ltalserentercesacencernwthclassrelatens
thatwasevdentnseneearlerstudes.
Cultural Analysis and History
1heracalherarchyhasnetdsappeared,andtcentnuesteat-
tectnarrageandthetanly,ascanbeshewntrenstudescarred
eutundernydrectennJanaca,Guyana,and1rndadeverthe
pastttteenyearserse.1hesestudescellectedextensvegeneale-
ges, detaledtanlyhsteres, andnateraleneccupaten, edu-
caten,race,andsecalstatus. Cthercasenaterals, cellectedte
supplenentwde-rangngsurveydata(kebertsand-nclar.,,s,,
ertestresssubectvetactersnunderstandngtanlalbehaver
(uredber.,sa,Genzalez.,sa,,alsethrewnewlghtennterclass
lnkagesandthedualnarragesysten.HyvewetCarbbeankn-
shpassunesthatdeelegy,erculture,sannpertantpartetthe
systenetsecalrelatensandnetanereratenalzatenetthen.l
*Publications based on these studies include Alexander 1976, Alexander 1977,
Alexander 1978, Alexander 1984; Austin 1974, Austin 1979, Austin 1984; DeVeer
1979; Fischer 1974; Foner 1973; Graham and Gordon 1977; R. Smith 1973, R. Smith
1978a, R. Smith 1978b, R. Smith 1982a, R. Smith 1982b.
Hierrchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society .-,
arguethatacreeleknshpstructurewasestablshedntheter-
natvestageetwestlndansecety,andthatweneneccupeda pe-
cularpestennt.Altheughtheywereuralnnersandlnked
ideologically tedenestcactvtes,theyplayedcrucalecenenc,
peltcal, andstatusreles,thesesecalrelesandtheneannget
denestctytseltarepartetaunquesecalternatenthatwas,
ands,westlndancreelesecety.
Marriage and Concubinage
lrenthebegnnngetthedevelepnentettheslaveregne,a
narragesystenwasnplacethatncludedbethlegalnarrageand
cencubnage,asystennwhchtheelenentswerenutuallyand
recprecallydetnngandwhchartculatedwththeracalher-
archy.whtenennarredwhtewenenbutenteredntenen-legal
unenswthwenenwhewereblackercelered,thats,etnxed
race. 1he laws gevernngnarrage, legtnacy, andnhertance
were,nalltheLnglshcelenes,basedupenLnglshcennenlaw,
buteachcelenyntreducedsgntcantnedtcatenstedealwth
thepartcularcrcunstancesetaslaveregne. 1heterncencu-
bnagesageneralene,centrastngwthnarragenternset
legalty,buttncludespractcesrangngtrenshert-ternsexualre-
latenshpsthatddnetnvelvece-resdencetepernanentunens
thatdueredtrennarrageenlynternsetthelegalstatusetthe
speusesandchldren.whleatewlewer-classwhtewenenn-
gratedtethecelenes-usuallyasndenturedservants-andsene
etthenbereeut-et-wedleckchldrenresultngtrencasualunens,
the everwhelnng naerty et nen-legal unens were between
whte nen and black er celered wenen, and between these
wenenandblackercelerednen.-laveswerealnestalwayster-
bddentenarryertebeceneChrstanzed.1hencerperatenet
treeblacksandceleredpeeplentethechurcheswasextrenelyun-
evenprertethebegnnngetthenneteenthcentury,dependnga
greatdealupenlecalcrcunstancesandthewaxngandwannget
nssenaryeuerts.ltsduculttegeneralzebecauseetthenany
exceptens thatwerenade. lerexanple, nanacadurngthe
*Little attention has been paid to the precise structure of colonial law and its ef
fects upon marriage and inheritance. Pioneering work was carried out by Linda
Lewin in Brazil (unpublished manuscript), and more recently Mindie Lazarus-Black
has made a detailed study of the relation between legal statute, the judicial process,
and family structure in Antigua, West Indies.
168 Raymond T. Smith
eghteenthcenturytwaspessbleterthellegtnatechldrenet
wealthyplanterstebedeclaredlegallywhtebyanactettheAs-
senbly,thusenttlngthentenhertprepertyandteeneyallthe
secalstatusettreewhtes. whenthenunberetsuchspecalacts
becaneexcessve,andappearedtebeathreattetheslaveregne
tselt,alawwaspassedlntngsuchpessbltes. 1hreugheutall
thevaratenhewever, thecentraleppestenbetweenlegalnar-
rage and cencubnage, andts assecatenwth the racalher-
archy,renanedthesane.lndeedanactettheAssenblydeclarng
apersenetcelertebewhtenerelyretlectedtheexstenceand
strengthetthesystentselt.
1hssystenddnetarseandcentnueustbecausetwasusetul
er practcally necessary. ltsettensuppesed that ashertageet
whtewenentercedwhtenentetakecencubnesternatural
reasens, asuppestenthatdeesnetsurvvecleseexannaten.
1heculturalsystenddndeednvestcencubnagewthadegree
etnaturalnessncentrasttethecvlzednsttutenetnar-
rage,butthatspartetthedatanetettheanalyss.Harragetea
whtewenanddnetprecludenenlegalunenswthblackercel-
eredwenen,nerwastpernssbleterawhtewenan,eventsn-
gleerwdewed, tendulgennaturalsexualrelatenswtha
blackercelerednan. 1helntsetpessbleactenwerecentaned
wthnthestructureettheneanngetthesysten,andattscere
wasthesetetcentrastedneanngsattachngtenarrageandcen-
cubnage.lartrenbenganarchc,thswasatnelyregulatedsys-
tennwhchtheneanngetdnerenttypesetunenwas,ands,
wdelyrecegnzed.
uecausethedualnarragesystenpernttedwhtenentehave
eutsdeunenswthblackandceleredwenen,whlebengnar-
redtewhtewenen,tweveacenplextapestryetgenetcandse-
calrelatensanengthevareussegnentsetcreelesecety. Cnce
establshed(ntheearlestperedetsettlenentettheNewwerld,,
twascapableeterderngcenugalrelatens eutsdethesnple
black-whtecenuncten,tceuldgeneratetheternsetsexualand
cenugalbehaveurappreprateteequalsandunequalsetallknds.
*Isolated cases of marriage between colored men and white women (they were
extremely rare) are interesting precisely because they indicate the extent to which
property and class could override racial barriers. This was always a latent possibil
ity, refecting the contradiction between class and color values, and its existence
called forth much racist rhetoric (see Brathwaite 1971 and Long 1774).
Hierrchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society 169
lntsnestgeneralterntenbededtherulethatnennarrystatus
equalsandhavenen-legalunenswthstatusnterers,snceslaves
werepre

erty,slavenenandwenenceuldenlyengagennen-
legalrelatiens.1helegalandevertbasesetstatusdnerentaten
arevastlydnerentteday, butthegeneralstructuralprncpleset
thenarragesystenarenet.
lhavenetattenptedteestablshstructuralcentnutesndetal,
but

nyanalyssrecegnzesthepvetalreleplayedbywenen,and
theirstatuscencerns,nnantanngthedualnarragesystenn
bethhstercandnedernpereds.ustastheslaveerlreeCel-
euredwenanacceptedcencubnageterthebenettstnghtcenter
upen her and her chldren, se tedaylewer and werkngclass

enn accept nen-legal cenugal relatenshps n place et the


idealsednernsetlegalnarragebecausetheybelevethatthey
cannetdebetter,abeletthatdervestrentherselt-cencepten
aspeersunerersnasecalsystenthatcentnuestebeherar-
chcalntsnestbascstructure.Hddle-classwestlndanwenen
etallraceshave,sncethelatterpartetthenneteenthcentury,been
thenestvecaleppenentseteutsdeunens,buttheynplctly
accept the suppesed nevtablty et nale extra-nartal anars.
ew

ver,tswrengteexplanastructuredsystenetsecalprac-
ticesuternsetthenetvesetthendvdualswheactwthntthe
netvesthenselvesarepartallyderveduenthestructurehat
sust

ns

ndrepreducesthen.lnthscasethedualnarragesys-
tenI5 anuteg

alpartetastructurethathasbeen,ntsnestgen-
eraltern,persistenteveralengperedettne.lnerderteunder-
stand ts nature l wll new leek nere clesely at the range et
practcesteunddurngthecrucalperedettheternatenandde-
velep

.
entetthesysten.1hats,durngtheperedetslavery.1he
expesitiennevesbetweendatatrenarchvalresearchandnedern
teldstudy.
The Genesis and Nature of the Dual Marriage System
Racial and Class Hierarchies in the Slave Regime
Upper-Class Whites. 1hetentatvenatureetdenestclteaneng
heearl

stwestlndansettlersnaybegaugedtrenthetellewng
uve

tenes
`
ttweuarbadesestatesn1635: ACaptanketterdge
hadtivewhiteservants,aNegreslave,andsxhundredacres,yet
.,e Raymond T Smith
hstetalheuseheldturnshngscensstedetaneldchest,sxhan-
necks(theNegresleptenthegreund,,seneenptybarrels,abre-
kenkettle,aneldseve,senebatteredpewterdshes,threenap-
kns, andthreeeldbeeks.HathewGbsen,wthteurservants,
pessessedevenless.dchest,acrackedkettle,twepets,severalbar-
rels,aseve,aglassbettle,andapanphletwtheutcevers(Dunn
.,,a.,,,. uy.-se,sugarcultvatenusngslavensteadetnden-
turedlaberhadalreadysupplantedthencpenttradtenetLu-
repeansnalltarneragrculture.1hepepulatenetuarbades,and
ettheetherurtshcelenessuchasAntgua,-t.ktts,Nevs,and
Hentserrat, grewrapdly, as ddthatetanaca, acquredtren
-pann.-,,.Altheughthesewerenettruesettlercelenes,then-
creasednngratenetupper-classwhtewenenneantthattan-
lyltewaspessble,andbytheearlyeghteenthcenturytherew

s
alreadyacreelewhtepepulaten.whtewenenetlewersecial
statuswhecanetethecelenesasdenestcerndenturedservants
senetnesnarredtheewnersetsnallplantatens,thusnevng
upnthesecalscale.
wllsandparshregstersnanacashewthat,centrarytenuch
speculatennthelterature,therewasanerderlysecallteaneng
whte settlers, wthpreperChrstancelebratenetbrths, nar-
rages,anddeaths.uecausethecreelewhtepepulaenw

ssnall,
ceusnnarrageseenstehavebeencennen-asitwasH ether
Newwerldcelenes(larber.,,a,Lewn.,s.,-andthehghner-
taltyrateresultednnultplenarragesandcenplextanleswth
haltsblngslnannterestngdscussenetthedescendantsetDr.
kebertDallas-aprennenteghteenth-centurylandewner,phy-
scan,andnenberettheanacanAssenbly-HchaelAshcrett
(n. d. ,nentensceusnnarrage,arrangednarrages,andelepe-
nentaswellastheexstenceetextra-nartalunensandeutsde
chldrenanengwhtesthenselves.
whatkndetpeeplewerethesewestlndans:anet-chaw, vs-
tngAntguan.,,,,repertedenthecharacteretthewhten-
habtants,declarngthecreelewenentebe
the most amiable creatures in the world . . . amazingly intelligent and
able to converse with you on any subject. They make excellent wives, fond
attentive mothers and the best housewives I have ever met with. Those of
the first fortune and fashion keep their own keys and look after everythg
within doors; the domes tick Economy is entirely left to them . . . . A fme
house, an elegant table, handsome carriage, and a croud of mullatoe ser-
Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society .,.
vants are what they all seem very fond of . . . . While the men are gay, lux
urious and amorous, the women are modest, genteel, reserved and tem
perate (Andrews and Andrews 1923: 113).
uythesecendhaltettheeghteenthcentury,thegreatheuses
etwealthywestlndanshadcenetecensttutenpertantstate-
nentsabeutthewealth,pewer,andprestgeettherewners,whe
devetednuchtneteentertanng.1he denestclteetthewest
lndanupper-classcannetbeequatedwthanythngsenundane
asceekngerchldrearng.1heseactvtesweredelegatedtethe
large nunbers etservants, alnestallblacker celered slaves er
treednen,whelvednernearthenanheuse,censtantlyatthe
beckandcalletthewhtesterallkndsetpurpeses(seeuusseret
.,seengreatheuses, .
Cnsnallplantatenswthtewslaves,theewnerswvesgener-
allyteekanactvepartnrunnngthepreperty.Awdewnghtbe
lettnapestenthattercedherte takeevernanagenenterte re-
narryquckly-netseeasywhenpreperteswereentaled. lerex-
anple,whenkebertLlbrdgededareund.,a,,heletthsshareet
the-prngllantatennLguanea,anaca,tehswteHaryterher
lte.upenherdeathtwastereverttehslawtulher,whehap-
penedtebehselderbrethersdaughtershusbandCtherpersens
havngsharesntheplantatenagreedteHarysnanagngtterthe
restetherlte,whchsheddwthcensderableskll.Asshewrete
ratherangrlytethelegalher,uenryweelneugh,enuneae,.,,,,
nrespensetehsveledhntthatshewasnetplayngstraghtwth
the plantaten acceunts, lhave labeured enthsplantatenter
.ayearsandCanprevebytheAcceuntsthatlhavenadenere
neneyettand-avednerethaneverwasunderanypersenHan-
agenent(ukC.AC/wC.-.,e,. HaryLlbrdgewasnetunusual,
nanyetthe,,eeewhtesettlersensnallanacantarnsn.,,a
(nestlycattle, gnger, pnente,cecenut, andcenee prepertes,
werewenen(urathwate.,,...,-,.
DunnhasnetedthatLnglshcelenstsnuarbadeswerenet
transterrngtethetrepcsthestrengtanlystructuretheyestab-
lshedn. . . nanlandAnerca(Dunn.,,a..e,-.e, .uystreng
tanlystructure,heneansheuseheldsestablshedthreughsta-
ble,legalnarragesthatcenprsedparents,largenunbersetle-
gtnatechldren,andtewservants.1hewestlndanpatternsdt-
terent because et slavery and the exstence et cencubnage
alengsdenarrage.Cencubnagewasteundnurtan,etceurse,
s,a Raymond T Smith
itwascenneneneughternenbersettheupper-class,netex-
cluaingreyalty, tehavelargenunbersetastarachiiare

.lnte
westlnaies,thepracticewasnuchnerewiaespreaaanauextnc-
ablyintertwineawiththespecialnatureetthesecialhierarchy.
whenJanet-chawreterreatethecreelenenasanereus,she
was neting the nest inpertant teature etthe kinship systen.
1hesenen
have their share of failings, the most conspicuous of which is, the indul
gence they give themselves in their licentious and even unnat
_
ral amours,
which appears too plainly from the crouds of Mull

toes, which you meet


in the streets, houses and indeed every where; a cnme that seems to have
gained sanction from custom . . . . The young black wenches lay
.
them
selves out for white lovers, in which they are but too successful. This pre
vents their marrying with their natural mates, and hence a spurious and
degenerate breed, neither so fit for the field, nor ineed
.
any wor, as the
true bred Negro. Besides these wenches become hcenhous and msolent
past all bearing (Andrews and Andrews 1923: 112) .
Janet -chaws inaignatien is airectea nere tewara the black
wenchesthantethewhitenenanacentrastssharplywiththe
viewthattheirirregularuniensweretheresultetceercien,ereven
rape.-enerecentliteratureenslaveryanatheeriginetthenea-
ernblacktanlyhasreviveatheinageetwhiteslaveewnerser
everseersrapingslavewenen,tercingthenagainsttheirwillte
subnittebrutalsexualaavancesanaperhapstearingthenaway
trenslaveleverserhusbanas. Yetthisinage,whichgaineacur-
rencyintheantislaveryliteratureettheeighteenthananineteenth
centuries, aeesnetaccerawithnestcentenperaryacceunts er
withthepictureuarryuignanpainstakinglyputtegethertrena-
naicanplantatienreceras.uisstuayshewsthatblackwenenwhe
berechilarenterwhitenenrarelyhaablackchilarenpriertethe
birthettheirtirstchilaetnixearaceanawerelikelytecentinue
bearingcelereachilarenuiscenclusienisthatthereislittleevi-
aenceetwenenbeingternawaytrenslavehusbanas. ltwasvery
rareteraslavewenantebearchilarenaarkerthanherselt. . . .
Hulatte,sanbeanablackwenen. . . senetineshaachlarenet
ainerent celeurs at ainerent stages et theirlives. ler all these
wenenthenevenentwastrenwhitetewarasblacktathers. . . .
ltweulaappearthattheprecessetniscegenatientellewearule

s
knewnanaebeyeabythewhitesaswellastheslavesanathatai-
rectphysicalcenpulsienwasperhapsuninpertantrelativetethe
psyche-secialinperatives(uignans,,-.s,a,,, .
Hierrchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society s,,
uycentrast,:hereisnucheviaencethatthelayingeutthata-
net-chawebserveabecaneinstitutienalizea. lerexanple,inthe
ssaes,ananwhepresenteahinseltasa-laveDriverwhehaa
putasiaethewhiptetakeupthepenaescribeathetellewingscene
inawerkettictien.1heyeungplantatienenpleyee,Harly, was
interrupteabyaratherstrangeternetapplicatien,trenanelaerly
negrewenan,accenpanieabyayeungnegregirlabeutsixteener
seventeenyearsetage,wheshesaiawasheraaughter,requesting
Harlytetakethisyeunggirlterhiswite,-thegirlswhelivewith
thewhitepeeplebeingsecallea(Anenyneusssas.se, .1wenty
yearsearlieruenryuelingbrekehaaebserveainDenerarathat
everyLurepeannaleinthewestlnaiestinasitnecessarytepre-
viaehinseltwithaheusekeeper,ernistress.1hecheicehehas
aneppertunityetnakingisvarieus,ablack,atawney,anulatte,
eranestee,eneetwhichcanbepurchaseaterseecers,ecster-
ling,tullycenpetenttetultilalltheautiesetherstatien. . . . 1hey
enbracealltheautiesetawite,exceptpresiaingattable,setarae-
cerun is naintainea ana a aistinctien naae (uelingbreke
sse,.a--a,, .uelingbrekewasnettheenlywritertenentienthat
heusekeepersaianetpresiaeattable,sewenayinterthatthis
synbelicactivitywasreserveaterthewivesalene.uewever,itwas
netessentialteranantehaveawiteineraerteestablishhinselt
asananetsubstanceanaalavishhest,hisheusekeeperwasnet
tepresiaeattable(weaenetknewhewrigereuslythisrulewas
ebservea,, but she was respensible ter the heusehela ana its
hespitality.
willianCearingten,latertebecenethetirstbarenetettheCea-
:ingtenline,wasgranasenetthetirstetthewestlnaianCearing-
:ens.untilabeuts,s,,willianwasresiaentatuettysuepe, his
plantatieninAntiguathathaaacenplenentet,aa slaves (sa,
nen,sa-wenen,,sbeys,ana,egirls,.JustbeterehelettAntigua
.ns,s,tereturnteLnglanaanatheliteetanabsentee,willian
Cearingten wrete alengana aetailea letter etatterney te 1he
uene.wn.uyan,Lsq.,Hr.es.enes,anaCapt.JehnLightteet,
wheweretebeentrusteawiththecareethispreperties. 1heteur
pagesetcleselywritteninstructiens,preserveain-irwillianslet-
:erbeek,statehiswishesregaraingtherunningethisestatesana
:aetreatnentethisheuseservantswheare,presunably,slaves.
|earnestly desire that Babe, Judy, Beck and Florah be not molested or trou
bled in their Grounds or provisions by anybody much more my own
174 Raymond T. Smith
people, and that they live all together there and that Beck and Florah they
have each one barrel of beef and LL lbs of good salted cod fsh . . . . That
they have always the Negroes they have now. That the above wenches
have particular care taken of them when sick and to have anything they
want from my Plantation Doctor . . . . That Sackey's Sary be kept in the
house at Betty's Hope and that her child might be cloathed as may be
proper. . . . That Unoe the wench who lived with my Couz Bates be al
ways kept in the great house which is what Mr. Bates desired of me about
hours before he dyed. That Moll and Unoe be allways kept at the great
house at [my adjacent plantation] The Cottin and no others. That my two
boys Quashie and Johnoe Ham be put to the Carpenter's trade.
1heinstructiensgeenanden,andCedringtenkeepsreverting
teuabe,udy,ueck,andllerahandtehisbeysQuashieandehnee
uan.specityingthehersestheyshallbeallewedteuse,previding
tertheirpassageteLnglandsheuldtheywishte cenehene,and
repeatedlyrenindinghisatterneysthatthewenchesarenettebe
ill-usedbyanybedyandyeuhavenethingtedewiththeheuseNe-
grees(GkC347: Ca,.
CncebackinLngland,williannarriedLlizabeth,daughteret
willianuethell,ewneretcensiderableestatesin-winden,Yerk-
shire.-hebreughttethenarriagenetenlyherewntertuneer
dewrybutalseanalliancebetween-irwillianandherbrether
-lingsbyuethell,apewertulLendennerchant,nenberetlarlia-
nent, aldernanandlerd nayeretLenden. 1he teursens and
threedaughterssheberehininheritedtheirtathersprepertyand
status.uedidnettergethisAntiguacennectiens,terwetindhin
writingagainin1717, cenplainingthathisinstructienshavenet
beentellewedpreperlyandrepeatingthatenlyuabe,udy,and
llerahareteliveinthegreatheuseandtehaveallitskeys.ltispes-
siblethathevisitedAntiguaagainsenetinebetweens,aaandhis
deathin1738, butnethingisyetknewnetthetateetthesehenen- i
tienedinhis1715 instructiens.
lerananaswealthyaswillianCedringten,thepessibilityet
settlingdewnpernanentlywithaslaveertreeceleredwenanwas

quiterenete.uewever,helettbehindanelaberateestablishnent '
atuettysuepeand1heCettin.1hedaysetCaptainketteridgeand

HathewGibsenwerelengpast. 1he 1715 inventeries shewthe


heuses te be well turnished and equipped, the lists et itens
shippedtrenuristelteuettysuepeinclude100 Delttplates, 30
jellyglasses, sweetneatplates, scences, and large nunbers et
prints,leekingglasses,danaskcurtains,tablecleths,andnapkins.
Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society 175
Assuningthatthe wenches reterred tebynanewereeither
heuseslavesertreeceleredservants(Hellanduneearelstedelse-
whereasueuseNegrees,butuabe,ueck,udy,andllerahcan-
netbeidentitiedassuch,,theyebvieuslyenjeyedpesitiensettrust
andnusthavebeenskilledinthenanagenentetalargeheuse-
held.AtleasteneetthenhadchildrenbywillianCedringten,and
itIsnetunlikelythatetherchildrenbyetherwhitenen,perhaps
atterneysernanagerswiththeirewncreelewives,ternedpartet
thislargenenage.
Asthisexanpleclearlyshews,thewestlndiannarriagesysten
includedalternative terns etunien thatnutuallydetinedeach
etherandrelateddirectlytethecelerclasshierarchy.1hisdeesnet
neanthatclassdiuerencesinnarriagewereuninpertant.lerthe
upperclass,narriageneantalliancebetweenstatusequals,andits
speciticvaluesincludedpernanence,religieussanctien,andthe
naintenanceandrepreductienetstatus,cencubinagewasdetined
internsetserviceandpatrenage.
1hequestieniswhetherthisstructuredeninatedthewheleet
westlndiansecietyandwhethertheselewerinthesecialscaleat-
tacheddiuerentvaluestethatstructure.1e answerthat,andthe
largerquestienethewwecanunderstandtherelatienbetween
structureandprecess, wenustleektirstattheethersecialele-
nentsinslavesecietyandthencensiderthechangeintherela-
tienshipbetweenclassesenectedbytheabelitienetslavery.
Slaves. lenalenenbersettheslavetieldgangs diuerednest
uenupper-classwhitewenen.Cnalargewestlndianplantatien,
sexwasnetaprinarytacterindecidinghewlaberwastebedi-
vided.1hegreatgang,engagedinthehardestlaber,wasnade
upetthehealthiestnenand wenenwerkingsidebysideinthe
tields.Hanyaspectsetdenesticitywerecennunal.1henain
nealetthedaywaspreparedby ceeks and served tethe tield
gangs,snallchildrenweretakencareetbyeldwenenwhiletheir
netherswerked(breaksbeinggiventerbreast-teeding,,nedical
carewasprevidedbytheplantatienphysicianandnisslaveassis-
tantsinthehespital,rewardsandpunishnentsweredispensedby
theeverseer.
1hisinvitesrecensideratienetthesuppeseduniversalnecessity
etdenesticgreupsandnucleartanilies,butitdeesnetneanthat
slaveshadnedenesticlite,neindependenttieldsetactien,erne
176 Raymond T Smith
nerns in their kinship relatiens. 1he cultivatien et previsien
greundsandthenarketingetvegetablesandsnallsteckwerein-
pertant slave activities even in the seventeenth century. -laves
weuldnetallewtheirewnerstearrangethedetailsettheirsexual
lives and weuld netbebeund te liteleng uniens arbitrarily ar-
rangedbythenaster. Cenversiente ChristianityandChristian
narriagepracticesnadelittleheadwayuntilthetirstdecadesetthe
nineteenthcentury,butslaveshadtheirewncustens.
ln1776, Adan-nithrecerdedthatGreekandkenanaswellas
westlndianslaveswerehinderedtrennarriage.1heynayce-
habitwithawenanbutnetnarry,becausetheunienbetweentwe
slavessubsistsnelengerthanthenasterpleases. ltthetenale
slavedeesnetbreedhenaygiveherteanetherersellher.Aneng
eurslavesinthewestlndiesthereisnesuchthingasalasting
unien. 1hetenaleslavesareallprestitutes,andsunernedegra-
datienbyit(A.-nith1978: 451). Adan-nithsviewtrenthetep
et the systen is echeed in recent werkby Crlande lattersen
(1969: 159-74; 1982: 139-43), altheughthereis neevidencethat
slavesregardedtheirewntanilialrelatiensintheseterns.
lnhisdetaileddiscussienettheHentpelierand-hettleweedes-
tatesinearly-nineteenth-centuryJanaica,uignanidentitiesthree
naer categeries et tanily and heuseheld erganizatien aneng
slaves,categerieswhichhebelieveshavewidevalidity.lnthetirst
type etheuseheld, ternedlargelyby eld peeple, andAtricans
witheutkin,slaveslivedaleneerwithtriends.lnthesecend,the
greatnaerityetthe70 percentetslaveswhedidpessesstanily
links lived in sinple tanily heusehelds, nest et then nuclear
units(uignan1976: 168). lnthethirdtype,taverednestlybyCre-
eles,slaveslivedinextendedtanilyheusehelds.Altheughbeliev-
ingthisthirdcategeryteberelativelyuninpertant(acenclusien
basedselelyupenitsintrequenteccurrenceintheheuselists,,uig-
nanprevidesinternatienbasedennerethansinpleceuntset

whelivedinwhichheuse.AtHentpelierand-hettleweed,tenet
thegreupsettaniliesanddependentswereeccupyingtweer
threeheuses. Hestetthelatterweretype2 heusetuls,centaining
celeuredandskilledslaves,theygenerallyhadtheuseetrelatively
largeareasetprevisiengreundsandpessessedcensiderablenun-
bersetlivesteck.ltisevidentthattheseslaveshadnerethanene
heusenetbecauseettheirnunbersbutbecauseettheirprivileged '
eccupatiensandrelativepresperity(uignan1976: 168-69) . 1his
Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society 177
tascinatinginternatienpertainstetheeliteettheslavepepulatien.
-
.
e

eetthesetaniliesceuldhavebeenbasedentheprivilegedpe-
sitienetnenwhehadpelygyneusextendedtanilyheusehelds,
altheughitseensthatactualpelygyneuscenpeundswererare. it
isnerelikelythatdrivers,skilledtrauesnen,andthelikewereable
tebuildupextendedtanilyunitsinwhichbethnenandwenen
playedinpertantrelesasthenucleusetheuseheldgreups.Atthe
sanetine,thedeninantnalesestablishedunienswithwenenin
etherplaces, thus creatingheuseheldsthatappearedtebebeth
tenale-headedandnatritecal.wenenplayedacrucialpartincre-
atingandnaintainingthisstructurebecausetheyteewereselec-
tivelyenteringunienswithnenresidentinetherheusehelds-
seneetthenwhitenen.
Lower-class Whites and Free People of Mixed Race. 1henunberet
uniensbetweenwhitenenandblackerceleredwenennayhave
beensnall,aswasthenunberetheuseheldsresultingtrenthese
uniens,buttheirinpertanceisnuchgreaterthantheirtrequency
eteccurrenceweuldsuggest.1heyenbediedthestructuralcen-
trastbetweenlegalandnenlegaluniens,andtheheuseheldswere
archetypicallynatritecal.Centenperaryebserverssaidtrequently
thattheceleredwenenspreterenceterunienswithwhitenen

adeitinpessbletercelerednentenarry.1hisisanexaggera-
tien,bethnarnageandChristianizatiengainedanengtreecel-
ered peeple during the nineteenth centuryascivilrightswere

aduallyextendedunderpressuretrenuritain.whatisinpertant
I5 thatblackandceleredneninpesitiensetprestige,eithernen-
bersettheslaveeliteertreednen,repreducedthewhitespattern
etn

ritalbehavier.1hatis,theynightnarry-eitherlegallyerac-
cerdugtesenecustenarytern(-nith1956: 17172)butthey
weuldalsehaveeutsideuniens,andtheseusuallywithwenen
etlewerstatusintheracialhierarchy(seeuignan1976: 146-47) .
en

whav

agreatdealetinternatienabeutsecialandplan-
tatienhierarchies,thereleplayedintheircreatienbythesexual
uniensetwhitenenwithblackandceleredwenen,andtheener-
genceetthepepulatienetnixedracialeriginasaninpertantele-
nentinthesehierarchies.uutananalysisetnedernwestlndian
|inshipisincenpletewitheutanacceuntetthehisteryetthecel-
eredniddleclassandettheideelegiescreatedintheceurseetits
energenceasthepeliticallydeninantelenentinwestlndianlite.
s,s Raymond T. Smith
Lesserwhtes suchas everseers,beekkeepers (alecaltern
usedterteldsupervsers,,andsklledtradesnenenlargeplan-
tatens, were usuallyrecruted as snglenen andterbdden te
narryselengastheywereenpleyed,presunablyentheassunp-
tenthatnarrageweulddstractthentrentherdutesandre-
urealargereutlayterheusng.Alnestallseenacuredans-
tress(netleasttenursethenbacktehealthwhentheysuccunbed
tetrepcaldsease,. Hestettenthewenanwasaslave,alseterbd-
dentenarrybecauseetherstatusaspreperty, andanychldren
thatresultedtrentherunensharedthenethersslavestatus.Al-
theughslaves,theselersensetCeleurweresetapart,beleved
tebeunsutableterteldlaber.1henenwereusuallyapprentced
tesklledtradesnenandthewenenenpleyedasdenestcser-
vants,washerwenen,erseanstresses.lathersettentredten-
prevethe statusandltechancesettherbastardchldren,hew
nuchetthatenertwasprenptedbythenethersweshallnever
knew.
lerexanple,ehnuugh-nytheturstelgavepernssenena
nunbereteccasensbetweens,-,ands,,,terslavestebenan-

unttedenhsanacaplantaten,1he-prng,byhavngthenre-

placedwthnewslaves. Cn-eptenber,,s,-,,hewretetehsat-
terneys,AsyeuthnklettngHr.-LwAkDputanableNegreen
theestatenplaceettheHulattegrlwllbeanadvantage,lreadly
acuessngrantnghertreeden.AganenHays,s,,,,hewrete
teubbertand1ayler,hsatterneys, Asyeurecennendedand
Hessrskethleyand-trattenhavecensentedlcanhaveneebec-
ten te autherze yeu te en n nanunssng sc the Negre
wenan-lavenanedHargaretandherHulatte-ennanedleter
encendtentheprepesalnadebytheLxecuteretthelateHr.
-tewartswllbecenpledwthnplacngntherreentweprne
newNegrees(ukC.AC/wCs-,,,.
Netwellendewedwthpreperty(bydetnten,,whtenenwth
lewstatuswereerentedtewardnateralandsecalnprevenent,
ebservngtheherarchcaldstnctensetraceandservtudewth
scrupuleuscare.1heyattachedthesanevaluetenarrageasdd
theupperclass,whenplantatenenpleyeesternedlenglastngl-
asens wth celered wenen, narragewasrareeventthenan
nanaged te leave plantaten enpleynent and acure a snall
prepertyethsewn.Altheughsuchunensandattenptsatnan-
unssenwerecennenandcentnuedthreughtheslaverypered,
Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society s,,
tsnetclearthattheunenscreatedatanly,andtscertanthat
denestcgreupswerenetalwayscensttutedthereby.
1he uee celered pepulatencenprsed slaves whe had been
nanunttedbecausetheyhadperternedtathtulservce(usually
aseuseslaves, erbecausetheywere the ensprngetnenlegal
unens,plustheseberntetreeceleredparents.lreestatuswasa
przedandjealeuslyguardedpessessen,neteasytenantant
enewasblacknaslavesecetythateuatedblacknesswthser-
vtude.ltlegalstatusdstngushedthetreeceleredtrentheslave,
cenplexenseparatedtheceleredtrenthewhtesandnpesed
ethercvldsabltes.1hesedsabltesddnetbartheueecelered
trenlegalandChrstannarrage,buttherpestennthestatus
herarchycausedthenteexperencethenarragesystennadt-
terentway.
wenenetnxedrace, slave ertree, were preterredas cencu-
bnesbywhtenen,andselengastheslaveregnepersstedthese
wenenweredspesedtepreteranenlegalunenwthawhtenan
tenarrageteacelerednan.lns,,,uryanLdwardsdscussedthe
stuate
.
nettheanacantreeceleredpepulatenatsenelength,
ren

rkingthatewenenareettenaccusedetncentnencyterac-
ceptugthepesiuenetkeptwenenwtheutentertanngthehepe
etnarrage. uutntherdressandcarragetheyarenedest, n
cenversatenreserved,andtheytreuentlynantestatdeltyand
attachnenttewardstherkeepers, whch, ttbe netvrtue, s
senethngverylket.1heternsandnanneretthercenplance
. . . arecennenlyasdecent,theughperhapsnetasselenn,as
the

eetnarrage, . . . gvngthenselvesuptethehusband(terse
he1S called,wthtathplghted,wthsentnent,andwthanec-
ten(Ldwardss,,,,ll.a,,.usexplanatentertherbehaverwas
cenplexbutasnterestngasnestetthesewetnd teday. Lx-
cludedastheyaretrenallhepeeteverarrvngtetheheneurand
happnessetwedleck,nsensbleettsbeautyandsanctty,gne-
rantetallchrstanandneraleblgatens,threatenedbypeverty,
ur

e bytherpassens,andenceuragedbyexanple,upenwhat
pnnciplecanweexpecttheselltatedwenenteactetherwsethan
theyde:(Ldwardss,,,,ll.22).
Cthe

ebserversnetedthatceleredwenen, expletedtheugh
:hey night have been, seened te enjey censderable treeden.
1heugh the daughters etrchnen, and theugh pessessed et
slavesandestates,theyneverthnketnarrage,therdelcacys
.se Raymond T. Smith
such,tertheyareextrenelypreud,vanandgnerant,thattheyde-
spsenenettherewnceleur,andtheughtheyhavetheraereus
desresabundantlygrattedbythenandblacknensecretly,they
wllnetavewthesecennectens(Hereten.,,e..a,-a,,quetedn
urathwate.,,...,,, .1hspassagedrawsattententethenper-
tantandneglectedtactthatceleredwenenettenhadwhtetathers
whewerepewertul,rch,and suncentlynterestedntheweltare
ettherchldrenteleavethensubstantalpreperty.1ewhatextent
thesenencencernedthenselveswththerdaughtersunens-er
lettthsnattertethenethers-wedenetknew.HavsCanpbell
repertsthatawhtenanenterngnteaunenwthatreewenan
etcelerettensgnedabend,snlarteanarragesettlenent,pre-
vdngterhernantenancencaseetdeatherseparaten(Canp-
bell .,,-.,,n,. Aceleredwenanwhewasnstressetawhtenan
prebablyhadherewnheuseheldandneretreedenteceneand
gethantshewerenarred.Celeredwenenalseseenedtehave
dennatedhucksterng,snallshepkeepng,andthenanagenent
ethetelsandnns
Altheugh secal cenventen depcted the slave, celered, and
whtegreupsasdscretesecalenttes,ntactsegnentswerede-
tned, dnerentated, transterned and dynancally nterrelated
threughaseresetexchangesandnteractens.Cnecannevert

d
theessenceeteachgreup.AnAtrcanbecaneaNegreenlyH
thecentextettheslaveregne,ustasacreeleeranulatteacqured
hserhersecalbengenlynthspartcularsecalternaten.leld
slaveslearnedtespeakcreeleLnglshquckly,the custens and
nannersettheupperclasseswerenetunknewntethen,ustas
thecreelewhteswerewellversednthespeechpatterns,super-
sttens,nusc,andtelklereettheslaves1heseweresnallsec-
etes,butallgreupsddnetcenvergeupenaunternculture,new
nedesetcennctanddstancedevelepedeutetthecleavagesand
centradctensetcreelesecety,andthecenstantntluxetnewn-
ngrantswasabserbedwthdnculty.ut adstnctsecetywas
created,andupentsbass,nedernsecialternswerebult.
Structural Reproduction and Transformation
in the Nineteenth Century
wehaveseenthatthewestlndansystenetknshpandnar-
ragewasanextensenmculturallegcandsecalactenetthedon-

Hierrchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society .s.
nantstructuralelenentncreelesecety,theracalherarchy-an
elenentthatpervadedeveryaspectetsecallte.ecenenc,pelt-
cal,relgeusanddenestc.lnthelateeghteenthandearlynne-
teenthcentures,thatsecetybeganteteelthenpactetpreteund
changestakngplacenLurepe.therapdgrewthetndustralpre-
ducten,thencreasngpeweretthebeurgeese,theexpansenet
everseasenterprsentenewareasetthewerld,andthetrunphet
newpeltcalceelegesespeusedntheAnercanandlrenchkev-
elutens. when,n.,,.,awestlndanvsterwretealettertren
NewYerkwhereshe,hernetherandhusbandhadrecentlyarrved
as1ravellersetCbservatennthsLandetLqualtyandlndepen-
dence,shewasbengrencbutalsecennuncatngthecenplex
sentnentsetthewestlndanplanterclass,adnratentercele-
nstswllngtestandupteurtaneverunusttaxaten,andtearet
thecensequencesetespeusngdectrnesettreedenandequalty
nasecetybasedenslavery(GkC,,.. Ds-.e,Caa, .
1hegradualdeclneetthenercantlesysten,theenergenceet
pewertulnterestsdedcatedtethedestructenettheslaveregne,
andthechangngpatternsetwerldtradeandwerldnarketseven-
tuallyweretetransternnanyaspectsetthenternalecenenyet
westlndancelenes. 1hesenevenentscannetbedscussedhere,
nerstherespacetedetalthewaysnwhchtheplanterclassnan-
agedtenantantsdennatenandensurethatstructuralchange
ntheracalherarchyandntheecenencsystenwerenereap-
parentthanreal(seeuall .,,,,urathwate .,,.,k.-nth.,sab,
Canpbell .,,-,ueunan.,s., .lnstead,wenaytakethenestdra-
natcettheapparentchangesandexannethernplcatenster
knshp.
The Ending of Slavery
1heabeltenettheslavetraden.se,setntranaseresetde-
egraphcchanges,thenestnpertantetwhchwastherapdn-
creasentheprepertenetpeepleetnxedracenlargecelenes
suchasJanaca(ugnan.,,-..,,, .Astheecenencsettrepcal
agrcultureshtted,andaseppertuntesncreasedntheexpand-
.ogecenenesetLurepeandnnewareasetenterprsesuchas
/ustrala,NewZealand,seuthernAtrca,andNerthAnerca,the
,repertenetwhtesnthewestlndanpepulatenbegantetall.
:hecessatenetAucannngratenensuredthattheblackpep-
elatenwaspredennantlycreelebythe.s,es,exceptnareas
.sa Raymond T Smith
et new settlenent such as Denerara, Lssequibe, uerbice, and
1rinidad.
Hissienaryactivity,gatheringnenentuntrenabeut.sae,has-
tenedthecreelizatienettheslavepepulatien. -laverywasabel-
ished threugheut uritish pessessiens in .s,s, telle

ing a tew
years transitientewage laber. 1he eventwasexpenence asa
greattransternatien,ideelegicallyatleast,eventheughsecialr

-
latienschangedataveryslewpaceindeed. !weas
l
ect

etthis
changeareparticularlyrelevantteeurdiscussienetkuship.
-uddenlythereceasedtebeanydistinctieninlawbasedupen
race celer erservilestatus.Cn-eptenbera.,.s,,,thesecretary
tethelerdbishepetJanaicaissuedanerderinstructingallparishes
teusethesaneregistersetbirths,narriages,andeathsterthe
whelepepulatiensinceallwerenewtree.Anerder-u-ceuncilan-
neuncedintheLondon Gazette et-eptenbers, .s,s,seteutpre-
ceduresternarriageintheceleniesandcentirnedthevalidio et
thenarriagesetslaves,erevenettreeceleredpeeple,selen

ed
prierteenancipatien.ltpeeplehadnarrie
.
dde
.
tacte,pr

vis

en
wasnewnadeterthenteselennizetheunensinplybysignug
adeclaratien (London Gazette, Ne. .,-,-.aee,-,,. 1herewas ne
rushtelegalizeuniens.uuteverthenextterty
}
earserse,
.
there
wasaninpertantshittinthepesitienetthevaneusgreupsuhe
classsysten,andnethingisnereinterestingthanthechanng
pesitienettheceleredwenan.
. .
1hetreeceleredpepulatienhadattauedaprenuencea new
peliticalsigniticanceinnanycelenieslengbeteretheabehtnet
slavery.Asearlyasthelatterpartettheeighteenthcentury, there
had been advecates et the autenatic nanunissien et celered
slavesandtheextensienetnerecivilrightstequalitiedpeepleet
celer.Hanytreeceleredpeeplewerethenselvesewnersetsla

es,
sincethebequestetatewslaveswasataveriteneansetgrantug
acentinuing(andperhapsincreasing,seurce
.
et
.
suppert.uutd

-
spite their privileged pesitien and ecene

ertance, this
greupdidnetbeceneasigniticantandacuvepehucaltercene-
diatingbetweenwhite andblackuntilthe .s,es (see Canpbell
.,,-,uandler.,,,,ueunan.,s.,. uy.s,eaprepertienetthe
*It is interesting that there was a sudden increase in the reported number of col-
ored people in Jamaica from 40,000 (10.8 percent of the total pop
'
llation) i

1834 to
68,ooo (18. 1 percent of the population) in 1844. T_is remarkable mcre

se 1s a

ost
certainly due to the reclassifcation of people prev10usly reported to be slaves (see
Smith 1982b: 104).
Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society .s,
celeredpepulatienwastirnlyestablishedasanewelite,thevan-
guardetthese-calledceleuredniddle-class.lreninentnen-
bersetthisgreupwereactiveinpelitics,ineurnalisn,andinsuch
pretessiensaslaw,butnetallceleredpeepleweresuddenlyele-
vatedinteanecenenicallybasedniddle-class.1herealityisdit-
terentandhasagreatdealtedewiththecenplexityettedaysre-
latienbetweenraceandclass.
lreeceleredandtreeblackpeeplewheewnedsnallnunberset
slavesersnallplantatienstacedthesaneecenenicpreblensthat
whiteplanterstacedenceslaveryhadbeenabelishedandasthe
narketstertrepicalpreducebecanecenstricted.Astheupperlev-
elsetthesecietycanetebetilledwithexpatriateeuicials,nan-
agers,andpretessienals, theclassstatusetthecreelewhiteand
celeredpepulatienbegantecenverge.1histeektine,andthepre-
cessintertwinedclassandkinshiptactersinacenplexway.
1he changesetthenid-nineteenthcenturyalsebegante pre-
ducealiterate,deveutcereetchurchgeerstrentheex-slavepep-
ulatien,thepeasantryettenreterredteatthetineasthestable
teundatienetthenewerder.1heyweregenerallysnalltarners
grewingninercrepssuchasceuee,ginger,arrewreet,plantains,
pinente-crepstradedthreughniddlenenwhebecanepresper-
euspreducedealers.lnJanaica,bananawastebecenethetavered
crepattertheNerthAnericannarketepenedinthe.s,es.
Hestettheex-slavescenstitutedaninpeverishedruralprele-
tariat,andeventhesewhenanagedteacquiresenenarginalcul-
tivablelandteunditlittlediuerenttrentheprevisiengreundste
whichtheyhadhad access as slaves. 1heystillhadtewerkter
wagesenthesurvivingplantatiensandengagedinanincreasingly
bitterstruggleeverthecenditiensandrewardsettheirlaber.1hese
with land suitable ter senisubsistence tarning appeared tebe
cushieneduenthetullterceetindustrialdiscipline,butitisanis-
taketethinketthenaspeasantswerkingenlyeccasienallyter
wages.1heirliveswereshapedbytheplantatiensysten,andthe
legacyetresentnentcreatedbythewhitesretusaltepernitarad-
icaltransternatienetthesecietyanditsecenenyisenbeddedin
nuchetpresent-daywestlndianlite.
Changes in the Dual Marriage System and Class Structure
wasthenarriagesystentransternedduringthisperied,andit
se,inwhatways:1herichplantersettheeighteenthcenturywere
184 Raymond T. Smith
nestlygenebyabeut1850, seentebereplacedbycerperatecap-
tal, eperatnglarger, censeldatedplantatensstauedbyexpa-
trates.HanyLurepeanandcreelewhtescentnuedteeperate
snallplantatens,especallynanacaanduarbades.lrelnnary
hstercalresearch strengthens theinpressen, dervedtrenge-
nealegcalstudy,thatanupwardlynebleceleredpepulatenand
the dewnwardlyneblerenansetthewhteplanterclasscen-
vergedntheternatenetthenedernwestlndannddle-class.
lnanaca,atleast,bethgreupsbecanencreasnglyurbantren
thend-nneteenth centuryenward, leavng theless successtul
tanlynenbersntheruralareas.1hecentnungvtaltyetthe
dualnarragesysten,lnkedncenplexwaystethechangngdet-
ntensetstatusandclass, resultednanewcencernanengthe
upwardlyneblewthlower-class llegtnacy,acencernthathas
lastedntethepresent.1hatcencernwasadsplacenententethe
lewer-classet ssuesthatwerecentralnthelteetthenddle-class.
lnerderteunderstandtenenusttellewthechangngstructureet
classtselt,whchwllalsethrewlghtenthequestenetwhether
thenarragesystenwastransternedernet.
wllstledntheanacalslandkecerdCuceshewthatthecus-
tenetepencencubnageetwhtenenandceleredwenenddnet
endwththeabeltenetslavery.1hewlletehn-nth,anatve
et-cetlandnewresdngatCapeClearlennthelarshetHet-
calte (ternerlyand subsequently -t. Hary,andstylnghnselt
llanterwasenteredatthelslandkecerdCuceenanuary22,
1870 (lkC.wlls,Lb.131, t.88). lntheleavesteurdgetlrench
klkelly,newresdngatCapeClear,enehundredpeundssterlng
andeneneetyerhaltshareetnytableknves,slverterks,slver
speens,turnture,andethergeeds.Lewever,tshsnatural
daughter,anetLast,daughteretthesadurdgetlrenchklkelly,
whestebehsresduallegateeattervareusnenetarybequests
arenadetenephewsandnecesn-cetlandandnCanada.1hs
naturaldaughtersnarredteenelatrckLastandsthenetheret
ehn-nthsgrandchldren,ehn-laterLastandlsabellaLast.Al-
theugh tspessble that urdget lrenchklkellys whte, the
chancesareverynuchaganstt.Neattenpthasbeennadetetel-
lewthesubsequentcareeretehn-nthsgrandchldren,butts
reasenable tenterthatthey nevedntetheenergent nddle-
class,aclassncreasnglypreeccupedwthrespectabltyandn-
creasnglybasednurbanbureaucracy.
Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society 185
Herecharacterst
.
c,perhaps,sthetateettheC-ullvantanly
etCl

renden,anaica, asrevealedinAlbna C-ullvans dary


cevenngtheyears1872 and1873 (lHC.H-1604) . 1hssnall leath-
ereundb
.
eekcentanslttlenthewayetdaryentresbutqutede-
taledcepiesetletterssentandrecevedbythedaughteretehn
Aug

stusC-ullvanetLghgatelark,anaca, andternerlyet
rchus lark, uucknghanshire, Lngland. At ene tne prevest
narshalletanacaandewneretcensderableacreageandtwe
heusesn-t.Catherne,C -ullvandednune1871, leavngthree
daughters and tve sens by hs late wte ane, daughter et -r
Charles1ayleretCethrennCeuntyGlanergan,wales.Albnas
darybegnswthanaccurateandcenpletetranscrptenetherta-
thers wll (enteredlkC. wills, Lb. 131, t. 202, Nev. 7, 1871),
whchleaves 100 acresteeach ettheteuryeungersensanda

randsen,aheuseandthencenetrena5,000 ltensurancepel-
icytethedaughters,andtheresdueettheestate-ncludngpc-
tures,beeks,tanlyherleens,andthetanlygreatheuseatLgh-
gatelark-tehseldestsenandher,Augustus.
1helettersthattellewrevealthetanlysplght.Augustus,whe
hastakenhelyerders,engratesteNeva-cetawthhswteand
chldren.lnaletterdatedHay17, 1872, heurgeshsbrethersand
ssterste enhn,rentatarn,andnakeanewstart.1ellthe
beysteceneteCanada.lutlrdentherpecketserleavetina
yanhillandgetewerklkemeeetethersaredalydengnatew
yearstheynaybesureethavngathrvngtarneachettherewn
andajellywteapecetechurnbutternakecheesetee.lnplere
thennettewastetheirlvesnanaca.1heydeclnedthsnv-
taten,and

deed
.
tsnetlengbetereAugustusbrngshstanly
backteanacawithplansterrevtalzingtheeldLghgatelark

reperty-wththecaptalethsbrethersandssters.1hepreblen
isthattheydenethaveeneughcaptal,ndeed,Albnaandherss-
t

rsh

vebeeneblg

dtesellthepaneandsundryetherpesses-
siensjusttekeepgeug.uretherLdward,whelvesnleurlaths,
ssehardupth

theastewalkteurnilestehseuceeachday,
bretherGeergeistryugtenakeageetcattletarnng,thenest
successmlbretherslvngnkchnendlarkandhasasteadyeb
nbusness,buthecannetauerdthe40 te50 perannunthatt
weuldcesttesendhssenuenjtebeeducatedbyaprvatetuter
nkngsten.
Agan,altheughlhavenettellewedtheC-ullvans tertunes
ss- Raymond T Smith
turther,ntervewswththelvngdescendantsetsnlartanles
suggestthatnnanycasesthenereenergetcandsuccesstultan-
lynenbersnevedtetheurbanareaserevenngratedteNerth
Anerca,leavngbehndadetereratngprepertyenwhchtheeth-
ers struggledaleng, havng eutsde chldren, and senetnes
evennarryngdarker-sknnedpartners(seeCratens,,steranex-
cellentdscussenetcasesetthsknd, .-uchnarrageswerecen-
trarytethestructuralprncplesetthesysten,andyettheycer-
tanlyeccurred, partcularlyntheruralareaswheredecreasng
nunbersetwhtes,dewnwardlyneblenecenencterns,were
abserbedntetheceleredpepulaten.
Illegitimacy Redefned as a Class Problem
uecauseverytewslavesnarredbetereabeutss,e(relaxatenet
thelawsbarrngslavenarrageswasunevenuntlthensttutenet
apprentceshpnss,,,,llegtnacywasaneanngtulcencept
enlyanengtherch.Certanlytwasnetdetnedasasecalpreb-
len,sncetwasanntegralpartetthewheleslavesysten.lnthe
apprexnately s,eyearssncetheendngetslavery, llegtnacy
rateshaverenanedhghandrenarkablystablelnJanaca,terex-
anple,theratehasvaredbetween-epercentand,epercentetlve
brthseversncerelablerecerdsweretrstkeptnthess,es As
Geergekebertspentseut, theserateshavebeentedtethenar-
ragerate,whchsqutelew(s,,,.ass, .Hanylewer-classwestln-
dansdeternarrageuntltheyhaveseveralchldren,butthssnet
ustasystenetdeterrednarragependngtheaccunulatenetre-
seurcesteraprepercereneny-npleecenenctheereshave
beenenpleyedteexplanwestlndanpatternsetknshpandnar-
rage,cenvertngthepreblenetllegtnacynteanexclusvely
lewer-classnatter,butnanyerrersceuldhavebeenavededhad
ushepLnesNuttallsstatenentetsss-beenneted.
lnthend-sssestherewasanupsurgeetsentnentnJanaca

tavernglegslatententgatetheevletllegtnacyandcheckn-
neralty.Ledbyclergynen,tstarteassunethattsnestactve
supperterswerethenuuentalnenbersetthercengregatens,
anengwhenwenenetthenewnddle-classeswereprennent.
lartlyacelenalrenectenetthesecalpurtyandantpresttuten
nevenent n urtan (see walkewtz s,se,, t nenetheless ad-
dressedwhatwascenngtebeseenasalecalpreblen.Durng
sss,,thegeverneretJanacarecevedanunberetpettensex-
Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society ss,
p

essngcencerneverllegtnacy.Cne,trenacenterenceledby
uishepNuttall, suggestedtheenactnentetalawcentanngthe
tellewngprevsens.
That, so far as possible and practicable, registration be made of the fa
ther of every illegitimate child.
. That some Public Oficer in each district (to be defined) be charged with

he duty of

ecuring such registration, and be held responsible for the tak


mg, or causmg to be take, te necessary steps preliminary to registration.
Tat among such prehmmary steps should be the proving of such pa
termty before competent authority in all cases where such paterity is not
acknowledged by the father.
Tat
.
every m?ther of an ille
_
gitim

te chid be required, under penalty,


to gve mformahon to such Oficer With a view to the ultimate registration
of the father of such child.
That it also be made the
_
duty of such Oficer to see to the strict carrying
out of the La

for the mamtenance of illegitimate chidren in every case
where there Ib an attempt to evade the obligations imposed by that
Law (IJMC: MST 2U, No. 1, p. 2, minute signed by H. W. Norman,
Governor) .
1hegevernerdec!nedt

takeactenentheseprepesals,sayng
thattheyweul bein
(
ssibletecarryeutnpractce1hebshep
wasprevekedutewntugapanphletenttledlublcHeralty.
AnAppeal,bytheushepetJanaca(lJHC.H-1ae,,Ne.s,,. ln
theceurseetalengthyreplytethegeverner, ushepNuttallde-
clared,Letnenandragntethsdebatequestensetclassandcel-
e

r, ers

spectth

agtatenetanyclasssynpatheserantage-
:usn

s. ltI5 aq

estienetthesecallteetawhelepeeple.lthas
nethugtedewithclass.1hennerallvesetnunereusLnglsh-
nen,-cetchnen, andlrshnennJanaca,tergeneratenspast,

requtesuucentteslencethesewhewanttegetrdetthssub-
jectY
.
thecen

enentnsnuatenthattheblanetereurpresent
cenditienetthugsrestsexclusvelyupenthenthelewer-class}
(p,,.
u

warnngwasqutetergetten, andevertheensungyears
narnagecanetebethenarketnddle-classstatus,whereasthe
le

er-classeswerecensderedtehavedserganzedtanlyre-
latiensnaredbyunstablenarragesandhghllegtnacyrates.
ltwaspreciselytheceleredwenenwthnddle-classstatuswhe
newbecanethenestvecalcrtcsetvceandnneraltyandthe

tsta

nchdetendersetthesancttyetnarrageuewever,ther
udignat:en was largely drectedaganstthe nneralty et the
sss Raymond T. Smith
lewer-classesandtheyacceptedwthrelatvepassvtythecentr:-
ungeutsdeunensettherewnnentelk.
Desptethsnewteundcencernnthewestlndesterrespecta-
blty,thedualnarragesystentseltddnetchange,therewasust
areallecatenetpestenswthnt.1hepatternetnenternng
eutsdeunenswthwenenetlewerstatusddnetdsappear,n-
deedtsanntrnscpartetpresent-daylte.1hedualnarrage
systensnetatantnenerytrenthepastbutalvngrealty(k.
-nths,,sa,k.-nths,,sb,k.-nths,saa,.ltcentnuesteds-
turb,butnetdestrey,relatenswthnnddle-classtanles. 1he
wenanwheteelststullnpactsthelewer-classwenanetlnted
neansattenptngteraseseveralchldren,tercedtewerktand
whenshecan,andettenpassngthreughaseresetunenswth
nenwheappeartebeastransteryasthewhtebeekkeeperset
slaverydays.
ltsrenarkablethatsecalscentstssheuldhaveadeptedthe
classvewetths systen, attrbutngtsnaercharacterstcste
peverty, adaptaten,evenAtrcanculture-anythng,ntact,but
tsebveusrelatentetheeverallstructureetclasssecetytselt.
-everalaspectsetthecentenperarysystennaketdncultteun-
derstandthewaynwhchthedualnarragesysteneperates. ue-
causethadtsgenessntherelatensbetweenhghstatusnen
andlewerstatuswenentheresatendencytesuppesethatsuch
nterclassrelatensweuldbenecessaryterttecentnue,andthat
tsthenenlegalunensetsuchnenandwenenthatcensttutethe
systen.1hssnetse.Altheughcress-classnenlegalunenscen-
tnuetebecennen,thephenenenenetprnarynteresttesec-
elegstsandsecalplannersalkestheceexstencenthelewer-
classetlegalandnenlegalunens,andthehghprepertenetl-
legtnatechldrenberntelewer-classwenen. Cnlyasnallpre-
pertenetthesechldrenaretatheredbynddle- erupper-class
nen.
Cncethesystenwasmplacethestructurebecaneneregeneral
thanthespectcpractcesthatgavetbrth.ltenecensdersthest-
uatenwthnthetreeceleredpepulatendurngslaverytsev-
dentthattheruleenenngnarrageteastatusequalandnenlegal
unenwthanntererhadtebenplenentednawaydnerent
trenthatteundwthnthewhtegreup.whereaswhtewenen
dd net (wth tew exceptens, enter nenlegal unens, celered
wenenwerereputedtepretercencubnagewthawhtenanever
Hierrchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society ss,
narrageteacelerednan.wthntheceleredgreup,theprncples
enbedednthedualnarragesystenweretransternedntethe
rulethatlegalnarrageandcencubnagewerealternative forms even
betweenstatusequals.lerblackslaveslegalnarragewasterbd-
denandbyvrtueetthattactwasnsttutenalsedfor them asasu-
perer tern. Atter enancpaten senewhte nen centnued te
havecelerednstressesbutthewhtepepulatendeclnedrapdly
nnestceleneswhletheclasspestenettheceleredgreupwas
greatlynprevedthreughthegrewthnpretessenalandbureau-
cratcenpleynent. 1hewhelesystenwasshtteddewnenereg-
ster, sete speak, wtheutanybascalteraten. lerblacks, whe
werenewenenedtenarry,theruleetnarryngastatusequalwas
cenenedwththecenceptenetlegalnarrageasasgnetsupe-
rerstatus.lnetherwerds,thestructurewascenpressedwthn
thecentnesetthelewer-classnsuchawaythatalewer-classnan
ceulduseanystatustacter,evennasculntytselt,asthebasster
nsstng upen a casual rather thana legally sanctenedunen.
uewever,thereceuldbeneexactcerrespendencebetweenstatus
andnarragetypewthnthelewerclass,thedualternsetnar-
ragebecanentra-classalternatveswththesupererternsene-
tnesbengenteredntelatenlteasthecrewnngeventetaleng
relatenshp.
Altheughlhaveusedlanguagethatnplesratenalchece,the
systenwasnettheend-preductetaseresetndvdualcheces,t
anythng,tshapedandgudedthesecheces. Cutsdeunensbe-
tweenlewer-classwenenandnddle-classnenareeasytedec-
unenttertherecentpast(see k.-nths,saaterdetals,,butthe
tellewng case llustrates the centnung relaten between her-
archy,ncludnggenderherarchy,andknshp,evenwhenthen-
dvdualscencernedareetthesaneecenencclass.
The Case of Alice Smith
Alce-nthsathrty-seven-year-eldsnglenetherwthsxchl-
drenbyteurdnerentnen. -hewasbernllegtnatenrural)a-
nacaandatterhernetherwalkedeutenus,assheputst,she
nevedtekngstentelvewthhernetherstather,CenradDrew,
and hswteCarletta Drew, whenAlcecalled Aunt. wthn
abeutayear,hertatherenteredanetherunenwthaHsslarrs,
*The ethnographic present is 1969 when the interviews took place.
.,e Raymond T. Smith
whowaslvngnearkngston,naruralpartot-t.Andrew, and
Alceandoneotherbrothersstayedwththenonandontortwo
years. uerolderssterlvednanotherruralarea,probablyasan
adoptedlve-nservant.Alce,unabletogetalongwthherstep-
nother,wasbroughttostaywthagroupotpeopleshereterstocol-
lectvelyastherelatvesthen.1heywereanscellaneouscollec-
tonothertathersknlvngnarundownareaotkngstononland
thathadconedowntrontheoldpeoplethen.ln)anaca,such
landstanlyland,onwhchnonenberotthekndredcanbe
denedacconnodaton.1hereshesleptnabgroonwthherta-
therssstersdaughter,herhusband,andalltherchldren.
Alce-nthstrstchldwasbornwhenshewassxteen.whena
secondchldwastatheredbythesanenan,shenovedoutotthat
roon.uowever,shestlllvesonthesanetanlyland,nashack
otherown.Lkenostwestlndanwonen,shehasworkedallher
lte,trstasadonestcservantandthennadry-cleanngplant.1he
tatherothertrsttwochldrenlveswththenotherothsother
chldren, havngcontrbutedvrtuallynothngtothe supportot
Alceschldren.1hetatherotthenexttwolveswthhsaunt,lke
thetrst,heddnotactuallylvewthAlce.1hetatherotthettth
chldlveswthanotherwonan.Alcesdscoveryotthsrelaton-
shphastenedthebreakupotherarrangenentwththsnan,but
theyrenanongood terns, hevstshs daughter, andtAlce
needsreparstothehouse,heusuallydoesthen.1hetatherother
babyhadnotbeenaroundsnceAlcewaseghtnonthspregnant,
butdurng ourntervews,hebegantovstagan.ueclanedto
havestayedawaybecauseoneotAlceschldrenhadbeenrudeto
hnbynotsaynggoodnghtwhenhearrved. 1hsexquste
sensbltywas onlypartotthestory,tturnedoutthatanother
wonanhadusthadachldbyhn-thsnaddtontohsthree
chldrennthecountryandanolderdaughteratschoolntown.
Alce-nthsnonoreresenttulotwhatseenstobeblatantsex-
ualandecononcexplotatonbythetathersotherchldrenthan
areotherntornants.Cnespoke,wthoutregret,ottheupstand-
ngnanwhotallneasayounggrl(R. -nth.,saa..a,,.Hen
andwonenalkewlldeclarethattsnthenatureotnentoneed

norethanonewonan-especallywestlndannen-whereasa
wonancanbesatstedwthonenan. ltwonenenternultple
unons,theyarenpelledtodosonotoutotnaturaldesrebutout
l
Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society .,.
otpractcalnecessty.ltsoundsverynuchlkethecontrastdrawn
by )anet -chawn the eghteenth centurybetweencreole whte
nenandwonen,exceptthattodaylower-classwonenaretorced
ntonultpleunonsnthesearchtorastablerelatonshpwthan
adequateprovder.
1hscasewaschosendelberatelybecausetdoesnotqutettthe
recevedvewotnatrtocalknshpstructure,wherethenother-
daughter relatonshp provdes astable donestc coretowhch
nenarelooselyattached.Alce-nthsnotatypcal,nanychl-
drengrowupawaytronthernothers,andnotntrequentlywth
tenalerelatvesotthetather.1hsdoesnotalterthedeologcallnk
betweendonestcty,tenalesexroles,andnaternity,ndeed,Al-
ce-nthsbtterregretsaboutherownchldhoodareanpleproot
otwheretheculturalstresssplaced.NorsAlce-nthatypcalm
thenunberotherunonsandsetsotchldren.-hednerstron
the nddle-classwonan who passvely accepts nale ntdelty.
Lower-classwonenaretullyawarethatalower-classvstng1oy
trendwhohasotherrelatonshpssunlkelytobeanadequate
sourceotsupport.
lennst concernoverthe plght ot lower-class west lndan
wonensnotnsplaced,especallyconcerntorthosewonenwho
havebeenuprootedtronruralconnuntesnwhchtheyhadthe
supportotnetworksotknandarenowstrugglngtonakeends
neetnthectesandtowns. uowever,thatconcernshouldnot
leadautonatcallytotheconclusonthathghllegtnacyratesand
nultpleunonssgntyetherdsorganzatonoradaptaton.
Lvenlessshouldoneconcludethatnother-tocusedtanles, or
eventanlesnwhchthetatherdoesnotshareahouseholdwth
thechldren,leadtodetcencesordsabltesnthechldren.1he
nodernwestlndannddle-classswellawareottsorgnnr-
regularunons(Alexander.,,,.,,.-,a,,althoughtnaynotrec-
ognzeequallyclearlytsowncontenporarydevatonstronaso-
callednornalnucleartanlypattern.Norstalwaysrecognzed
thatnanyotthenostanbtous,creatve,andsuccesstulwestln-
danshavebeenthechldrenotoutsdeunonswthrrespons-
bletathersandhard-workng,dedcatednothers.whenthoseta-
thers have passed on to ther chldren sone advantage-be t
wealth,color,educaton,orpreterentaltreatnentnganngen-
ploynent-thasnotnatteredagreatdealthatthechldrenwere
192 Raymond T. Smith
illegitinateandbreughtupinanatritecalheuseheld,andthatbas
beentruetrenthedaysetslaverytethepresent.1hetruedisad-
vantageinthewestlndieshasbeentebeblackandpeer.
Conclusion: Feminist Issues and Caribbean Data
The Matrifocal Family
1heaspectetCaribbeansecietythathasnest

ttractedte

t-
tentien et teninisttheerists has been the natntecal tanily, H
whichwenenaresalientindenesticauairsandnen,inthestatus
ethusband-tather,arenarginaltetheclesebendsbetweenneth-
ers,children,anddaughterschildren(k.-nith1956). Caribbean
nethers,unliketheseintheclassicnatrilinealsecieties,havenet
beenunderthepelitice-uraldeninatienetbrethersandnethers
brethers,andthereteretheCaribbeandataseentepesenewques-
tiensabeuttheuniversalityettanilialandkinshipreles,andthe
abilityetwenentesustainviabletanilyunitswitheutneninthe
statusethusband-tather,eravuncularpretecter.lhavediscussed
elsewherethenatureetthedualnarriagesystenanditsinplica-
tienstersecialpelicyinthecentenperaryCaribbean (k. -nith
1982); herelwillcencentrateenitsrelatientesenetheereticalis-
suesinteninistwriting.
Naturl Functions
Huchdiscussienintheteninistliteraturehastecussedupenbi-
elegicalgivens,upentheapparentlyirreducibletactsethunann

-
ture.1henatritecaltanilyiseasyteinterpretasareduced,butstill
natural,ternetthenucleartanily,aternthatcentinuestetultilall
thetunctiensetthetanilythreughthehereiceuertset,inGeerge
Lanningsgraphicphrase, nynetherwhereallytatheredne
(Lanning1953: 11).
leninisttheeryhasnevedbeyendthispeint,asisevidencedby
thearticlesinthisvelune.whatevertheirreducibletactsetbielegy
naybe,theyareincerperatedintesecialandcult

ralsyst

nsin
waysthatare,itnetintinitelyvaried,renarkablydiverse.ielegy
deesnetdeterninesecialandculturalarrangenents,attentienhas
beenshittedelsewhere,nestnetablyenteanexaninatienetthe _
ecenenicandclasstactersthatcenbinewithgender,kinship,nar-
riage,andtanily.ltisherethatthehisteryetinterpretatienetCa-
Hierarchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society 193
ribbeandatais valuableinenphasizingthe errers etecenenic
deterninisn.
Economic Determinants
lnNewwerldcelenialsecieties,thesecialandculturalsystens
thatdevelepedevertinewere,andare,nerethanepiphenenena
etecenenicexpleitatien.Lcenenicactivitiesandecenenicclass
pesitiencertainlyauectkinship, tanily, andnarriage.)usthew
preteundlytheydeseisshewnbyVerena-tekkesstudyetin-
nigrantceueewerkersinurazil(1984). kecruitedastaniliesuen
Gernany, -witzerland, and ltaly, these werkers initially were
sharecreppers,eperatinginasystenetlaberrelatienswhich-de-
spiteitsexpleitativeteatures-usedtaniliesasunits,thusrein-
tercingnanyaspectsettraditienaltanilystructuresuchaspa-
temalautherityandasexualdivisienetlaber.1edaytheseceuee
werkersaretransternedinteaseniurbanpreletariatsellingtheir
laberenadailycentractbasisandbeingtruckedtewerksites.1he
denandtertenalelaberandthetragnentatienettheeldtanily
werk teans have changed the internal relatiens et the tanily,
changereniniscentetindustrializingLngland,whereunenpley-
nentalterednenstraditienalrele(Lngels1958; -nelser1959; An-
dersen1971).
Chattelslaveryinthewestlndieswasanextreneternetece-
nenicexpleitatien,wehaveseenthatwriterstrenAdan-nithte
thepresenthaveassunedthatitwasdestructiveettanilyrela-
tiens. uutalllabersystens,includingslavery,havetebeseenina
widercentextetsecialandculturalerganizatien.-tekkesceuee
werkersareauectedbynanythingsetherthantheirparticipatien
inthelabernarket. -eneetthechangesthatshereperts,suchas
intergeneratienalcennict,naybedueteurbanizatienandacleser
integratieninteauraziliancreelewayetlite.Lancashirecettenep-
eratives,terallthetraunaetnaleunenpleynentandthedenand
tertenaleandcnildlabor, didnetexperienceacenpletebreak-
dewnettanilyrelatiens. lntheCaribbean,despitethedisrupting
euectsetplantatienlaber,uinduandHuslininnigrantswerenet
preventeduenachievinganewequilibriunintanilyrelatiens
whichdiuersininpertantwaystrenthatetAtreanericans(-nith
andayawardena 1959; ayawardena1960; )ayawardena 1962; k.
-nith1957; k.-nith1963). -lavery,andthesecietiesinwhichit
wasenbedded,werenerethansystensetlaberrelatiens.
.,, Raymond T Smith
Class Relations
lnherartclenthscellectenenseanstressesanddressnakers
i 1urn,ltaly,VanessaHaherhasprevdeduswthapenetratng
nsghtntethecenplextesetestablshngandnantanngclass
dnerences,andntetherelatenbetweenwerk,class,andtenale
relesnasnall-theughcrucal-secteretltalanurbansecety.
1he culturaldstnctenthat she, and hernternants, nake be-
tweentheeutsdewerldetwerkandpublclteandthensde
denanetprvate,denestc, andessentallytennne actvtes
hasalwaysbeenateatureetwestlndanlteaswell-aswehave
seen.1heseculturaldstnctenshavenetalteredthetactetwen-
enslabereutsdethehene.1herearesenenterestngparallels
between1urnseanstressesandtheceleredweneneteghteenth-
andnneteenth-centurywestlndansecety.Lkethesartina etthe
1urnateler, celered heusekeepers, persenal nads, andsean-
stressesweregvenprvlegedentrytethedenestcdenanetthe
hgherclasses.1heyteewererenewnedtertherextravagancen
dress. Celeredwenenwerengreatdenandatballs,wherethey
partneredwhtenen, andtheyplayedaprennentpartnnas-
queradesandtestvals(wrghts,,,.a,,-,,, .uewever,terthecel-
eredwenan,besheslaveertree,thswasnetjustalnnalphase
betweenchildheedandasettledltenarredteananetherewn
class.Celeredwenen,andnen,nayhavebeenanenalesnacul-
turalsystenthatpestedpureraces,buttwasprecselybecauset
therknshpcennectensandcelerthattheywereableteestablsh
thenselvesasthenucleusetanewnddleclass. 1hecenplicatng
tacteretracenakesthecenparsenetltalyandthewestlndes
partcularlynterestng. ltshewsthat suppesedlyunversals-
tinctensetpublcandprvatedenans,lnkedtehypethetical
secetaltunctens,taltecapturethecenplexrealtesnvelved,
theyneandnerentthngsnthetwecases.As-tekke(s,ss,has
pentedeut,thesuberdnatenetwenennclassecetyslarely
dervatve tren an deelegy et natural uequahty that persists
wthntheternalegaltaransnetbeurgeessecety.lnsecetes
teundedenracstdeas,suchastheseettheCarbbean,eneweuld
expectceleredandblackwenentebedeublysuberdnate,enceen

thegreundsetraceandencebecauseetthertennnty. uutwe
haveseenhewceleredwenen,lkethesartina, penetratedtheclass
werldetthedennantgreups.whereastheltalanwenaneven-
Hierrchy and the Dual Marriage System in West Indian Society s,,
tuallyreturnedtehernatalclassandnarredanequal,thecelered
wenanwasthenatrxetanewsecalelenentcapable,enceece-
nencandpeltcalcendtenswererght,etenergenceasanew
class.1hesewenenbereandrasedtherchldrennthearchetyp-
calnatrtecaltanly, wtheutlegalattachnenttethetathers et
therchldrenandwtheutthesecalcenntnentthatsuchattach-
nentnpled.uutthesewerethetanlesdenttedbyugnanas
benganengtheelteettheplantatenslaveandtreeceleredlaber
terce.
Class and the Dual Marriage System
A deublestandardetsexualbehaver-treedenternentehave
eutsde anars while wenen are eblged te renan tathtul-s
teundnbethLurepeandtheCarbbean.ltstenptngteseeths
deuble standardaspartetnature,necessaryterthecentnued
eperaten et any secety snce nen are naturally prenscueus
whlewenennustbecentnedteastabledenestcenvrennent
tenakesecalrepreductenpessble.Netenlystheassunpten
talse,butthscaseshewsthenpertanceetthecentextnwhch
deublestandardsdevelep.
LurepeandtheCarbbeanareeachanected,ndnerentways,by
thedevelepnentetcaptalstecenenesandthesecalrelatens
createdbytheseecenenes.1heprerequsteteratullydeveleped
systenetextranartalcencubnagesaclasssystennwhchlewer
statuswenenareavalableasnstresses,acendtenthatcertanly
prevalednbethareas. lnLurepe,presttutenandcencubnage
exstedalengsdecenceptsettanlyhenerthatrequredsexualre-
strctensenwenen,theretere,presttutes,keptwenen,andthe
nethersetllegtnatechldrenweredsheneredandsecallynar-
gnal.DespteAdan-nthspreneuncenents(andtheseetlater
wrters,,thereweretewpresttutesanengwestlndanwenen
etherdurngslaveryeratter,altheughsenerealpresttutenec-
curred.uenerwascleselyrelatedterace,andterallthetulnna-
tensaganstthenetpeeplelikeLdwardLeng(s,,,,,peepleet
nxedrace-llegtnateernet-eneyedneresecalhenerthan
therblackkn.uythesaneteken,theyhadlesssecalhener(even
tet legtnatebrth,,thanthenestgnerant,llteratewhte.Cnce
thesednerngstructuralprncplesareundersteed,cenparsens
nereneanngtul.
-ecalscencehasneasuredallknshpaganstthestandardet
.,- Raymond T Smith
nedernLure-Anercanbeurgeesnucleartanlystructure.lthas
beenargued,wthnuchplausblty,thatthstanlytern-aleng
wthtsassecatedcenceptsetpublcandprvatedenans-
spreducedbycaptalsnandsreducedteperternngthespecal
tunctensetsecalrepreductenandprevdngahavennaheart-
lesswerld.1hetheeryettheselatednucleartanlysanaccurate
representatenetthestuatenetthebeurgeesendevelepedcap-
talstsecetes.
Altheugh the Carbbean andLatnAnerca have beennuu-
encedbydevelepnentsnNerthAnercaandLurepe,thenateral
basesnetthesaneandthedeelegyetthenucleartanlyhas
playedaverydnerentrelendependentandperpheralareas-a
relecleselylnkedtethenantenanceetadnerentsystenetsecal
relatensandsecalherarchy.
1hedualnarragesystenetthewestlndessnetapartcular
nantestatenetLurepeannernsanddevance,nerstthenev-
tableeutceneetecenencerganzaten,tebechangedselelyby
nprevedecenenccendtens.ltscureustenactydervestrents
bengenbeddednasecalternatenwthtsewnntegrtyandts
ewnhstercaldevelepnent.ltdenenstratesthevarabltyettan-
lystructureandgenderreles,whlealseshewngthenpertance
etdeelegyasacensttuentelenentnthatstructure.
Rank and Marriage:
Or, Why High-Ranking Brides Cost More
fane Fishburne Collier
lrfH WONM andnennallpartsetthewerldwhenakenar-
ragesandetherunensarethenselvescreatensetpartcularse-
cetes,thenanalysesetnarragenustbebasedenanalyseseten-
tresecalsystens(kesalde.,se,seealseCenaren,Haher,and
-nthnthsvelune, weneneverywherehavetathers,brethers,
husbands,andpessblynalelevers,butthetensensandeblga-
tenstheyexperencencleserelatenshpswthnenvarytrense-
cetytesecety,asdewenensgealsandneansterachevngthen.
1hus,thetennstanthrepelegststudyngcress-sexrelatenshps
nustexannehewsystensetsecalnequaltystructurethepew-
ers,labltes,anbtens,andtearsthatwenenandnenbrngte
therenceunters.
1e deths,weneednedelscapableetdstngushngbethde-
greesetsecalnequaltyandthequaltatvelydnerentwaysprv-
legesandeblgatensnaybeerganzed.lnleltcsandGenderm
-nple-ecetes(.,s.,,Hchellekesaldeandldevelepedsucha
nedelteranalyznggenderrelatensanengegaltaranhunter-
gatherers and hunter-hertculturalsts whe valdated narrages
threughbrdeservceandsster-exchange.1hspaperturthersthat
preectbyprepesnganedelteranalyzngrankedbutacephaleus
classlesssecetesnwhchnarragesarevaldatedthreughex-
*This paper was prepared for the conference on Feminism and Kinship Theory
held at Bellagio, Italy, mAugust 1982. The present version has benefited fom the
comments of Jane Atkinson, Nancy Donham, Shirley Lindenbaum, and Sylvia Ya
nagisako. The research for this paper was supported by a grant from the National
Science Foundation (BNS 76-11651) to study "Stratification and Legal Processes."
T
write of "acephalous," ranked societies because I do not want to include so
cieties commonly called chiefdoms. Some other acephalous, ranked societies that
appear to share the cluster of elements discussed in this paper are the Yurok of
.,s Jane Fishburne Collier

hangesetgittsthatvaryinaneuntaccerdingtetanlyrank. lwill
illustratethenedelwthexanplesdrawntrenthekiewaetthe
Greatllans.
1hekiewawereunqueanengbsen-huntingllanssecetesn
recegnzingsecalranks(ueebel .,,,..,e,.1heydistngushed
three sen-ternalzed nanedranks nte whch ene was bern
(kichardsen.,,e..,,,aswellasacategeryeteutcasts.1hekewa
alsesharedseveralteaturesetetherranked,acephaleussecietes,
suchastheGunsakachinetughlanduurna,analyzedbyL.k.
Leach(.,-,,.1hekewa,likethekachin,appeartehavecensd-
eredwte-takerstebeinterertethesetrenwhentheyteekwves.
A kiewa nan nght never retuse a request tren his wtes
brether,tather, erethersenernalekin,anditwasagreatdis-
graceteranantenakearequestettheseanines(kchardsen
.,,e.--,.1hereisalseevdencethatkewalegalnesvariedby
rank. A hgh-rankng persen appears te have denanded nere
whennjuredandtehavepaidnerewhentnedastheenender
(kchardsen.,,e...,.,, .And,aslwillsuggest,tseensreasen-
ableteassunethatnarragesbetweenhigh-rankingbrdesand
greenswerevalidatedwthnerelavishgttexchangesthanwere
narragesetlew-rankngceuples.
1hereisalseevdencethatthethreehereditarykiewaranks,
likeGunsakachnranks,werenetsharplydenarcated.there
wasagradualshadngeteneintetheetherandthereweregra-
d

tienswithineach(Hishkn.,,e.,,,.Anengthekewa,ind-
vidu

lrankapearstehavebeenasnegetiableasitwasanengthe
kachin.anekchardsen,terexanple, descrbesthekewaasa
braggadecianseciety(.,,e..,,, thussuggestingthatthey,lke
thekachn,hadtestatecentnuallytheranktheyclained.lna
werldwhereranksarenetsharplydenarcatedbyeutwardsgns,
peeplenusttelletherswhattheywantetherstebelieve.
1hesesecietalteatures-therankingetwte-gversabevewite-
takers, graded tines,variablebrdewealth, negetiable rank, and
California (Kroeber 1926) and perhaps other peoples of the Northwest American
Coast (Drucker 1965)

the Ifugao of the Philippines (Barton 1919); the peoples of
Western Malaya (Gullick 1958); and the Kpelle of Liberia, whom Gibbs describes as
having three "incipient classes" (of men): "wife-lenders, wife-keepers, and wife
borrowers" (1965: 215).
This model for
_
analyzi

g ranked acephalous societies is one section of a larger


project to develop Ideal typic models for analyzing three types of classless societies
(J. Collier n. d. ). The analysis presented here is thus a condensed version of a longer,
more complete account.
Rank and Marriage .,,
oraggng-areteund,etceurse,anengnanygreups,butitstheir
clusterngthatcencernsnehere.lt,aslbelieve,thsclusterettea-
:uresersnlarcenbinatenscanbeteundinseveralacephaleus
:ankedsecieties,then3systenicnedelettheknddevelepedhere
nayprevdeateelterunderstandingallsuchrankngprecesses.
lnternatenenthekewacenesprnarilytrendatacellectedn
:hesunneret.,,,bytheLthnelegylield-tudyGreupettheLab-
erateryetAnthrepelegyet-antale,underthedrectienetAlex-
anderLesser(Hshkn.,,e.v, .Likeetheranthrepelegistsstudy-
|ngllanssecetes atthetne, nenbersetthegreupwereless
nterestednanalyzinghewthekewaadaptedtereservatienlte
thannrecenstructngthesecalsystenastexistedbetere.s-,,
whenthekiewaweredeteatedandcennedtelert-ll.Despte
thepauctyetethnegraphcnternatenenkewaculture(theenly
najerwerksteceneeutettheLthnelegyleld-tudyGreupare
twepublsheddissertatiensrchardsen.,,e,Hshkin.,,eand
ene unpublshedthesis D. Cellier .,,s,, and desptetsbeing
basedennternantsrecellectens,therearetweadvantagesteex-
aninngthssecetywhendevsngandealtypicnedelethew
aranking systen based en variable brdewealth nght have
werked. lirst, the kewa are ene etthree llains secetes ter
whchtheressystenatcinternatenensecalcenuct(kchard-
sen.,,e,.-uchnternatensndspensableterunderstandngn-
equalty, because tsnstuatiens etcenuictthatinequalitys
revealed,negetiated,realized,erressted.-ecend,thellanspre-
vdeanaturallaberateryteranalyzingdinerencesanengacepha-
leusclassless secetes. 1hepeepleswhelvedtheredurngthe
eghteenthandnneteenthcenturescanetrendnerentcultural
and ecelegical backgreunds buttacedsinilarpreblens asthey
adaptedtrstteneuntedbsenhuntngandthentewartarewith
*The analysis of specific societies, such as the historic Kiowa, and the devel
opment of ideal typic models are inherently contradictory objectives. To the degree
that a society is analyzed in all its historic specifcity, the analysis loses its utility as
an ideal type, and to the degree that an ideal type is created, it ceases to give an
accurate portrayal of any specific society. In this article, my aim is to suggest an ideal
typic model. As a result, I present a necessarily deficient account of historic Kiowa
society.
tin describing Plains peoples as bison hunters, I am following most ethnogra
phers, but evidence suggests that their economies were far more complex. The
Kiowa, for example, enter written history in the 174o's as long-distance traders, in
volved in trading horses and Spanish manufactures fom New Mexico for agricul
tural produce (and guns?) with Arikara villagers on the Missouri River (Hyde
1959= 139)
200 Jane Fishburne Collier
whtes nevng westward (Clver 1962). kewa nen, and ther
ceunterpartsanengtheCenanchetetheseuthandtheCheyenne
tethenerth,allhuntedbsenandradedterherses,butnale(and
tenale,laberwasdvdeddnerentlyneachgreup.Anexanna-
tenetthesnlartesanddnerencesanengtheCenanche,the
Cheyenne,andthekewathusllustratesthewaysnwhchqual-
tatvelydnerentternsetsecalherarchyarerealzedntheac-

tensetwenenandnen.
1hspapersdvdedntethreesectens.anexannatenetthe
partnarragetransactensplayedntherseetthekewarankng
systen,ananalyssethewthewdersystenetnequaltyshaped
kewanartalandannaltensens,andnally, adscussenetthe
theeretcaltranewerkunderlyngnyanalyssandabretcenpar-
senetthekewawththeCenancheandtheCheyennethatn-
dcatestheadvantagesanddsadvantagesetandealtypcnedel
teranalyzngrankedacephaleussecetes.
The Marriage System
Allethnegraphersetkewasecetyagreethatwarrecerdwas
the snglenestnpertant deternnant etstatusnkewalte
(rchardsen1940: 14). ltanydebateareseevertherelatvepes-
tenettwendvdualsrathercleselynatched,twasusuallyset-
tledbyarectatenetthecentestantsbravedeeds, tellewed,t
necessary, byarectatenetthenunberetcaptvesandherses
taken, and the herses gven away (kchardsen 1940: 16). Any
analyssetthekewarankngsystennustthereterebegnwthan
attenpttedenttythetactersthatenabledsenenenteaccunu-
latenerewarheners,captves,andhersesthanethers
1henestebveustacterwasthedvsenetnalelaberbyrank.
Lew-rankngnenwere,terthenestpart,cenpelledtespecalze
n the presac actvtes, huntng, canp dutes, etc. (Hshkn
1940: 62). 1heyhadpeerwarrecerdsbecausetheyhadtewepper-
tuntestejenradngpartes(kchardsen1940: 15) . ugh-rankng
nen,ncentrast,hadnanyeppertuntesteacqureeutstandng
warrecerds.uecausetheyhadlew-rankngnentehuntandherd
terthen,theyandthersensceuldpursuenltarycareers(Hsh-
kn1940: 62).
1hennedatequesten,then,swhysenenenwerkedtereth-
ers,partcularlysncesuchanarrangenentcendennedthenand
Rank and Marriage 201
thersenstelewrank.whatsecalnechansnscenpelledlew-
rankngnentespecalzendutesthatkeptthentatrenthebat-
tleteldswhereheners,captves,andherseswerewen:uecause
kewahadnethercaptalstnerteudalrelatensetpreducten,the
answertethsquestennustbeteundnthewaynarragetrans-
actensservedteerganzelabereblgatensanengnen
anerchardsensacceuntetkewaannalrelatensyeldstwe
sgntcantnsghts nte thelaberrankngsysten. lrst, shede-
scrbesthetebetweenananandhswtesbretherasatxedand
unalterable ene-way relaten called the dewnhll relatenshp.
uusbandwasdewnhlltrenwuwtesbrethernthatunght
neverretusearequesttrenwu.Ananwasalsedewnhllaneng
ethers te

hs tather-n-law and hs parallel tathers-n-law


(1940: 66). secend,rchardsenwrtesthatthepeererclasscen-
sttutedadesrablelabergreup,andtherewascensderablecen-
pettenanengthednerenttopadok' i bandheadnenterthese

l-
|ewersCnenpertantternalnechansntenducepersensteJ Ol_l
enestanlywastegveenesdaughtererssterteseneenergetic
theughpeeryeungnan (1940: 6) . ueththesepassagessuggest
thatkewanenwerkedter(erwerenetsuppesed teretusere-
queststren,therwvesnaleknsnen.Ananalyssetewa

ank
nustthusbegnwthanexannatenethewnenacquredw:ves.
*The question underlying this paper-why did some Kiowa men work for ot
ers?-is borrowed directly fom Mishkin (1940). The answer I propose, howeve
_
r,
_
1b
very diferent from his. Mishkin's answer presumes "private property," the ab1hty
of owners of the means of production to deny
_
nonowners a

cess
_
to the reso
_
urces
needed to sustain life. Mishkin's argument, bnefly summanzed, Ib that the mtro
duction of horses into what was once an egalitarian hunter-gatherer society led to
the development of a distinction between "haves" and "have-nots," beee

en
who were first successful at capturing horses and those who were not .
.
This ongmal
distinction was perpetuated-according to Mishkin-because men

1thout horses
could not hunt bison or transport their belongings without borrowmg from rel

tives who in return for the loan of horses, required that borrowers "hunt for their
benefacto;s or turn over part of their kill as well as spend considerable time herding
horses for them" (1940: 45). Horse borrowers had to work for other men and so had
few opportunities for acquiring horses of their own. Hors
?
wners we
:
e
.
freed fr
_
om
the drudgery of hunting and herding, and so were
_
able to JOin many raidm
?
parhes,
acquire many horses and war honors, and set their sons on th

path of
_
m1htary ca
reers. Over time, this division of labor between men who did and did not have
horses led to the development of an hereditary elite-an aristocratic c

ste (1940
;
63).
The most direct evidence for refuting Mishkin's unstated assumption of pnvate
ownership of the means of produ

tion comes from the Kio

a's closest neighbors


on the Plains. The hunting-gathenng Comanche, who acqmred horse

before the
Kiowa, did not develop an hereditary elite. It is also obvious that the Kiowa lacked
the coercive state apparatus necessary for enforcing private property.
aea Jane Fishburne Collier
1he nest cenplete descrpten etkewanarrage custenss
prevdedbyDenaldCeller.
Marriage is of four kinds, two types by family arrangement and two by
elopement. In the frst, which will be called regularly arranged marriage,
the boy's family approaches the girl's family and if accepted initiates a gift
exchange between the two families. Both sides help to establish the mar
ried couple in housekeeping, and maintain friendly relations through con
tinued gift exchange. In the second type, the girl's family picks out a de
serving young man and gives her to him. There is no initial gift exchange
between the two families, although later there usually is. The boy lives
with his parents-in-law and works for them. This form of marriage is often
preferred for his daughter by a wealthy man who wants assistance in
herding his many horses and providing for his large family. In the third
form, a boy and girl elope and go to the tipi of his father or some other of
his relatives. The girl's family retaliates by raiding the property of the boy's
family, later making gifts in return for what they have taken. The fourth
form is the elopement of a married woman. The deserted husband retal
iates by shooting horses of the man who has stolen his wife, and occa
sionally by doing physical injury to the feeing couple. The first and third
forms of marriage are the most frequent (1938: 11-12) .
uecausethsacceuntsayslttleabeuttheerganzatenetlaberen-
lgatens,tnustbesupplenentedbyananalyssethewthenar-

ragesystennnuencedetheraspectsetkewalte,suchastheres-

denceetnewlyweds.
Newlywedstendedtesettlenthebandetthehgher-rankng
tanly(rchardsens,,e.sa,D. Cellers,,s.sa, . Hshkn, terex-
anple,wrtesthataceuplesbandnenbershpnghtbedeter-
nnedbytherelatvewealthandranketthetwetanles,wth
the peer beng attracted te the topotoga band et the rch
(s,,e.a,, .Altheughethnegrapherstendteretertewealthasa
neasurenentetthenunberethersesnatanlysherd,tscle
that,terthekewa,generestyngvngherseswasvastlynere
npertantthanthepessessenethersesndeternnngwealth
(rchardsens,,e.s,,. ltthusseensreasenabletenagnethat
*"Ownership" is never a relationship between a person and a thing. It is
a relationship between people in respect to things (or other people).
therefore, implies very diferent possibilities in diferent social systems. In this
per, I suggest that, for Kiowa, horses had "value" only to the extent that men
them away to validate kinship relations, and so to acquire the "sisters" and
ters" whose husbands could not refuse in-laws' requests. In Kiowa society, the
most able to muster large numbers of horses or other valuables for giving away
not necessarily those with the largest herds (see Mishkin 1940: 42), but rather
with many "wife-takers" to command.
Rank and Marriage ae,
exchangesatnarrageprevdedanaer,tnetthenaer,epper-
tuntyterassessngatanlyswealth,theaneuntetgttseachtan-
lyprevdedthuswasverylkelyannpertanttacterndeternn-
nganarredceuplesresdence.lurthernere,tseensreasenable
teassunethattdeally,everynalebreughthswtetelvenhs
topotoga andeverytenalebreughtherhusbandbackteherbandte
ncreasetsszeandpeltcalsuprenacy(Hshkns,,e.a,,,then
thekewaweuldexpecttanIestedenenstrateasnuchwealth
andrankastheypessblyceuldbygvngasnanynarragegtts
asnenbersceuldnuster.
Clearlyttheknsnenetayeuthseekngabrdehepedteattract
thenewlywedstetherband,thentheyweuldhavetetakenteac-
ceunt the nunber et gtts requred, atacter dependenten the
wealthandrankettheprespectvebrdestanly,thats,enthat
tanlysabltytereturngtts.1ekewacentenplatngnarrage,
theretere,brdesnusthaveappearedtevarynprceaccerdng
tethewealthetthertanles.Nenenberetthes,,,Lthnelegy
leld-tudyGreuprepertsthathgh-rankngbrdes cest nere
thanlew-rankngenes,butetherschelarsdscusskewanarrage
n the language et buyng and sellng and suggest that hgh-
rankngnendenandedneretertherdaughtersthanlew-ramng
enes(seeHayhall s,-a.e,Heeneyss,s.a,a,whartens,,,.s,-,
uatteyss,,.,as,.
lnhsstudyettheGunsakachn,Leachrepertsthatkachn
ternaltheerysthatbrdeprcesadustedtethestandngetthe
bride . . . . butneverydecunentedcasethescaleetthebrde-
prce, asneasuredbythenunberetcattle, cerrespends tethe
rankngstatusetthebrdegreen(s,,,.s,s,talcshs, .Altheugh
neethnegrapheretkewasecetyrepertsthatagreensrankwas
neasuredbythequaltyandquanttyetvaluableshstanlygave
hsn-laws,thereareatleastthreereasenstethnkthsnusthave
beenthecase.1hetrsthasalreadybeendscussed.lttherelatve
wealthandranketthetwetanlesnghtbedeternnatveet
aceuplespestnartalresdence,thenknewledgeetaceuplesres-
idenceandetthebrdesrankallewedpeepletentertheranketthe
green.
-ecend,theresreasentebelevethatahusbandslabereblga-
:enscerrelatedwthhsbandnenbershp.ltakewananwas
eblgedtecenplywtheveryrequesttrenhswtesbrethers,ta-
:her,ersenernaleknsnen, thentseasytenagnethatthe
204 Jane Fishburne Collier
nunberandkndetrequestsananrecevedvaredaccerdngtehs
resdence.Ananwhelvednabandtartrenhswtesknnust
haverecevedtewrequests,andtheseheddrecevewereprebably

terherseserethergeeds.lncentrast,nanwhelvednhswtes
bandprebablyhadtespendseneethstnehenernghsn-laws
requeststerhelpnhuntngerherdng.Asaresult,nenwhesekn
hadnetprevdedeneughgttsteattractthenewlywedstether
bandnusthavewerkedterthern-laws,asgnetlewrank.Hen
whelvedtartrentherwves kn, ncentrast, prebably gave
herses,asgnethghrank.
lnally,theresreasentebelevethatthekewaexpectedanan
tenarrythehghest-rankngwenanheceuldanerd,andseused
hscheceetabrdeasaquckndcaterethsrank.ltseensrea-
senabletenagne,terexanple,thattkewabrdesappearedte
varynprceaccerdngtethewealthetthertanles,theneut-
sdersweuldassunethatananwheteekabrdetrenapeertan-
lyddsebecausehsknwerenetable(ernetwllng,tenuster
thegttsneededteebtanabrdetrenawealtherene.1heaneunt
agreenstanlypadweuldthusbetreatedasanndcatenet

thegreenswealth(. e. , hspersenalaccesstevaluablestergvng _
away, .
1heprecessetgttexchangebetweentanlescharacterzedthe
twenestcennenternsetkewanarragedescrbedbyDenald
Celler-narragesntatedbytanlyarrangenenterbyelepe-

nent-butnettheternnwhchawealthynangavehsdaugh-
tererssterteayeuthnexchangetertheyeuthslaber. when
wrtngabeutgttsetwenen,Celleruseswerdsthatsuggest
thatany nanwthanarrageabledaughtererssternghtselecta
lew-rankngnaleasherhusbandnerderteganaccesstelaber.
wealthynenwthlargetanlesandherdsethersespractcedths

ternnereettenthanpeernen,Cellernples,snplybecause

theternerwerenerelkelytewanthelpnhuntngandherdng.

uut wealth n kewa secetydd netcensst n havng nany


herses. lt censsted n gvng nany herses away (rchardseul
1940: 14). Accesstelaberwasthusthebassetwealth,twasbyhav
*Although ethnographers write that wealthy men "gave" daughters and
to poor men who agreed to join their bands, it will soon become PT7PTP11
Kiowa men did not "give" away women as they gave away horses. However,
point in my argument, I will adopt ethnographers' usage in order to o>rn_uts;
between "giving" and "marrying," two diferent processes.
Rank and Marriage 205
ngethersherdandhuntterthenthatsenenenwereablete
spendtneradngterhersesandacqurngwarheners.ltanynan
ceuldgveawayadaughtererssterteganaccesstelaber,why
ddnt allnenarrangngnarrages seek eutpeer but energetc
greens:
1epesethsquestens,etceurse,tetndtsanswer.lnkewa
secety,gvngdaughterserssterstepeeryeuthswasettenpre-
terredbywealthynenbecausetheyalenehadthsepten.Apeer
nanwhetredtegvehsdaughtererssterteapeeryeuthweulc
net,bydetnten,begvugheraway,butratherweuldbetellew-
ngeneetthenerestandardternsetnarrage.lt,aslhavesug-
gested, nenwereexpectedtenarrywenenetequalerhgher
rank,wththerelatverankngettanlesestablshedthreughthe
aneuntandqualtyetgttsexchanged,thenapeernanwhegave
tewgttstetheknethsdaughtersersstersgreenweuldbesus-
pectedethavngtewvaluablestegve,andtheretereetbengequal
tethepeeryeuththewenannarred.Asaresult,enlynenet
prevenwealthceuldgvewenenawayandseacqureyeuthste
werkterthen.
Assheuldnewbeebveus,lansuggestngthatDenaldCellers
secendtypeetnarrageestablshedthebascsystenetnalelaber
apprepratennkewasecety. ltwastherelatenshpthaterga-
nzedtheunequaldvsenetlaberbetweennen. wealthynen,
treedtrenthedrudgeryetherdngandhuntngbytheyeuthste
whentheyhadgvenwenen,ceulddevetethertneterustlng
nereherses,acqurngwarheners,andsettngtherensprngen
thepathetnltarycareers(Hshkn1940: 62). -nlarly,thepeer
yeuths whe had accepted the daughters and ssters et these
wealthynenwereexpectedtehuntandherdtertherbenetacters.
-uchlew-rankngyeuthsceuldnetescapepevertynetenlybe-
causetheyhadteweppertuntesteradterherseserglery, but
alsebecausethepreductsettherlaberbelengedteethers.
Hyanalyss setarsuggeststhatpeeryeuthsweuldpreterte
narrythedaughtersand ssters etetherpeernenbecause, as
greenswhesetanleshadprevdedgttsnearlyequaltethesere-
*Put diferently, only "wealthy" men could "give" sisters and daughters in re
turn for labor because only they could put poor youths in the position of being prac
tically unable to retur nearly equal gifts. In social systems where "high-ranking
brides cost more," poor men who are allowed to live with women from high-ranking
families incur unrepayable debts-that is, they become "debt-bondsmen" for life.
ae- fane Fishburne Collier
ceivea, theyweulabe subectenlyteeccasienalrequests tren '
wites brethers. Yet sene yeuths aia, by accepting gitts et
wenentrenwealthynen,willinglyenterarelatienshipthatcen-
aenneathenteleng-ternservituae.why:1heanswerliespartly
inthepracticeetpelygynyanapartlyinthetactthatanansstatus
wasneasureabythequantityanaqualityetgittshistanilyex-
changeawiththetanilyethisbriae.
kicharasenwritesthatpelygynywasreserveaenlyternen
ethighstatus (.,,e.sa, whe narriea wenentrenbethhigh-
rankinganalew-rankingtanilies. Lachhigh-rankingnanhaate
acquireabriaeetequalrankineraerteprevehiswealthbyex-
changingnanygittswithanines. Anahigh-rankingnenacquirea
secenaarywivesuenlew-rankingnenwhehepeaterpatrenage.
uecausetheaewnhillrelatienshipebligateaanantehenerre-
quests uen hiswiteskin, a lew-rankingnanwhese sister er
aaughternarrieaananethighrankceulaexpecttehavehisre-
questshenereaaslengasthehigh-rankingnanacknewleageathe
unien. lnthelengrun,thesecenaarynarriagesethigh-ranking
nennusthavecreateaashertageetbriaesetequal, erslightly
higher,rankterpeernen, sincethereisneeviaencethatageet
narriageainereagreatlyterbeysanagirls(seeHayhall .,-a..aa, .
Atthesanetine,thetactthatpeepleneasureaanansstatus
bytherankethisbriaeputeachnanintethepesitienettryingte
narryashigh-rankingabriaeasheceulaanera.kiewatanilieset
all ranks thus tacea the preblen etallecatingscarce reseurces

anengnarriageablechilaren,eachetwhenhepeateraslavisha
gitt exchange with anines as pessible. Given the cenpetitien
withintanilies,senechilarenwereaestineatelese,anaitseens
reasenableteassunethataisebeaientsens,erphans,anacaptives
werenerelikelytebeaisewneabytheirnaturaleraaepteatan-
ilies than ebeaient natural sens. Ana because such aisewnea
yeuthshaaneneansetacquiringnarriagegittsbythenselves(the
kiewalackeaawage systenanalew-rankingnenwhe einea
*The marriages of low-ranking women to high-ranking men were probably true
marriages validated by gift exchanges. "As long as the woman's low-ranking family
demanded a reasonable amount of gifts from her husband, the arrangement was
mutually beneficial. The woman's family gained access to horses for giving away,
and her husband gained a wife and children to work for him. But because high
ranking men had little dificulty in finding substitute wives, a high-ranking man
whose wife's kin became too demanding could sever the relationship by returning
the woman to her father (D. Collier 1938: 90).
Rank and Marriage ae,
:aiaingpartieswereassigneacanptasks,,theseeutcastsbecane
:ae peer nenwhehaateacceptgitts etwenentrenhigh-
:ankingtanilieserrenainwiteless.
lelygynybyhigh-statusnennusthavecreateanetenlyashert-
ageetequal-statusbriaesterlew-rankingnenbutalseasystenet
canking within pelygyneus tanilies lt high-ranking nen haa
wivesetainerentranks,thensenechilarennusthavehaanere
pewertulanaprestigieusnethersthantheirhaltbrethersanahalt
sisters.1henestpewertulnethersceulaensurethatnanygitts
weregivenawayatweaaingsettheirchilaren,whethusappar-
entlyinheriteatheirnethershighrank1hechilarenetlewer-
:ankingwivesweulainheritarankingstatussenewherebetween
theirtathershighrankanatheirnetherslewene.Anait,aslsug-
gestea earlier, briaeprice appearea te vary acceraing te the
stanaingetthebriae,thentheaneuntetanethersbriaeprice
weula appear te be the naer aeterninant et her chilarens
stanaing.
linally,givenainerencesinpeweranengce-wives,itseensrea-
senableteinaginethatapelygyneusnanweulanetgiveawayhis
tullsistererhisaaughterbyahigh-rankingwitebutratherhis
aaughterbyalewer-rankingwite ertheaaughtereteneethis
nethersce-wives. lelygyny,theretere,nusthavecreateaasetet
lewer-rankingwenenthatwealthynenceulagivetepeernen
whelackeaaccesstethevaluablesneeaeatenarrypreperly.
lnsunnary,thekiewanarriagesystenappearstehaveenerea
nenthreeaistinctwaysteweaaprevieuslyunnarrieawenan.
1herst,bywhichetherswereevaluatea,wasnarriagebygittex-
*Although informants apparently told ethnographers that wealthy men sought
out "deserving" or "energetic" poor youths as recipients for sisters or daughters, it
seems more reasonable to imagine that the most "deserving" poor youths-that is,
those whose families were willing to help them acquire brides-married the avail
able daughters of poor men. Those youths whose families had disowned t
.
hem or
who lacked families, such as captives and orphans, would thus be most likely to
accept gifts of women. It is easy to understand, however, informants' description
of the selection process. First, it must have been necessary for wealthy men to seek
out deserving and energetic youths among the disowned, orphaned, and captive,
and second, the youths who were given women probably had to project these qual
ities in order to retain access to female services.
tNo ethnographer of Kiowa society writes about the status of children bor to
the women that high-ranking men "gave" to poor youths in exchange for labor.
However, if the Kiowa were like some other acephalous ranked societies in viewing
bridewealth as payment for a woman's fertility, then children born to a mother for
whom no bridewealth was paid would belong to her family. They would be low
ranking members of an extended polygynous family.
208 Jane Fishburne Collier
change,whetherInItIatedbyarrangementbetweentheIamIIIesor
byeIopementoIthecoupIe. InthIsIorm,menmarrIedwomenoI
eguaIorhIgherrankbecausebothIamIIIesvaIIdatedtheIrcIaImsto
rank through the amount and guaIIty oIgIIts exchanged. HIgh-
rankIng IamIIIes, by deIInItIon, exchanged more gIIts than Iow-
rankIngones. Inthe second IormoImarrIage, hIgh-rankIngmen
gavehaIIsIstersordaughtersby!ow-rankIngwIvestopooryoung
menInreturnIorIabor.nIymenwIththehIghestrankcou!dgIve
women,andonIymenwIthoutaccesstova!uab!esacceptedthem.
ThIskIndoImarrIage constItuted themajorIormoIIabor appro-
prIatIonInKIowasocIety. ThethIrdkIndoImarrIagewasnotone
dIscussedbyOona!dCoIIIer.themarrIageoIa!readymarrIedhIgh-
rankIngmentoIower-rankIngsecondarywIves. These marrIages
musta!sohaveInvoIved gIIt exchanges, butbecausethegrooms
status was aIready estabIIshed by hIs contInuIng marrIage to a
hIgh-rankIngwoman,suchexchangesmusthaveservedprImarIIy
toconIIrmthedependenceoIabrIdesIow-rankIngIamIIyonher
husbands gIIts and patronage. These secondarymarrIages pro-
vIdedhIgh-rankIngmenandtheIrsonsbyhIgh-rankIngwIveswIth
Iow-status daughters and ha!I sIsters to gIve to poor men In ex-
changeIor!abor.
ItshouIdnowbeevIdenthowtheKIowamarrIage systemgave
rIsetothethreeheredItaryranksandthecategoryoIoutcasts
scrIbedby ethnographer and to themaIe dIvIsIon oI Iabor.
anaIysIsabovesuggeststhatthehIghestrankandtheoutcastgroup
weremutuaI!ydetermInIng.IIrst-rankIamIIIes consIsted oI
gynous men and theIr chIIdren by hIgh-rankIng wIves,
weremendIsownedbytheIrIamIIIeswhoacceptedthehaIIsIsters
and daughters gIven awayby IIrst-rank IamIIIes. FIrst-rank
had outcaststohuntandherdIorthemandsowereabIeto
tImewarrIngandraIdIngIorhorsestheycouIdgIveaway,tot_
tohIgh-rankIngahInes.
ThetworanksbeIowthehIghestconsIstedoImenwho1mx1c
throughgIItexchanges. MenenjoyedtheupperrankIItheIr
IIIescouIdprovIdeenoughgIItstoenab!ethemtoIIveIarIrom
wIves kIn. MenoIIowerrank IIved near theIrwIves km and
weresubjecttotheIrIn-IawsreguestsIorIabor.Thethreeranks
pearedheredItarybecauseparentsaccesstohorsesIorgIIts
mInedtheresIdenceoInewIywedchI!dren.TheIowestcategory
Rank and Marriage 209
outcasts was notheredItarybecause IndIvIduaImIsbehavIorand
badIuckmusthave determInedwhIchyouthsIostthe supportoI
theIrkInandsohadtoacceptwomenasgIIts.
Afinal and Marital Relations
A!thoughtensIonand conIctexIstIn aI! IamI!y re!atIonshIps,
theIormandconseguences oIthesedIsputes dIher accordIngto
each socIetys system oIIneguaIIty. As IemInIsts argue, theper-
sonaIIspo!ItIca! .ThIssectIonwIIIexpIorethewaysInwhIchKIowa
IamI!yprobIemswereshapedbythe Inegua!ItIes InherentIntheIr
marrIagesystemandwII!suggestwhysomeKIowawomenIettheIr
maIekInsmengIvethemtopooryouths.
RIchardson,InwrItIngaboutguarreIsbetweenaKIowamanand
hIswIIesmaIekIn, begInsbyposItIngasocIa!!yspecIIIccauseIor
ahInaItensIons. ThIscategoryoIdIsputesItuatIonsarose!arge!y
tromoverIappIngjurIsdIctIonsoverawoman(1940: 65). InKIowa
socIety, awomanwasaIwaysundertheprotectIonoIherownIm-
medIate IamIIy, I. e. , brother, Iather, unc!e, evenas herhusband
enjoyeddIscIpIInaryprerogatIves IIsheIaIIedtoperIormIaIth-
|uIIyherdutIes andob!IgatIons towardhIm. A certaInamountoI
beatIngbyH[usbandjwas permIttedasIegItImatebyW[IIejskIn,
butIIWwerebeatentoohard, toomuch, orwIthoutgoodreason,
WskInsteppedInandtookherawayhomH. IIWwerewanton!y
kIIIedbyH,herkInsoughttoavengeherdeath. ThecoercIvethreat
of takIngWawayacted asareaIrestraIntto amIscreantH, IorIt
wouIdaIwayscosthImandhIskInconsIderabIepropertytogether
back,IIataII (RIchardson1940: 65).
utRIchardsonexpIaInstheserIousnessoIanyvIoIatIonoIthe
downhII! reIatIon by reIerence to a unIversa!Ist assumptIon
about IamIIy tIes. She suggests that amansreIusaIoIhIs wIIes
brothersreguestwasaserIousmatterbecauseoItheaddedemo-
|ionaI tIeswrenchedwhentroub!ebroke outbetweentwoahInaI
goups (1940: 66) . However, the anaIysIs presented above sug-
ests a dIherent InterpretatIon. AIthough peopIe In a!! socIetIes
maydeve!opemotIonaItIesIortheIrahInes,aKIowamanwhodId
not honorthe demands oIhIswIIeskInnotonIythreatenedper-
sonaItIesbuta!socaIIedIntoguestIonthewho!esystemoIuneguaI
ilghtsandobIIgatIonsbased onthedownhII!reIatIon. Mowon-
210 Jane Fishburne Collier
derRIchardsonreportsthat when troubIebroke out between aI-
IInes,poIItIcaIIeadersandpeopIeIngeneraIwerepartIcuIarIyon
theaIerttorestorepeace (1940: 66) .
ThemarrIagesystemoIKIowasocIetyestabIIshedwhatmaybe
seenasatrIanguIarreIatIonshIpbetweenawoman, herhusband,
and hermaIekInwherebycooperatIonbetweenany twopartIes
jeopardIzed the Interests oI the thIrd. ThIs escrIptIon does

ot
suggest that KIowa women and men activeIy coIIuded with
spouses, sIbIIngs, orahInestoharmoneanoher, aIhoughs

me
undoubtedIydId,rather,thewIdersystemoImeguahtyorgamzed
the meanIngand conseguencesoI peopIes actIonsInsuchaway
thatcooperatIonbetweentwomembersoIthetrIadprejudIcedthe
InterestsoIthethIrdwhetherthetwowIIIedItornot.
CooperatIonbetweenahusbandandwIIe, IorexampIe,preju-
dIcedtheInterests oI hermaIekIn. Ethnographers reportthata
KIowamanmIghtneverreIuseareguestIromhIswIIesmaIekIn,
whose authorIty was sanctIonedbytheIrabIIIty to take backhIs
wIIeIIhebaIked. AKIowaInIormanttoIdRIchardsonthataWF
[wIIesIatherjaIwaystakesW[IIejawaywhenH[usbandjreIusesa
reguest,evenIIItIstheIIrsttImehehasreIused.utsuchreIusaIs
are rare. In most caseswherethereIsreIusaI, H thInks he has a
stronghoIdonWandcangetawaywIthareIusaIwIthoutIosIng
her(1940: 72) . AsthIsInIormantrecognIzed,cooperatIonbetween
awomanandherhusbandundermInedtheabIIItyoIherkIntoen-
IorcetheIrdemands.
]ustascooperatIonbetweenawomanandherhusbandaIIowed
hIm to reIuse reguests Irom her kIn, so cooperatIon between a
womanandherkInputherhusbandatadIsadvantage.IIawoman
werewIIIIngtoreturntoherkIn,thenherhusbandwasputIn
posItIonoIhavIngtocompIywIthhIsIn-IawsreguestsorIoseher.
ShouIdsheIeave,ItmIghtcosthImandhIskInconsIderabIe .
ertytogetherback (RIchardson1940: 65). Ahusband,oI
couIddecIdetoIorgetanestrangedwIIeandIookIoranother,bu
aswewIIIsee,menvarIedIntheIrabIIItIestoattractwIves.
FInaIIy, cooperatIon between a womans husband and her
putheratadIsadvantage.IIawomanskInwereunwIIIIngto
herbackorIItheyreadIIyreturnedhertoherhusbandwhenhe
Iered vaIuabIes, she IostIeverage In her marrIage. She wouId
IessabIetoprotectherseIIIromanabusIvehusbandandIess
toobtaInbeneIItsIorherseIIandherchIIdren.
Rank and Marriage 211
TheanaIysIsIntheprevIoussectIonsuggeststhatKIowawomen
beneIItedhomkeepIngtheIrchIIdrennearthem. MotonIywouId
awomanenjoyhavIngherchIIdrenandgrandchIIdrennearheras
sheaged,butmarrIedsonswhoremaInedInherbandwouIdenjoy
reIatIveheedomhomdIstantIn-Iaws reguests.Itthus seemsrea-
sonabIetoassumethatmostKIowawomenhopedtheIrhusbands
wouId provIde enough gIIts to attract marrIed chIIdren, partIcu-
IarIysons,totheIrband. ItseemsreasonabIe,oIcourse,toImagIne
thatKIowa men aIso hoped to keep theIr marrIed chIIdren near
them,however,menhadcompetIngcIaIms onthepropertytobe
usedasgIIts.obIIgatIonstotheIrbrothers,anInterestIntakIngsec-
ondarywIves,theneedtodIvIdeIImItedresourcesamongmuItIpIe
wIvesandchIIdren. Itthus seemsIIkeIythatIIawomanskIndId
notIuIIybackher demands, she couId not ensure that herhus-
bands resources wouId be expended on her and her chIIdren,
ratherthanonhIsbrotheroronaco-wIIeschIIdren.
]ustasaKIowamanwhosewIIecooperated wIth herbrothers
couIddecIdetoIookIoranotherwIIe,soawomanwhosehusband
hadobtaInedthecooperatIonoIherbrotherscouIddecIdetoIook
Ior anotherman. EvIdenceIndIcatesthatKIowawomenwerenot
pawnsInmaIe-InItIated marrIage exchanges. MIshkIn, Ior exam-
pIe, wrItes that the most common Iorm oI marrIage amongthe
KIowawas eIopement (1940: 27), and RIchardson observes that
trespassuponahusbandsexcIusIvesexuaIrIghtstohIswIIewas
byIarthemostIreguentsourceoIgrIevance (1940: 8o) . ItIsthus
IearthatKIowagIrIsdIdnotwaItpatIentIyIortheIrmaIekIntoar-
angemarrIages,nordIdKIowawIvesIaIthIuIIysIthomemIndIng
|heIrhusbandshearths.WomentookactIveroIesInchoosIngtheIr
exuaIandmarItaIpartners.uteven so, themeanIngandconse-
uencesoItheIrsexuaIahaIrswerestructuredbythewIdersystem
tsocIaIIneguaIIty.
A KIowa InIormant toId MIshkIn that women seem to Iove
hIgh-rankIngmenjmore (1940: 53), and RIchardson reports that
nowomanwouIdconsortwIthamanoIIowrankunIesshewere
mostattractIve(1940: 121) . ItwouId, oIcourse,reguIreacuIturaI
naIysIs to understand what KIowa meant by Iove or what
omenconsIderedattractIve,butItIseasytograspwhyKIowa
nterpretedawomanschoIceoIsexuaIpartnerasastatementabout
i srank.InKIowasocIety, thewomanwhotookaIovernecessarIIy
hosehImoveranothermaneItherherpresenthusbandorthe
212 Jane Fishburne Collier
suItorpreIerredbyherk. AsaresuIt, peopIeInterpretIngapar-
tIcuIarahaIroreIopementhadtoexpIaInnotwhyawomanchose
acertaInman,butwhyshechosehImInsteadoIapartIcuIarother.
TheywouIdnaturaIIytendto assume thatshe preIerredtheman
whocouIdoherhermoreunIessshewereIooIIshIyattractedby
ahandsomeIace.
InaIIsocIetIes,menIIghtothermenwhoseducetheIrwIves(just
aswomenIIghtotherwomenwhoseducetheIrhusbands),butthe
prevaIIIng socIaIhIerarchydetermInes the Iorm oI such conIr

n-
tatIons. Among the KIowa, womens eIopements and aduItenes
oItenIedtopropertydestructIonsandgIIt-gIvIng. SIncewomens
sexuaIahaIrsweresoeasIIyInterpretedasstatements aboutmens
rank, suchahaIrs tendedtoprovokeconIrontatIonsInwhIchc

on-
I!IctIngpartIesexhIbItedtheIrabIIItytogIvethIngsaway(seech-
ardson 1940: 121). nIyIItheconIctIngIamI!Ieswereunamb

gu-
ous!yatopposIteendsoIthesocIaIscaIewerestatusconIrontattons
avoIded(RIchardson1940: 119).
LptothIspoInt,Ihav

eIocusedontheeectsoIthIssytemo

thetrIadoI husband, wiIe, andhermaIekIn,butpeopIes ambt-


tIonsandpossIbIIItIesaIsovarIedbyrank. Intheory, everyKIowa
manbothreceIvedreguestsIromhIswIIesbrothersandpIacedde-
mands on hIs sIsters husbands who, gIventhe downhII! reIa
tIon, couId notbethesamepeopIe.ThemanwhomIghtneverre
Iuse areguest IromhIswIIesbrothers couId, bythesame toke

make unreIusabIe reguests oI hIs sIsters husbands. In act,


makes sense to ImagIne that a mans abIIIty to compIy wtth hts
wIIesbrothersreguestsrestedonhIsabIIItytoobtaIncompIIance
IromhIssIstershusbands. And,IIthIsweretrue, thenItbecomes
cIear that womens possIbIIItIes varIed accordIng to the rankIng
(I. e. ,theneeds)oItheIrbrothers.
RIchardsonreportsthat thebrother-sIsterbondwasactuaIIy
warmest,strongest,yetmostrespectIuI,InthecuIture.Itwas
1womancanaIwaysgetanotherhusband,butshehasonIy
brother (1940: 65) . ItIseasytounderstandwhybrothersLL1lIC
soIargeInwomensIIves. Awomanwhoseparentswere oI
rank, and whoseIuI!brothers exchangedmanyhIgh-guaIIty
wIthherhusbandandhIskIn, couIdexpectto enjoy ,,.,
powerInherhusbandshousehoId.ShecouIdexpet,Ior


thatIIherhusbandIaIIedtoprovIdeherandherchIIdrenwith
advantages she IeIt due a woman oI her background, then
Rank and Marriage 213
brotherswouId supporthercompIaInt. ShouIdshewIshtoIeave
herhusband, her brothers wouId weIcome her. And shouId her
husbandtrytogetherback,herweaIthybrotherswhoweresup-
portedbytheIaboroIyouthstowhomtheyhadgIvenhaIIsIsters
and daughterscouId ahordto demand consIderabIe gIIts Irom
hImandhIskInbeIore decIdIng whetherornotshewouIdreturn.
A woman whose brotherswere oIIowerrank, and so dId not
have otherstohuntandherdIorthem, couIdnotenjoy suchse-
curItyIIsheIeItherhusband.IIherbrothershadIIttIeIreetImeIor
horseraIdIng,andsoreIIedonherhusbandtosuppIythegIItsthey
needed Ior theIr wIves kIn, she couId expect that her brothers
mIghtsendherbackInreturnIorherhusbandsgIItsorcoopera-
tion.SuchawomancouIdrunohwIthanotherman,buttheamount
oIInuenceshewouIdhaveoverhImwouIdaIwaysbeahectedby
herbrothers needIorthegoodsandservIceshecouIdprovIde.
AtthIs poIntIcan suggestananswertoaguestIonthatKIowa
ethnographersraIsebutdonotanswer. WhydIdsomewomenIet
theIr hIgh-rankIng maIe kIn gIve them to poor youths In ex-
changeIorheIpInhuntIngandherdIng!therevIdenceconIIrms
thatwomenwerenotsImpIypawnsInmaIemarrIageexchanges,
both unmarrIed and marrIed women eIoped wIth Iovers and
avoIdedahaIrswIthIow-rankIng men unIess they were most at-
tractIve(RIchardson1940: 121). SInceItIsunreaIIstIctoassumethat
aIIpooryouthswho acceptedgIItsoIwomenwereIrresIstIbIyat-
|ractIve,whywouIdthewomenagreetoIIvewIththem!The an-
swertothIsguestIonprovIdesthekeyIorunderstandInghowIn-
equaIItywasorganIzedInKIowasocIety.
IntheprevIoussectIon,Isuggestedthatco-wIvesandtheIrchII-
dren were ranked wIthIn poIygynous IamIIIes and that hIgh-
rankIngmengaveawaynottheIrdaughtersbyhIgh-rankIngwIves
ortheIr IuII sIsters buIrather the daughters oItheIrIow-rankIng
wIvesandoItheIrmothersco-wIves.InthIssectIon,IwIIIexamIne
|he reIatIonshIps among these daughters oIIow-rankIngwomen,
|heIrhaIIbrothers,andtheIrIuIIbrothersInordertosuggestwhy
somewomenIettheIrmaIekIngIvethemtopooryouths.
MyanaIysIsoIKIowamarrIagesuggeststhat,un!Ikeadaughter
oIparentswhodIheredIIttIeInrank,adaughteroIahIgh-rankIng
man and a Iow-rankIng secondary wIIe couId not count on her
0rotherseItherhaIIorIuIIto supportherIn guarreIswIth her
husband.Mostbrothers,IorexampIe, probabIyhadto sheIterun-
z1q Jane Fishburne Collier
happIIymarrIedsIstersInordertoavoIdappearIngInneedoIthe
gIIts the abandoned husbands wouId oher. HIgh-rankIng men,
however,whoengagedInIavIshgIItexchangeswIththeIrIuI!sIs-
ters In-Iaws, wereInaposItIontoreIuseIow-rankInghaIIsIsters
reguestsIoraIdwIthouthavIngothersguestIontheIrweaIth,heIp
couIdthereIorebecontIngentonthesIsterscooperatIon.
Atthe sametIme, the sonsoIa!ow-rankIngmotherandhIgh-
rankIngIatherwereprobab!yeasIIycooptedIntosIdIngwIththeIr
hIgher-rankInghaIIbrothers agaInsttheInterestsoItheIrIuIIsIs-
ters. EvIdencesuggests, IorexampIe,thathIgh-rankIngmenreg-
uIarIyprovIdedthe horses andvaIuab!estheIrIower-rankInghaII
brothersneededtogIvetheIrIn-IawsInorderto!IvevIrIIoca!!y.
*
In
contrasttomostmenoIIowrank, thereIore, sonsoIhIgh-rankIng
IathersandIow-rankIngmothers dIdnotneed toobtaIntheIrsIs-
ters cooperatIon In order to ensure access to horses, such men
had more to gaIn Irom cooperatIng wIth theIrhIgh-rankIngha!I
brothers.
ItthusseemsreasonabIetoassumethattheKIowasystemoIIn-
eguaIItycreatedagroup oIwomenwhoseha!IbrotherscouIdre-
IusetoheIpthemwIthouthavIngtheIrhIghrankguestIonedand
whoseIuIIbrotherscouIdreIusetohe!pthemwIthoutIosIngaccess
toweaIth.Suchwomenwerepresented(whethertheyreaIIzedItor
not) wItha choIce between two Iess thanIdea! optIons. earnIng
theIrbrotherssupportbycomp!yIngwIththeIrbrotherswIshesor
IacIngtheworIdwIthoutsupportIvemaIekInsmen. These, Isug-
gest, were thewomenhIgh-rankIngmen gave to pooryouths.
ecause such women had toearn theIr brothers support, these
hIgh-rankIngmencouIdteIIthemwhentostaywIthandwhento
IeavetheIrIow-rankIngconsorts.AsaresuIt,thepooryouthswho
acceptedsuchwomenwereaIsopresentedwIthachoIcebetween
twoIessthanIdeaIoptIons.workIngIortheIrpatronsorIosIngtheIr
access to wIIe!y servIces. In summary, the KIowa system oI In-
egua!Ity u!tImate!y rested on two Interre!ated processes. (1) the
contInued reproductIonoIagroup oIwomenIorwhomthe best
avaIIab!e optIon was IuII cooperatIon wIthbrothers, and (z) the
contInuedreproductIonoIagroupoImenwhohadtoacceptsuch
womenorremaInwIIe!ess.
In constructIng an IdeaI typIc modeI oI how a rankIng system
*Richardson, for example, describes the basic Kiowa social unit as a grou

of
brothers and their half, classificatory, and pact brothers (1940: 5), thus suggestmg
that high-ranking men used their "wealth" to help their "brothers" live virilocally.
Rank and Marriage z1
based on varIabIe brIdewea!th mIght have worked, I have pre-
sentedastatIcpIcture oIKIowasocIety. EvIdence suggests, how-
ever,thattheKIowarankIngsystemwasbreakIngdowndurIngthe
nIneteenth century. An adeguate hIstorIcaI ana!ysIs oIthIs trans-
IormatIonwouIdreguIre more space and more archIvaI and eth-
nographIcresearch,butmyconcIusIonthattheKIowarankIngsys-
tem rested onthe reproductIonoItwosubordInated groups does
suggestonereasonwhythesystemmIghthavebeenIntroub!eIn
thenIneteenthcentury.
The KIowa enter wrItten hIstory as !ong-dIstance traders (see
Hyde1.1),butoncewarIarerepIacedpeaceIuItradIngonthe
!IaIns, theKIowawereIorcedbyCheyennepressuretoaIIywIth
ega!ItarIanComanchebands(see]abIow1o) . utcastKIowamen
mustthenhave been presentedwIth an aIternatIve means oIob-
taInIngwIIeIyservIces.InsteadoIhavIngtoaccept gIItsoIwomen
IromhIgh-rankIngKIowaIamIIIes,theycou!dbecomeComanche,
and somarryunderaverydIherentsystemoIahInaIob!IgatIons,
descrIbedbeIow.ThereIsnodIrectevIdencethatKIowawereIosIng
peopIetoComanche,butmyspecuIatIonIs supportedbyreports
thattheComanchenumberedatIeast1o,ooodespItetheIrIowre-
productIve rate, common to hunter-gatherers (see WaIIace and
Hoebe! 1z.1qz)and thattheKIowanumberedonIy 1,6ooand
were constant!yseekIngtorep!enIsh the!owerranksbyadoptIng
captIves(MIshkIn1qo.qzq,MayhaII 16z.chap. ).
Conclusion
The modeI oI ranked acephaIous socIetIes presented here Is
based on RIchard Emersons (16z) conceptIon oI power-de-
pendencereIatIons,whIchheusedIn ana!yzIngIoIIowers strat-
egIesIormInImIzIngpowerdIherentIa!s,butwhIchIseguaIIyuse-
Iu! In anaIyzIng systems oIsocIaIIneguaIIty. II, asEmersonsug-
gests,theamountoIpoweravaIIabIetoIeadersIsaIunctIonoItheIr
IoIIowersneeds, thentheamountoIpowergeneraI!yavaIIab!eIn
asocIaIsystemshouIdbere!atedtotheehIcIencyoIthosemecha-
nIsmsthatrecruItpeopIe toposItIonsoIdependency. ThIspaper,
thereIore,hasIocusedonprocessesInKIowasocIetythatsystem-
atIcaIIycreatedagroup oIwomenwhoneededbrothers support
and a group oI men who had to accept such women or remaIn
wIIeIess.
AtthebegInnIngoIthIsartIcIe,Isuggestedthata!thoughKIowa
z16 Jane Fishburne Collier
socIetyIs Iess thanpertecttorIIIustratInganIdeaItypIcmodeI,Its
studyoherstwoadvantages. avaIIabIedataonsocIaI conIct, and
the presence otsupertIcIaIIysImIIar, buttundamentaIIydIherent,
neIghborIng groups. ThIs tInaI sectIon wIII brIetIy compare the
KIowawIththeIrnearestneIghborsonthe!IaInsInorderto sug-
gestthattheComanche, theCheyenne, andtheKIowahadguaII-
tatIveIydIherenttormsotsocIaIhIerarchybasedondIherentmeans
otestabIIshIngdependencyreIatIons. LackotspaceandscarceIn-
tormatIon onthe nIneteenth-century Comanche, Cheyenne, and
KIowapreventmetromdeveIopIngthIsargumentIntuII,butIwIII
buIIdmyanaIysIsonHoebeIsreportthatthethreegroupsvaIued
dIherentbehavIors(1q.11)andondatasuggestIngdIherences
InbandorganIzatIon,IeadershIppatterns,andtheoptIonsopento
abandonedhusbands.
InaIIthreesocIetIes,menInInsecuremarrIageshaddIhIcuItyre-
tusIngregueststromthosewhocouIdheIpthemkeeptheIrwIves,
but theIr marrIageswere dIherent!y vaIIdated. In the egaIItarIan
Comanche socIety, menmarrIed wIth brIdeservIce (see CoIIIer
and RosaIdo 181,]. CoIIIer 18q, ]. CoIIIern. d.), and soenjoyed
stabIemarrIages oncetheIrwIvesborechIIdren. InCheyenne so-
cIety, menneededheIptromsenIorkIntoacguIreandkeepwIves
but,IIkethemendescrIbedby!.!.ReyInhIsanaIysIs ottheIIn-
eagemodeotproductIon(1y),theyacguIredpowerastheIrchII-
drenreachedmarrIageabIeage.AIICheyenneyouthsowedrespect
andobedIenceto eIderswho supportedthem, andaIIeIders, ex-
ceptatewuntortunateones, hadyoungpeopIetocommand(see
I
]. CoIIIer18q,]. CoIIIern. d. ). TheKIowa,asanaIyzedhere,hada
marrIagesystemthatputsomemenIntoaposItIonotIIteIongde-
pendency,thusaIIowIngothermentoenjoyIIteIongtreedomtrom
drudgery. TheKIowaappearedtohaveanheredItaryeIItebecause
chIIdren ot hIgh-rankIng coupIes never had to pertorm menIaI
Iabor.
Thethreeways otva!IdatIngmarrIagecorreIatedwIthdIherent
socIaI vaIues. The egaIItarIan Comanche admIred the man who
tookwhathecouIdgetandheIdwhathehadwIthoutmuchre-
gardtor the abstractrIghtsotothers (WaIIace and HoebeI 1z.
1q6).TheCheyenneadmIredthemanwhogenerousIysupported
thoseneedIerthanhImseIt (HoebeI 1y8.q). AndtheKIowaad-
mIredthearIstocratwhowasbraveandcourteous,abovenotIcIng
sIIghtInsuIts(RIchardson1qo.1zo).
Rank and Marriage z1y
ThethreewaysotvaIIdatIngmarrIagesestabIIsheddIherentkIn-
shIp dyads as the Iocus ot IneguaIIty. Among the Comanche,
daughtershusbands pertormedservIcestortheIrwIves par-
ents,amongtheCheyenne,chIIdrenobeyedtheparentswho
supportedthem,andamongtheKIowa,sIstershusbandswere
ob!Igedtohonora!IregueststromtheIrwIvesbrothers.ThesIg-
nItIcanceotthese dyadsIsreectedInethnographersaccountsot
group organIzatIon. HoebeI (1qo) portraysComanche bands as
IooseIyorganIzedgroupsotahInes. In contrast, Cheyenne IIvIng
unItsaredescrIbedasextendeduxorIIocaIhousehoIdsconsIstIng
otamanandhIswIte,theIrmarrIeddaughtersandhusbands,theIr
unmarrIedsons, theIrdaughterschIIdren,andanyadoptedorde-
pendentreIatIves (Eggan1.61). FInaIIy,RIchardsonwrItesthat
KIowabandswerecomposedotbrothersandsIsters(1qo.).
EthnographersaIsorecorddIherentpatternsotIeadershIpInthe
three!IaInssocIetIes.The ComanchehadIntormaI peacechIets
whocouIdgIveadvIcebutnotorders(HoebeI 1qo.1)aswouId
beexpectedInasocIetywheresecureIymarrIedmenneedednoth-
Ingtromothers.TheCheyenne,mcontrast,rItuaIIyInItIatedpeace
chIetsIntoohIce,IargeIyonthebasIsotthecandIdatesgenerosIty.
In specItIcbehavIor, thIs [meantj that a trIbaI chIet [gavej con-
stantIytothepoor (HoebeI 1y8.q). CheyenneIeaders,IIkethe
MeIanesIanIgMendescrIbedbySah!Ins(16),coIIectedwomen,
chIIdren, and straysIntheIrhousehoIdsandthenusedtheprod-
uctsottheIrmanydependentstosupportothersgenerousIyandto
sponsortrIbaIrItuaIs. FInaIIy, theKIowaIackedthedIstInctIonbe-
tweenIower-rankIngwar chIets and hIgher-rankIng peace chIets
toundamongtheComancheandtheCheyenne,theIrIeaderswere
aIwaysmendrawntromtheheredItaryeIIte.TheKIowawereaIso
the onIy !IaIns group reported to have recognIzed named ranks
(HoebeI 1q.1yo), aIthoughrankIngoccurredamongnearbyag-
rIcuItura!Ists,suchastheIoway(SkInner1z6) .Insummary,these
three dIherent IeadershIppatterns suggestthatwhat men couId
hope torand so whatwomen couId want tor themseIves and
theIrsonsvarIedhomgrouptogroup.
FInaIIy, the best IIIustratIon ot the ehect otpoIItIcaI power-
dependencyreIatIonsonconjugaItIescomestromethnographers
accountsotthedIherentwaysabandonedhusbandsInthethreeso-
cIetIesretrIevedwIveswhooccasIonaIIytookretugewIththeIrna-
taIkIn. HoebeIdoesnotaddressthIsmatterInhIsmonographon
z18 Jane Fishburne Collier
ComancheIaw(1qo )astrIkIngomIssIongIventhathedoessoIn
hIs work onthe Cheyenne (LIeweIIyn andHoebeI 1q1.181)and
that RIchardson descrIbes the process tor the KIowa (1qo.6).
HoebeIs omIssIon suggests thattheComanche Iacked cuIturaIIy
recognIzedwaystorawomanskIntotakeherawaytromherhus-
band (and sotorherhusbandto retrIeve her) . ThIs InterenceIs
supportedbyHoebeIsreportthatthekInota Comanchewoman
dIdnotseekvengeanceItherhusbandkIIIedher(1qo.y) . Hoe beI,
Intact, portrays Comanche tathers andbrothersastragIcaIIyun-
abIe to protecta woman trom her husbandsbrutaIIty (1qo.y).
IncontrasttopowerIessComancheparents,Cheyenneparents,
partIcuIarIymothers, couIdprotecttugItIve orerrantdaughters.
1
WhateverCheyenneparentsmayhaveteIttordaughters, house-
hoId heads couId maxImIze property by coIIectIng workIng
womenIntheIrproductIonunIts(Moore 1yq.8y) .LIeweIIynand
HoebeI report that a Cheyenne wIte dIspIeased wIth her hus-
bandsconduct wenthometomother(1q1.181) .Itherhusband
wantedherback, he hadto sIgnaIhIs desIreby sendIngahorse
to her brothers. The womans brothers then put herthrougha
cross-examInatIon to determIne her grounds tor dIvorce. It they
were weIghty, the dIsunIonwas aIIowed (LIeweIIynandHoebeI
1q1. 181).
AmongtheKIowa, asaIreadynoted, ItwouId aIwayscost[an
abandonedhusbandjandhIskInconsIderabIepropertytoget[hIs
wItejback,ItataII(RIchardson1qo.6). AKIowamansabIIItyto
keephIswIte,theretore,dependedonhIsabIIItytopay, Incontrast ,
to a Cheyenne husband, who had to detend hImseIt agaInst hIs

wItesaccusatIonsandprobabIybegpardontorhIstauIts.
EthnographersthusreveaIthatabandonedhusbandstacedvery
dIherentsItuatIonsInthethreesocIetIes. AComanchemanmIght
kIIIormaImadIsIoyaIwItewIthouttearotvengeancetromherkIn.
AnabandonedCheyennehusbandwasexpectedtodetendhImseIt
*In brideservice societies like Comanche, men ear their own wives rather than
receiving them in exchange for bridewealth provided by their senior kin. Women's
kin, therefore, have no "right" to reclaim married daughters. Hoebel, in fact, writes
that a woman's only escape from an unwanted husband was to abscond with an-
other man (1940: 73).

1Llewellyn and Hoe bel report that a Cheyenne husband had the right to put his
wife "on the prairie" to be gang raped by members of his soldier society (1941: 202),
but the cases they cite indicate that senior women actively intervened to prevent '
this from happening.
Rank and Marriage z1
andbegpardon.AndaKIowahusbandwasexpectedtoohergoods
orservIcestohIswIteskIn. InaIIthreesocIetIes, somehusbands
andwIvestaIIedtogetaIong,butboththeIrprobIemsandtheavaII-
abIesoIutIonswereshapedbythewIderpoIItIcaIsystemsInwhIch
theyIIved.
ThesedIherencesInmarItaIprobIemsandsoIutIonsIIIustratethe
poIntImadeatthebegInnIngotthIsartIcIe.thewomenandmen
whomakemarrIagesandotherunIonsarethemseIvescreatIonsot
partIcuIar socIetIes. AnthropoIogIsts cannotregardhuman socIaI
organIzatIonasunIversa!IyabaIance, stabIeornot,betweenthe
poIItIcaI order . . . and the tamIIIaI or domestIc order (Fortes
1y8.q) .ThereIsnotamIIIaIorderaparttromapoIItIcaIone. ReIa-
tIons between husbands and wIves, parents and chIIdren, are
shapedbythesocIaIsystemInwhIchtheyIIve. SexuaIIntercourse
andchIIdcaremaybeunIversaIactIvItIes,butpeopIepertormthem
wIthdIherentIntentIons, expectatIons, emotIons, andoutcomes.
ItanthropoIogIstsstudyIngkInshIpcannoIongerassumeaunI-
versaI tamIIIaI order based on transcuIturaI bIoIogIcaI reguIre-
ments, thenweneedanaIytIcaItooIstorunderstandIngthe socIaI
systems that structure peopIes IntentIons and expectatIons. We
need systemIc modeIs capabIe ot dIstInguIshIng among guaIIta-
tIveIydIherenttormsothIerarchy.InthIspaper,Ihaveproposeda
modeI tor anaIyzIng ranked acephaIous socIetIes, such as the
KIowaandtheGumsaKachIn.8egInnIngwIthovertcuIturaIvaI-
ues(warrecordwasthesIngIemostImportantdetermInantotsta-
tus In KIowa IIte [RIchardson 1qo.1qj), I examIned the socIaI
mechanIsms that putsome menInto the posItIonotworkIngtor
othersandsomewomenIntotheposItIonotagreeIngtoIIvewIth
thosemen.AndIbrIeycomparedtheKIowatotheIrneIghborson
the !IaIns to IIIustrate the utIIIty ot systemIc modeIs tor under-
standIngdIherencesInthewayspeopIeexperIencemarrIage and
othercross-sex reIatIonshIps. Comanche, Cheyenne, and KIowa
peopIehadvery dIherenthopesandtears when InteractIng wIth
kIn.
SystemIcmodeIsotthe type proposed here are desIgnedtoIn-
torm our anaIyses othIstorIcaIIy specItIc socIaIprocesses. Asan-
thropoIogIsts tryIng to understand the reIatIonshIp between
conceptsotgenderandkInshIp,we mustsItuatebothwIthInhIs-
torIcaIIypartIcuIarsocIaIandcuIturaIsystems (TsIngandYanagI-
sako18.16) .8utbecauseouranaIysesothIstorIcaIIyspecItIcso-
220 Jane Fishburne Collier
cIaIprocesseswIIIInevItabIybeInIormedbyconceptuaItooIs, we
need to choose our tooIs wIth care. In the past, anthropoIogIsts
studyIngkInshIphaveusedaconceptuaIdIstInctIonbetweendo-
mestIc and poIItIco-juraI spheres. I suggest we repIace thIs con-
ceptuaI dIstInctIonand Its varIants, suchas nature/cuIture and
reproductIon/productIonwIthasetoIsystemIcmodeIsIorana-
IyzIngsocIaIIneguaIIty.
The Mystification of Female Labors
Shirley Lindenbaum
FotiowIcsIsxIo ssemInaIessay(1y8),ItIsnowaImostcom-
monpIaceto saythatreIatIons oIkInshIpare, IncertaInsocIetIes,
reIatIons oIproductIon. IIkInshIpIsunderstoodasasystemthat
organIzestheIIenswehoIdonthe emotIonsandIaborsoIothers,
thenItmustbestudIedInreIatIontogenderIdeoIogIesthatenmesh
menandwomenIndIversereIatIonsoIproductIveandreproduc-
tIvework. ThevarIabIeconstructIonsoImaIeandIemaIethat
emergeIn dIherenttImesandpIaces arecentraItoanunderstand-
IngoIthecharacteroIkInshIp,astheIoIIowIngstudyoIgenderIn
!apuaMewGuIneawIIIshow.
IdeoIogIesoImascuIInItyandIemInInItyInthehIghIand,coastaI,
andIsIandcommunItIes oI !apuaMewGuIneasharemanycom-
mon themes, expressed In the rItuaI manIpuIatIon oI body sub-
stancesandmnotIonsaboutthegeneratIveprocessesnecessaryIor
|hecreatIonoIacuIturaIorder. YettheIdeoIogIesarenotunIIorm,
andacIoseIookatthevarIedattentIongIventobodypartsandsub-
stances,andatdIherentnotIonsoIprocreatIonandgrowth,reveaIs
somethIng oI the process whereby communItIes oI men and
womencommItsocIaIIabortothetransIormatIonoInature.
ne setoIIdeascIoseIyassocIated wIth characterIstIcIormsoI
productIveandreproductIvereIatIonsconcernstheImportanceoI
semen,abodysubstancewIthapartIcuIarrItuaIgeographynMew
*This is a revised version of a paper delivered in November 1980 at the City Uni
versity of New York Graduate Anthropology Symposium on Gender Relations and
Social Reproduction. I am grateful to Jane Schneider and the other participants
|n the symposium for helpful comments, and to Rayna Rapp, Joyce Riegelhaupt,
and Pam Smith for their close reading of this analysis. The organizers and partici
pants at the Feminism and Kinship conference also provided many instructive
suggestions.
zzz Shirley Lindenbaum
GuInea. A contrast between semen-Iocused socIetIes In whIch
maIehomosexuaIbehavIoroccursdurIngInItIatIonrItesandhet-
erosexuaI socIetIesInthecentraIandwesternhIghIandsthatIack
semenexchangeIndIcatestheInterconnectIonsbetweensexuaIbe-
havIor, gender IormatIon, and productIvereIatIons In these cuI-
tures.InspecIIIccases,juraIcIaImsandstructuresoIcommItment
recordedInIdIomsoIkInshIp,marrIage, andresIdenceareshown
tobecIoseIyIInked.
ecausetheseInterconnectIonsarebestIIIumInatedwhenstruc-
turesoIproductIonorpowerareundergoIngchange,theIoIIowIng
anaIysIs oI homosexuaI and heterosexuaI regIons In Mew
GuIneawIIIdevotespecIaIattentIontoIsIandandcoastaIcommu-
nItIeswhosesocIaIIormsareundergoIngtransItIon.
I shouIdIndIcate thatI donotIntend toImpIy here, orInIater
partsoIthIsessay, thataIIsocIetIesIoIIowaunIversaIpatternoIevo-
IutIonIromonesetoIsexuaI,gender,orproductIvereIatIonstoan-
other. Mybroad comparIson oI groups Is pIaced In a suggestIve
hameworkthatI hopepoIntsInsteadto the systematIcIntercon-
nectednessoItheseVarIousaspectsoIcuItures.TheanaIysIsstrug-
gIeswIth what KeesIng hasrecentIy caIIed atesons probIem,
theprobIemoIhowpartIaImodesoIunderstandIngcanbeIItted
togetherInacoherentprocessoIexpIanatIon (18z.1y).
ThesIgnIIIcanceoImaIeandIemaIeInMewGuIneagoesbe- '
yondthereaImoIpersonaIInteractIon.!apuaMewGuIneansIIve
Inagender-InIIectedunIverseInwhIchthepoIarItIesoImaIe and
IemaIeartIcuIatecosmIcIorcesthoughttobeIocatedInthehuman
body,IndIgenoustheorIesoIhumanreproductIoncontaInwIthIn
themanImpIIcItrecIpeIorsocIaIreproductIon.WeshouIdthusbe
awarethattheorganIzatIonoIsexuaI practIcesandthe IormatIon
oI genderIdentItIes In the smaII homosexuaI socIetIes oI Mew
GuIneaareIntegraItotheIrsystemsoIproductIveandreproductIve
work. Lse oIthe term homosexuaI to descrIberItuaIIzedsame-
sexreIatIonshIpsInthesegroups,thereIore,dIhersIromourusuaI
senseoItheword,InwhIchsexuaIItyIsoItentakentobemuchthe
sameataIItImesandInaIIcuIturesandtobeacategoryoIexIstence
entIreIy separate Irom reaIms suchas the economy orthe state
(!adgug1y) .
AsurveyoIsemen-IocusedsocIetIes(LIndenbaum18o,Herdt

18q, WhItehead thIsvoIume) shows that rItuaIIzed homosexuaI ,


The Mystification of Female Labors zz
behavIor among menIs Iound among acompIexoIgroupsaIong
the !apuan Coast. theMarIndAnIm (Van aaI 166), the KImam
(SerpentI 16), the KerakI (WIIIIams 1qo), and the FIy RIver
peopIessuchastheKIwaIandtheMowat(eardmore18o,Landt-
man 1zy) . AsecondIargeandseemIngIyconnectedgroupexIsts
on the Great !apuan !Iateau. the Etoro (KeIIy 1yy), the KaIuII
(SchIeheIIn1y,SchIeheIIn18z),thenabasuIu(Ernst1y8),the
edamInI (Sorum 18o), and the GebusI (KnauIt 18). !ossIbIy
connectedaIsoaretheeasternhIghIandshIngegroupsoItheSam-
bIa (Herdt 181,Herdt18z,Herdt18q)andthearuya(GodeIIer
1y6,GodeIIer18z).EvIdenceoIrItuaIattentIontohomosexuaIre-
IatIonshIps In the SepIkregIon comes Iromthe IatmuI (ateson
16) and theWogeo (HogbIn 1yo), andtherearereports oIho-
mosexuaIj okIngamongtheSamoIntheMomadRIverarea(Herdt
18q,KnauIt18) .
InIsIandcommunItIescIosetotheMewGuIneamaInIand,rItuaI-
Ized homosexuaIbehavIor has been reported Irom FIjI, the Mew
HebrIdes (Layard 1qz, Layard 1, Oeacon 1q, AIIen 16y,
GuIart1z,GuIart1),MewCaIedonIa(FoIey18y),MewrItaIn
(among the IngIet and Ouke oIYork IsIands), and Santa Cruz at
Eastay(Oavenport16) .SeveraIauthorsseesIgnsoIanarchaIc
rItuaIcompIex(KeesIng18z,Herdt18q,VanaaI 166,WIIIIams
1qo), whIchIromthIsvantagepoIntwouIdprobabIyIncIude the
northernAustraIIanArunta (Spencerand GIIIen 1zy) . The maIe
cuIts oI these !re-!apuan or AustraIoId-speakIng groups are
thought to have traveIed InIand aIongthe greatrIver systems oI
MewGuInea,theFIyandtheSepIk,suggestIngthatthesouthcoast
centeroIcuItInItIatIonandahypothesIzedSepIkcenterwereper-
hapsconnectedIntheancIentpast(KeesIng18z.1) .
ItshouIdbenotedthatthIsgeographIcsketchoIsame-sexreIa-
tIonshIpsconcerns maIe behavIor and thought. InstItutIonaIIzed
IesbIanIsmIsapparentIyguIterare. OeaconreportsIesbIanre-
IatIonshIpsonMaIekuIa,IorInstance, andGodeIIermentIonsthat
aruyawomen stroke oneanother, aIthough weknowIIttIeoI
whatactuaIIy goes on (1y6.1). In aIaterpubIIcatIon, GodeIIer
addsthattowardthe end oIthearuyaIemaIeInItIatIon, theInI-
tIateroIIsIntherIvermudwIthhersponsorInwhatappearstobe
anImItatIonoIcopuIatIon(18z.8z) .InathIrdInstance,OuToIt de-
scrIbesaIormoIhomosexuaIpIayamongtheAkanaoItheeasfern
hIghIands, In whIch twogIrIscaressandpeteach othersbreasts
224 Shirley Lindenbaum
andgenItaIsasthey!IeInaposItIonoIIntercourse (1y.220). The
topIcoIInstItutIonaIIzedIemaIe-Iema!e sexua!reIatIonshasbeen
avoIdedIntheIIterature,however,andwearenotyetInaposItIon
to saywhethertheytoomayprovetobe theIocusoIrItuaIatten-
tIon,IdeoIogIcaIeIaboratIon, orsocIaIIntegratIon.
ThemaIehomosexuaIItydIscussedhereconcernsrItua!IyIntro-
duced, socIaIIy sanctIoned behavIors that are kept secret Irom
womenandnonInItIates.IeIIatIoandoraIsex(whIchoccursamong
the SambIa, the Etoro, and the edamInI), sodomy oranaIInter-
course (amongtheKaIuII, theKIwaI, andtheKerakI), andtheap-
pIIcatIon oI semencoIIected durIng masturbatIon (among the
nabasuIu)oraIterthe seguentIaI Intercourse oI manymenwIth
onewoman (among the KImam)Into IncIsIons onthe InItIates
bodIes. SInce dIherent groups have generaIIydIsparagIngvIews
about the sexuaI practIces oI theIr neIghbors, varIatIons In these
practIcesInvo!ve thecreatIon oIethnIcIdentItywIthIn aregIonaI
compIex. AsKeI!y comments about the peopIes oI the Great!a-
puan!Iateau.InasmuchasthemembersoIeachtrIbebecomemen
In dIherent ways, theyarepredomInant!ydIherentkInds oImen,
cuItura!IydIstInctbeIngsatthemostIundamenta!IeveI(1yy.16).
WhatthesebehavIorshaveIncommon,however,Isthattheyare
acknowIedgedIneachsocIetyasthesoIephysIcaIandpsychIcpath
tomanhood. ThecuIturaIgIItoIsemenIs saIdtobetheonIyway
oIdermencan ensure thegrowth, deveIopment, andmascuIInIty
oImembersoItheIrownsex,thoseIorwhomtheyareresponsIbIe.
ThereIsmuchtaIkoIgrowth,physIcaIattractIveness,andtheIor-
matIon oI the Inte!Iect, but no word that transIates as homo-
sexuaI.
TheIIterature on socIetIes wIth rItua!IzedhomosexuaIIty gIves
mostattentIontocuIturaInotIons InsIstIngthatmaIereproductIve
capacItycomesnotwIththeendowmentoImaIegenItaIIa,butIsIn-
ducedthroughtherItuaIImpIantIngoIsemenInyoungmen.Isug-
gestthatInthecasesconsIderedhere,theremaybeaIsoaphysIcaI
dImensIontothematter.ReportsIromtheSImbarIAnga, cuIturaI
neIghborsoItheSambIaandaruya, IorexampIe, IndIcateanun-
usuaIIyhIghIncIdenceoImaIepseudohermaphrodItIsm.Inapop-
uIatIonoI1,8oo, ambIguItyoIexterna!genItaIIawasIoundamong
y,wIthreportsoI2 othercases (Gajdusek1yy) . TheIndIvIdua!s
*Gajdusek found an additional case of male pseudohermaphroditism among the
Baruya-speaking Anga, upstream from Simbari, with no known marriage contacts
The Mystification of Female Labors 225
were raIsed to aduIthood as maIes, andsevera! had marrIed and
werebeIIevedtohaveIatheredchIIdren. Inone case, vIIIagers at-
trIbutedohsprIngtoothermaIesInthecommunIty,andInanother,
the IndIvIdua! ascrIbed hIs IertIIIty to artIhcIaI InsemInatIon by
hand. ThIs sItuatIon contrasts markedIywIth thecustoms oIthe
popuIous Mae Enga (o,ooo) oI the western hIghIands, whose
women abandon demon chIIdren Inthebush (MeggItt 16),
doIngawaywIthwhattheyconsIdertobeanomaIousbIrths. Ln-
IIketheSImabarIAnga,theEngadonothaveanapproprIategen-
dercategory, anacceptabIesocIaIpIace, oracreatIonmythexpIaIn-
Ingthe presence oIsuchIndIvIduaIs on earth. The occurrence oI
personswIthambIguousgenItaIIamaybe cause IormoreserIous
specuIatIonaboutthetempIate oIsexuaIIdentItyIn smaI!, rather
than !arge popuIatIons. CertaInIy, the cuItura! unIverse oI these
smaII groups accommodates notIons oI sexuaIIty Iess bounded
thanthoseoIthedenseIypopu!atedhIghIyIntensIveagrIcuItura!
systemsoIthewestemhIgh!ands.
As IndIcated above, theorIes oI procreatIon In MeIanesIa are
neversImpIe statementsabouthuman reproductIon, butcontaIn
wIthIn them recIpes IorthereproductIon oItheknownunIverse.
The socIetIesdIscussedherethus drawuponanIdeoIogyoImaIe
parthenogenesIsandapatternoImaIebehavIorwecaIIhomosex-
ua!toehectproductIon, reproductIon, andsocIaIcontInuIty. Se-
menIsseentobethekeysubstanceentaIIedIntheregeneratIonoI
socIety. InthecentraIandwesternhIgh!ands,however,whereho-
mosexuaI rItuaIs are absent, a heterosexua! ethos recognIzes
womens reproductIve Iabors, and Ideas oImaIeproductIvItybe-
cIoud Instead womensIncreased contrIbutIon to the creatIon oI
weaIth,asubstanceoIaIternatecuIturaIattentIon.InbothregIons
weIIndanInterdependenceamongsuche!ementsasprocreatIon
theory, genderIdeoIogy, andthesca!eandIntensItyoIwea!thpro-
ductIon. In addItIon, weIIndadIherentIa!Iocusonthe re!atIons
amongsIb!IngsandahInes.
Relations of Production in "Homosexual" Communities
Inthehomosexua!ocIetIesdIscussedhere,menandwomen
contrIbuteratherevenIytosubsIstenceproductIonandtothegen-
between the two groups. Two cases were found also among the nearby Fore groups,
although both of these men had rudimentary penises, had married, and had fa
thered children.
zz6 Shirley Lindenbaum
eratIonoIcertaIntradeItems,aIthoughmaIeIaborandmaIetradIng
actIvItIes are accorded somewhat greater socIaI vaIue. Conse-
guentIy, theKImamdonotthInkthatpoIygynyIncreasesamans
agrIcuIturaIproductIonsInceItIssaIdthatwomenpIayonIyamI-
norpartInagrIcuIture(SerpentI16.6z) .MaIeIaborIsaIsoasIg-
nIIIcanteIementIntheconstructIonoIthesophIstIcatedmudgar-
densoIbothKImamandMarIndAnm,wherepoIygynyIsaIsosaId
tobe rare. Moreover, the maIe endeavors oIhuntIngand IIshIng
provIdeaIargepartoIthedIetInthesecommunItIes. Landtman,
too, speaksoIaKIwaIdIvIsIonoIgardenIngIaborwherebymendo
the heavyIencIng, and both men andwomenworktogetherIn
pIantIng everythIng exceptyams, whIch are consIdered to be a
maIecrop(1zy.68).InaddItIon,aIthoughwomenmakemats,bas-
kets,mensbeIts,andwomensgrassskIrtssomeoIwhIchenter
IntonetworksoIregIonaItradeandaIthoughwomenpaddIethe
canoes whIIe mensteer, menproducethecanoesthat are anIm-
portant trade Item wIth the Torres StraIts IsIanders (Landtman
1zy. z1) .
nthe!apuan!Iateau,menandwomenagaInworktogetherIn
subsIstenceactIvItIes. TheIamIIyorhearthgroupIssaIdtobethe
sIngIe mostImportantand endurIngunItoIproductIonand con-
sumptIonamongthenabasuIu(Ernst1y8.18),asIsthenucIear
IamIIyunItamongthe8edamInI(Sorum18q.1). 8edamInIaduIt
womenaIsoshowanIndependentattItudetowardtheIrhusbands,
perhaps because menandwomenprIvateIyownthe productsoI
theIr separate pIots In the communaI gardens (Sorum 18q.zy) .
ThetenoroImaIe-IemaIereIatIonsInthesecommunItIesIsneIther
constraInednorhedgedwIththeanxIetycharacterIstIcoIhIghIand
groupseast, center, orwest. Etoro mendonotIearIemaIe poI-
IutIon,andmenandwomenmIngIeandInteractIreeIyastheyper-
Iorm gardenwork, sagoproductIon, and go abouttheIrdaIIyac-
tIvItIesInthecommunaIportIonoItheIonghouse(KeIIy1y6.qz).
Insum,thedIvIsIonoIIaborandownershIpIntheproductIonof
mostIoodandgoodsIorsubsIstence,tradeandexchange,though
weIghted sIIghtIy In Iavor oI maIes, provIdes rewards Ior both
sexes. The productIon and exchange oI semen, however, creates
statusdIherencesbetweenoIderandyoungermenandespecIaIIy
betweenmenandwomen.ReIatIonsamongahInaIgroupsIsone
oI watchIuI eguaIIty, based on the mutuaI domInance oI wIIe-
gIvers.
The Mystification of Female Labors zzy
1he5tructuresoNarriageandomosexuaity
8eyondsImIIarItIesIntheIrgeography, demography,productIve
reIatIons and Iorms oI sexuaIIdentIty, homosexuaI socIetIesIn
!apuaMewGuIneahaveIIke structuresoImarrIage andhomosex-
uaIreIatIons,whIcharemutuaIIysupportIve. ThepatternoImar-
rIageInaImostaII groups Is sIster exchange, wIthno paymentoI
brIdeprIce. AIthough hard to sustaIn In smaII groups, sIster
exchangeIssaIdtobethe IdeaI IormoImarrIageamongtheEtoro
(KeIIy1yy.11),theKaIuII(5chIeheIIn1y.6o),theKIwaI(Landt-
man 1zy.zqq), theKerakI (WIIIIams 16. 1z8), theKImam(Ser-
pentI16.1z8), andonMaIekuIa(Layard 1qz.1oq) . therIorms
oImarrIageaIsoexIstInsomegroups,IorexampIe,theSambIaac-
ceptdeIayedexchangemarrIagewIthInIantbetrothaI, aIormsaId
tobemorecharacterIstIcoIIntra-hamIet marrIages(Herdt181.q),
andthe8aruyaaIIowexchangebetweentwoIIneagesoIasIsterIor
adaughter(GodeIIer1y6.1). InaIIcases,amarkedehectoIstruc-
turaIduaIItyexIstsbetween ahInaIgroups (seeHage 181),apat-
ternthatIsreInIorcedbyhomosexuaItIesamongmen.For,asKeIIy
notes Ior the Etoro, the IdeaI InsemInator Is aboys sIsters hus-
band. AmarrIedsIsterandherbrotherthussharethesamesexuaI
partner(KeIIy1yy.1818) .
SocIaIreIatIonsInhomosexuaIsocIetIesarecharacterIzedbya
kIn oIdo

bIeahInIty, bytheretumoIawomanIromanaIready
deImed ahmaI group, men are doubIe brothers-In-Iaw, and the
womenaredoubIesIsters-In-Iaw.Moreover,IromthepoIntoIvIew
oIthecuIturesInwhIchthecustomexIsts,thegIItoIawomanIsac-
companIedbyagIItoIsemen,reInIorcIngtheIInesoIdoubIeahIn-
Ity. Inanideal gIItcycIe, AgIvessemento8,and8gIveshIssIster,
C,toA. 8gIvessementoO, aIeIIowkInsmanoIAandanahIneoI
8,therebyretumIngtheorIgInaIsemengIIttotheIIneageoIorIgIn.
OgIveshIssIster, E(sheIsaIsoasIsteroIA), to8,compIetIngthe
cycIe,whIchIsarepIIcatIonoIdIrectexchange. (SeeFIgure1. )
RecIprocItyIsarecurrentmotIIIntheIIteratureonhomosexuaI
socIetIes(seeSchIeheIIn1y.1). ThebaIancedrecIprocItIesoIsIs-
ter

exchange, howe

er, are dIhIcuIttosustaIn, and much organI-


zationaI and psychic energy Is expended on keepIng the score
even. GIventhatthesehomosexuaIsocIetIesaresmaIIandsub-
jecttoIntermIttentepIdemIcsandIoodshortages,probIemsInob-
zz8 Shirley Lindenbaum

, ,
hA
.. - 6)
Figre 1.
AnIdeal
Gif Cycle.
,
o'
taInIngwIvesaresuchthatsomemenresorttobrIdecapture,saId
tobeahIgh!yprestIgIous,IIrare,phaIIIcmeansoIacguIrIngawIIe
amongthe SambIa (Herdt 181.qq). !romIsed gIrIs may aIso run
away. Runawaywomenwere receIvedwIth openarms among
theKImam,reportsSerpentI,IoreachIoca!groupIsaIwaysInten
ongettIngasmanywomenaspossIbIe . . . attheexpenseoIother
!ocaIgroups(16.1z8z).TheKImamandtheKerakIsometImes
aIsobuysIstersIromothergroupsInordertoexchangethemIor
wIves(WIIIIams1qo.1q1).
SIncedIrectexchange,aIthoughhIgh!ydesIred,IsnotoItenpos
sIbIe, deIayed recIprocItyIsanother so!utIon. Whende!ay enters
Into the system, the structures oIpowerbywhIchahInaIgroups
mutua!IydeIInethemseIvesbecomes apparent. TheKImamhave
devIsedonemeansoIkeepIngthe score even. whentheIIrstmar
rIageoIanexpectedexchangetakespIace, the grooms group de
IIversapaymentoIgoodstothebrIdesgroup,whIchIsexpectedto
returnItInIuI!whenthesecondpartoItheexchangecontractbe
comes ehectIve. In such cases, SerpentI notes, thIspaymenthas
no connectIon wIth the ceremonIaI gIIt or counter gIIt oI Mew
GuIneahIghIandmarrIages,butIsregardedpure!yasasecurIty
(16.1z) . Theboys group secures aIuture brIde andavoIds
aIsotheIndIgnItyoIIndebtednesstoahInes.
TheIogIstIcsoIexchangemarrIageareconveyedInIInedetaI!In
McOowe!Is account oI marrIage transactIons among the un, a
*Moreover, this resolution of the problem of broken marriage arrangements i
new for the Kimam.
The Mystification of Female Labors zz
non-homosexuaI socIetyoIz18 membersIn theAngoramSub-
OIstrIct, East SepIk. TheIrstrIctadherence to the sIster-exchange
ruIeIsensuredbyrabbInIcaIdeIInItIonsoIwhoIstobeconsIdered
a sIster In each marrIage transactIon andwhIchbrothers have a
cIaImuponher.II,IorthepurposeoIonemarrIage,awomanIssaId
tobethesIsteroIacertaInman,herre!atIonshIpstootherIndIvId-
ua!saretherebydIsIodged. OebateabouttheadmIssIbIIItyoImar-
rIagesIsendemIc. SIsterexchangeIsInIactoneoIthemosttaIked-
aboutmatters In the communIty, and decIpherIngIts compIexIty
consumes more dIscussIontIme than any othertopIc (McOoweII
1yz. z1q).
TheIogIstIcsoIsIsterexchange, then,areexceedIngIyprobIem-
atIc. AIthough the obIIgatIons estabIIshed by the exchange oI
womenarewe!I consIderedIntheIIteratureonhomosexuaI so-
cIetIes,IIttIehasbeenwrIttenaboutthejuraIandahectIveconno-
tatIonsoIsemenexchange.neoItheIewexpIIcItreIerencestothe
matter occurs In Spencerand GI!Iens account oIthe prospectIve
Arunta husband. It Ireguent!y happens that the women whose
daughterIs . . . aI!ottedtohImmayhaveasonand nodaughter
born,andInthIscase,wIthoutwaItIngonthechanceoIagIrIbeIng
born,themanmayagreetotaketheboy. . . . ThIsestabIIshesare-
IatIonshIpbetweentheboyandthe man, asaresuItoIwhIchthe
Iormerhas, untI! he (Is cIrcumcIsed) to gIvehIs haIr to the man,
who on hIs part has, In a certaIn way, to Iook aIter the boy
(1zy.z.qyo) . The prospectIve brIdegroomIooks aIter the boyby
havIngphysIca!reIatIonswIthhImasthoughhewereawIIeandby
anoIntInghImwIthsemen,asLayardnotes(1.1o6).Here,Inthe
Arunta 8-SectIon marrIage systembased on sIster exchange, ho-
mosexuaIandheterosexua!rIghtscompIeteIyoverIap.ThIsaIsooc-
cursamongtheEtoro,whereamanreIInguIshesaccesstohIssIster
butacguIresaccess toabrother-In-!awwhenthesIsterIsgIvenor
promIsedInmarrIage(KeI!y1yzz, 1z1z).
*The pattern of semen exchange would seem to create ideological contradic
tions, since sisters must also contain some pateral semen substance. Serious ritual
attention must be given to separating brothers and sisters so that the brother retains
male essence at the time of his initiation or of his sister's marriage. Beardmore ( 1890)
describes one such ceremony for the Mowat peoples (Kiwai). When the brother
leaves his father's house to reside with the community of men where he is sodom
ized, his sister has a "V" -shaped incision cut above her breasts, a scar she is said to
carry for life. This could be seen as a castration of the sister, allowing her brother to
become a diferentiated male being, the sole possessor of their paternal penis
substance.
zo Shirley Lindenbaum
TheIusIonoIbrotherandsIsterandtheIrtreatmentasoneper-
sonIsathemethatechoesthroughouttheIIteratureonhomosex-
uaIgroups,athemestrongenoughto!eadLayardtospeakoIthe
re!atIonshIpbetweenbrothers-In-IawasnearIncest.EachIu!IIIIs
IortheothertheIncestuousdesIretomarryonesownsIster,anob-
servancethearuyamIghtweI!support.GodeIIernotesthatwhen
aaruyagIrIIIrstmenstruates,herIIancrItua!!ydecIares,Youare
no Ionger your Iathers, but mIne. Look upon me as your eIder
brother(1y6.1).Moreover,aruyamensometImesconIessthat
theywouIdrathermarryasIster,whomtheyknowweII,thanagIrI
Irom a dIherent!Ineage who seems to them a compIete stranger
(GodeIIer1y6.zoo). Indeed, whenaruyamenhavenosIstersto
exchange,theymarryasIsterIromwIthIntheIrownIIneage,anar-
rangementtheyaIsodescrIbeasmarryIng IIke dogs.
SemenrIghtsmIghtaIsobeexamInedIromthevIewpoIntoIthe
potentIaIbrIde.SerpentImentIons,Iorexamp!e,thataKImamgIr!
submItstorepeatedcommunaIIntercoursetoprovIdeapooIoIse-
men that Is rubbed Into her Iuture husbands rItuaIIy IncIsed
wounds. II her IIanc subseguent!y runs away wIth another
woman, shechastIsesthehusband-steaIerbysayIngthatshehas
worked hard to make her own husband ta!I and handsome,
whereasherdeIInguentrIvaIsbetrothedremaInssmaIIandpuny.
ItshouIdbenoted,too,thatthesexuaIIaboroIgrowIngaIuture
husbandIsonIypartoIthewomanshardwork. WhenherIIanc
entersthesecIusIonoIthebache!orshuttobegInanextendedpe-
rIodoIhomosexuaIeducatIonandactIvIty, shemovestohIsparen-
taIhouse, andIromthIsmomenton, herIutureIather-In-Iawhas
authorItyoverherandIuIIcIaImonher domestIc!abor(SerpentI
18q.oy) .InanearIIerpubIIcatIon,SerpentImentIonsaIsothatKI-
mambrIde-gIvershaveaIIenontheIaboroIthehusband. WIIes
brotherandIathercanonpractIcaIIyeveryoccasIonc!aImherhus-
bandsheIp,whIchthe!attermayneverreIusetogIve(16.1y).
SInceKImammarrymothersbrothersdaughtersoracross-cousIn

so desIgnated, the recIproca!cIaImson sexuaI and manuaI Iabor


tIedtobothmarrIageandhomosexuaIre!atIonsareseentobesIg-
nIIIcantandcomp!ex.

l
SeveraIobserversteI!usthatthebondbetweenthehomosexuaI
*This points to a changing ethos in Baruya society. For example, Godelier (1982)
notes that the Baruya now no longer observe rituals of homosexuality. ,
The Mystification of Female Labors z1
pair IS one oI deep commItment. Oeacon reports that the Ig
MambachIeIbecomesangryIIhIsboy!over, wIthouthIsconsent,
hasIntercoursewIthanyotherman,IIoneoIthetwoshouIddIe,
thesurvIvormournshImdeepIy(1q.z16). There!atIonshIpbe-
tweentheMaIe kuIachIeIandhIsboyIover(s)IsamIxoIjuraIrIghts
andahect, IortheboyIs saIdtoaccompanyhIshusbandevery-
whereandtoworkInhIsgardens. (ChIeIs thusacguIremanyIov-
ers.)The ahectIve bondbetween wIIes brother and sIsters hus-
band amongthe Etoro Is aIso saId to be exceptIonaI!y strong
(Ke!Iy1yy.18).
ItmIghtbesaIdthatsemenIsthegIItorcovenantthatkeepsthe
sIster-exchange systemIntactInsmaI!communItIes. MotIonscon-
cernIngtheowoIIIIe Iorcebetweenmenandbetweenmenand
womenIInkIndIvIduaIsand groupsIn comp!exchaIns oImutua!
dependencyandobIIgatIon.SIncesemenandsIsterspassbetween
ahInaIgroupsInbothdIrectIons,butatdIherenttImes,eachgroup
maIntaInsabaIanceoIservIcesowedandservIcesreguIred.How-
ever, contraryto sIster exchange, an IdeoIogyconcernIngthe ex-
changeoIegua!s,semenexchangeIsbasedonaweII-deIIneddom-
Inance order. Aman cannotgIve and receIve semenatthe same
tIme,norcanthedonor-recIpIentreIatIonbereversed.ThesenIor
maIegIves,andthejunIorreceIves. AnIdeaImarrIagetransactIon
InvoIvestwomenwhoexchangesIsters,theatomoIsemenshIp,
so to speak, reguIres three maIe partners !Inked In descendIng
order.
AnunguestIonedpattemoIhIerarchytherebyoverIaysadesIgn
oIegua!Ity(basedonmutuaIsubordInatIon) thatcausesconstant
concem and potentIa! conIct. OeIayed recIprocIty In marrIage
debts, whIch occurswIth some Ireguency, creates a troubIesome
ImbaIancebetweenexchangInggroups.AnImba!ance oIthreeor
morewomenIssaIdtobesuhIcIenttoproducedIscontentamong
theEtoro,whoexpresstheIrdIspIeasureInwItchcraItaccusatIons
agaInstthe nonrecIprocatIngkIngroup (KeI!y 1yy.1z). The rIt-
ua!IyconIIrmeddomInanceorderoIsemenexchangethuscontaIns
anImosIIIesthatarIseamongcIosekInwhoareaIsoahInes,IInkIng
potentIaIopponentsInaweboImoraIItyandsubstancecharacter-
Izedby strongahectIvebonds. Theexchangecreatesj ura! expec-
tatIonsamong semen-connected groupsandadds sentImentasa
curbontheadversaryaspectoIahIna!exchange. ItIsattheIndI-
zz Shirley Lindenbaum
vIduaIaswe!IasatthegroupIeveIthatthetwoorganIzatIona!sys-
temsmeet.
ThatsIsterexchangeandrItuaIIzedhomosexuaIItyactIntandem
may be seenIn sItuatIons where the two systemsbegIn to break
down. For Instance, aIthough eardmore reported sodomy and
marrIageby sIsterexchangeamongtheKIwaIm 18o, Landtman
IoundnotraceoIsodomyby1zy.IthInkItguItepossIbIethatthe
customsoIthe peopIe, changIngastheyare, mayhaveaIteredIn
thIs respect sInce Mr. eardmores tIme (1zy.zy) . Landtman
addedthataIthoughsIsterexchangewas stI!ItheexpressedIdeaI,
brIdeprIcemarrIagehadbeguntocreepIn, wIthanaddItIona!re-
turngIItIrombrIdestogroomskIn(1zy.zq).
In16,SerpentIa!sonotedthedemIseamongtheKImamoIthe
bache!or house wIth Its attendant homosexuaI practIces. The
youngmannowstaysathomebeIoremarrIage, andhIsbetrothed

no !ongermoves to hIsparents house. Itmustbe assumed that ,


theseahInesnoIongerhavethesameauthorItyoverthebrIdethat
they once had or ac!aIm onherIabors, sexuaI or domestIc, hIs :
marks an Important shIIt In socIaI obIIgatIons among ahmaI
groups.SIgnIIIcant!y,SerpentIa!soobservedthebreakdownoIsIs-
terexchange, suppIantedby thenewcustomoIbrIdeprIcemar-
rIage. ReectIng upon the Iactors contrIbutIng to thIs trend, he
mentIoned the Increased InteractIon among viI!agers In coIonIaI
tImes underthe!axAustraIIana, anda!argermarrIage pooIthat
gIves young peopIe an opportunIty to IInd more partners. He
speakstoooIanIncreasIngdependenceonEuropeangood

.Many

youngmennowIeavetheIsIandtoworkIorayearormoremorder
toacguIrethesemuchcovetedItems(16.11),whIchare sub-

seguentIycIrcuIatedathomethroughbrIdeprIceexchange.

TheembeddIngoIma!e!aborInbrIdeprIceItemsehectsachange
InthereIatIonsamongahInes.AsCoI!IerandRosaIdoshow(181),
young men m brIdeservIce socIetIes (sImIIar to those dIscussed
here)acguIrewIvesbyexchangIngsIstersandbyperIormIngcon
tInua!servIcesIortheIrwIves parents.ondsoIahInItyareaIso

sIgnIIIcantcomponentoIthere!atIonsoIproductIonIn
uaIcommunItIes.Ke!Iynotes, IorInstance,thatahInaIbonds
*Male initiation ceremonies, centers of semen ideology, also join men who
mpotential confict for the same woman b

th

rs) and crete bonds


bodies of men. Sorum suggests that male Imtlatwn and healing seances cuuu:uu
/
create solidary units among the Bedamini (1980: 275).
The Mystification of Female Labors z
reInIorcedattheexpenseoI IIneageso!IdarItyamongtheEtoroand
thatmaterIaIgIItsIromapotentIaIgroomtoawIIeskInarenot re-
cIprocated (1yy.y,z1)

ThatIs, ahInaI structures areanImpor-


tantaspectoIproductIvereIatIons,andawIIeskInho!dtheupper
handIntheirIIenonherhusbandsIabor.TheKImamexpressthIs
subordInatIonoIwIIe-receIversby sayIng, MywIIeskInare the
heart, the whoIe worId. II I have anythIng at aII, I share It wIth
them,IIIhavenothIng, IIeeIashamed (SerpentI 16.16).
WIth theIntroductIonoIbrIdeprIcepayments, thesocIaIworId
changes. ReIatIons oIproductIonaretransIormed asdIherent so-
cIaI obIIgatIons suppIant the Iormer order. Mew va!ues are ac-
cordedtomaIeandIemaIeIabors, andreIatIonshIpsoIdomInance
and subordInatIonamongahIneschangedIrectIon. Inthe sectIon
thatIoIIows,weseeaIsothatwhereassemenwasanagentoIsocIaI
reproductIonInhomosexuaI socIetIes, thepIaceoIsemenIsoc-
cupIedbybrIdeprIceInnon-homosexuaIsocIaIIorms.
Changing Wealth and Marriage Transactions Among the
Iatmul and Marind Anim
IthasbeenarguedherethatthesystemoIsIsterexchangeand
rItuaIIzed homosexua!Ity mutuaIIy reInIorce an ega!ItarIan moraI
order.AsnotedearIIer,theIrInterdependenceIsbestseenby!ook-
IngcIoseIyatspecIIIccasesInwhIchthedIherentIaIbreakdownoI
sIsterexchange, homosexuaIIty, andasenseoIeguaIItyamongaI-
IInesoccursasbrIdeprIce and European trade goodsIntrudeInto
certaIncommunItIes. Forexamp!e, theMavenrItuaI oItheIatmuI
maybe anaIyzed asastatementoIuncertaInty aboutthe!InesoI
powerIn thecommunItyIoI!owIngthe demIseoIsIsterexchange
andItsattendantrItuaIsoIhomosexuaIIty.
SIster exchangeamongtheIatmu!Isno!ongerextant.AIIthatre-
maInsIsavagueandgeneraIIyInoperatIvenotIonthatchIIdren
oIopposItemoIetIesshou!dmarryaccordIngtothesIster-exchange
conventIon,theremnantoIanaspectthatwasonceIunctIonaI!y
saIIent (TuzIn 1y6.1). HInts oIaprIorcuIturaIcompIexbased
onhomosexua!ItyaIsoappearmtheIatmu!mythInwhIchaman
rubshIsbuttocksontheIegsoIamanmarryInghIssIster(ateson
16. q, yy, 81). TherItuaI expressIonoIthIs reIatIonshIp occurs
*See Godelier (1982) for a discussion of rirual homosexuality, sister exchange,
and brideprice.
zq Shirley Lindenbaum
durIngtheMavenrItewhentheWau (mothersbrother)ohershIs
buttockstohIsLaua(sIstersson).ThIsIsacurIoushomosexuaIre-
IatIonshIp,sIncethemaIeotasenIorgeneratIonactsasawIteto
ajunIor.However,themessageIsnotoneotdIrectdomInance,but
otswItched-cIrcuItdomInance,tortheWauohershIsbuttocksIna
burIesguemanner.MavenbehavIorIsIronIc,andIsthusonIyap-
parent!yseIt-deprecatory. Asameta-communIcatIonsustaInedby
InversIon(HandeIman1y), theWau, amaIeotasenIorgenera-
tIon(zpoIntstordomInance)exhIbItsthetemaIebehavIorotsex-
uaIreceptIvIty(zpoIntstorsubmIssIon),yetthewhoIeIsdoneas
raucouspIay.AsaIudIcrItuaIotreversaIItIsatwIstedreassertIon
ota domInanceorderotthegeneraIhomosexuaIpattern, acom-
munIcatIontheLauarecognIzes,torhehurrIestopresenttheWau
wIthagItt otcompensatIngvaIuabIes.
ThematterotdomInanceandsubmIssIonIsacIuetothechang-
Ingnature otweaIthandmarrIagetransactIonsIntheregIon. Iat-
muI now observe brIdeprIce marrIage wIth a return brIdeprIce
when the brIde shItts to the husbands vIIIage. AIthough the ex-
changeaccompIIshesaseemIngIyamIcabIerenegotIatIonottheat-
tInaIcontesttordomInance,atesonnotesaremaInIngsenseotIn-
debtednesssuchthatthewItesreIatIveshaveaIwaystherIghtto
caII onthe husband tor heIp In any task, IIkehousebuIIdIng, tor
whIchacrowdotmanuaIIaborersIsnecessary. Whenthe taskIs
compIeted,thewItespeopIewIIIhostasmaIIteasttortheIaborers,
ortheywIIIatIeastdIstrIbutecoconutstothem. ThIsIargessIso
thenatureotacompIementarypresentatIonandIsusuaIIyguIteIn-
adeguate as apaymenttorworkdone (16.y) . That Is, despIte
theIrreceIptotahugemarrIagepayment,wIte-gIvershere
a sense ot superIorIty. The Maven rIte, a kInd ot theatre ot
absurd, caIIsattentIontothIsphenomenon, perhaps :: LJ 11
the sense ot anomaIy (see Read 18o) . The domInance ot
gIversandthesubservIenceotwIte-takersIsamattertobe
toshortIy.Forthemoment,ItshouIdbenotedthatthesuperIor
sItIon otwIte-gIvers appears to be a contested structuraI
ment InthIstormerIy homosexuaI sIster-exchangIngSepIk
gIon.
TheambIguousapproachtorItuaIIzedhomosexuaIItyamong
MarInd AnImaIsoIIIustrates theconnectIonsamonggender
oIogy and productIve and reproductIve reIatIons. MarInd
coastaI communItIes are saId to have recentIy abandoned
The Mystification of Female Labors z
sIsterexchangeasweII as moIetyexogamy. FIamboyantrItuaIsot
maIe InItIatIon, head-huntIng, and marrIage have aIso changed
sIncethecoIonIaIgovernmentbannedthegreatrItuaIs, teasts,and
assocIatedsexuaIpractIcesIn1zo(VanaaI 166,VanaaI 18q) .
Van aaIs reconstructIon otthIs cuIt actIvIty, however, IndIcates
thatItentaIIednotonIyanIdeoIogyotexcIusIveIymaIetertIIItyand
the presence ot rItuaI homosexuaIIty among novIces and oIder
men, but aIso promIscuous heterosexuaIIntercourse. ThIs Iatter
expressIonotsexuaIItyIssaIdtohaveoccurredonthetIrstnIghtot
marrIage, andagaInatthereturnotawomansmensestoIIowIng
thebIrthotachIId,arItuaIacknowIedgmentottheroIeotwomens
reproductIvecycIesInhumantertIIIty. InaddItIon, amIxotsemen
andtemaIesecretIon,obtaInedthroughpromIscuousheterosexuaI
Intercourse,wasusedasapotentcuratIvemedIcIne, acosmetIc,a
ceremonIaItood, asubstancereguIredtorthetertIIItyotnewgar-
dens, and as aIethaIcomponentota sorcerersconcoctIons (Van
aaI 18q).
VanaaIaIsosuggeststhattheMarIndAnImwerenotthede-
votedhomosexuaIstheIrpraIseotsodomyandItshonourabIepIace
IntheIrvaIuesystemwouIdsuggest(18q.161). tturthersIgnIt-
IcancetorthedIscussIonthattoIIows, thesecondInItIatIonotMa-
rIndAnImmaIes gIvescentraIpIace toacharactercaIIed IdImo
Woman,aIsoknownasadExcrementorExcrementWoman.Mov-
IcesareIntroducedtoherInvIoIenttashIon.Knockedtotheground
and dragged by theIr haIr to her house, they have theIr taces
smearedwIthspermandexcrement, theIattermaterIaIsaIdtobe
repugnant to MarIndAnIm, whopartIcIpate In homosexuaIanaI
Intercourse. MovIces are torced to IIe In the compound otExcre-
mentWomanshouseuntIImaggotsappearInthetecaI-semenmat-
ter,whereupontheyarebathedandcIeaned. ThetoIIowIngnIghts
rItesIntroducethebacheIorstoheterosexuaIIntercourse.
AIthoughreIatIonsbetweenMarIndAnImspousesareottensaId
tobe cordIaI and more stabIe than thoseInmanyother !apuan
trIbes, antagonIsmbetweenthesexesoccursIn rItuaIIIte. Inone
ceremony, torexampIe, menpeItwomenwIthpIIesotexcrement
(VanaaI 18q) . ThIsapparentcontradIctIonbetweenthetenorot
daIIyIIteandotrItuaIexperIence,VanaaIsuggests,hastodowIth
themensreaIIzatIonthattheIrparthenogenetIcnotIonsottertI!Ity
are taIIIng. MarIndAnImmarItaItecundItyIsIow, and thepopu-
IatIonhasexperIencedahIghIncIdenceotvenereaIdIseasewIthas-
z6 Shirley Lindenbaum
socIatedIemaIesterIIIty(VanaaI 166.z). Thus,VanaaIargues
thattheMarIndAnImaresubconscIousIyawarethattheIrIdeoIogy
concernIngtheIIIe-producIngmaIespermIscounteredbythede-
monstrabIeIaIIureoItheIertIIItyprocess(VanaaI 18q).
WhateverthemerItsoIthIsargument, ItmIghtaIsobesaIdthat
changesIntheregIonspoIItIcaIeconomyhavemodIIIednotIonsoI
gender. TheevIdencesuggeststhatMarIndAnImcuIturehas ex-
pandedaIongthecoastIromeasttowestandtotheInterIorasweII
(VanaaI 166) .TheresuItIngextensIverItuaIorganIzatIonoIthese
coastaIcommunItIesseemsIncompatIbIewIththemaIntenanceoI
thenarrowrItuaIandsocIaIIormsthatstemIromsIster-exchange
marrIage. The hIghIyvIsIbIe moIety organIzatIons oI rItuaI IIIe,
IreedIromtheIsomorphIsmoImarrIageexchange,provIdeInstead
thebasIsIorbroadregIonaIIntegratIonInamannerremInIscentoI
socIaIarrangementsIntheSepIkregIon. Here,too, theconsoIIda-
tIonandgrowthoIvIIIagesIssaIdtomIIItateagaInstthepersIstence
oIprescrIptIvemarrIageruIes,IavorIngInsteadaduaIorganIzatIon
IunctIonaIIyassocIatedwIthceremonIaIIsmand socIaIIntegratIon
on aIarge scaIe (TuzIn 1y6.1o) . As theMarIndAnIm marrIage
systemthusshIItsbeyondtheboundarIesoIsIsterexchange, and
asmenbegIntoexperIencesomeemotIonaIdIstanceIromtheno-
tIon oI semen as the soIe agentoIregeneratIon, It mIghtbe sup-
posedthatMarInd AnImmaIesare ontheverge oI strIkIng theIr
ahIneswIthbrIdeprIceratherthanpeItIngtheIrwomenwIthexcre-
ment(see!erenczI11q,!enIcheI 18) .
The IntrusIon oI brIdeprIce Into marrIage transactIons, aIong
wIththe demIseoI semenexchange, IsasIgnoI sIgnIIIcantsocIaI
transIormatIon. SIster-exchange IsanegaIItarIanmechanIsmsus-
taInedbytheunderIyIngassumptIonthatwIIe-gIversmustaIsobe
wIIe-receIvers. Asthe counter-baIancIng aspects oI sIsterand se-
men exchange Iade InpartIcuIarcontexts, however, the
o
pIaceoIwIIe-gIversIsguestIoned,astheMavenrIteIndIcates.
In the hIghIand socIetIes wIth eIaborate brIdeprIce marrIage
transactIons, the domInance order Is reversed, superIorIty
gaInednotbygIvIngbutbytakIngmorewIvesIromothers.
*This does not refer to Sambia or Baruya, where sister exchange continues
brideprice, although present, does not constitute the ideal marriage
should be noted, too, that the Sambia and Baruya, two "homosexual" cultures
dering the eastern highlands, have only recently begun to grow sweet potatoes
to raise pigs. The latter, few in number, are not yet used in wide-scale social
change (Herdt 1981: 24-29; Godelier 1982: 24).
The Mystification of Female Labors zy
over, the Iocus oIInterest shIIts Irom the women themseIves to
the objects gIven In exchange. As 5trathern and Strathern note
(16.18),the centeroIattentIonInMeIpa marrIagetransactIons
InthIspartoIthewestemhIghIands IsImbaIanceInbrIdeweaIth,
notImbaIanceInwomen.
Gender Ideology and Social Reproduction in the
Eastern Highlands
AIthough transIormatIons InkInshIp and productIve reIatIons
are seen most cIearIy by comparIng homosexuaI regIons and
heterosexuaI socIetIes oIthe western hIghIands, aIookatother
IapuaMewGuIneagroupscIarIIIes thIsprocessoIchange. Thus,
theIatmuIoItheSepIkregIon,andthe!apuanCoastMarIndAnIm
have been examIned to IIIustrate the IncrementaI but sIgnIIIcant
transIormatIonoItheconnectIonsamonggenderIdeoIogy, sexuaI
expressIon,marrIageruIes, andthe exchangeoIIaborandpursuIt
oIdomInancebetweenahInaIIyreIatedgroups. ThemIddIeground
betweenthesmaII,egaIItarIanhomosexuaIcommunItIesandthe
IargerIessegaIItarIan, weaIth-producIngheterosexuaI socIetIes
oIthecentraIandwesternhIghIandsIsIurtherIIIustratedbyeast-
ernhIghIandsgroups. Here,brIdeprIcewIthcross-cousInmarrIage
repIacessIsterexchange, *subsIstenceIsbasedonthemoderateIy
IntensIveproductIonoIsweetpotatoesandpIgs, andastrIctethos
oIrecIprocItygIveswaytoasystemwherebysomeIndIvIduaIsand
groupsbegIntorIseaboveothersbyvIrtueoIsocIaIIyvaIuedskIIIs
orthroughtheabIIItytoamassweaIth,whIchtheypressuponoth-
ers IncompetItIve dIspIay. ManyIeaturescome togetherto ehect
thIstransIormatIon, notthe IeastoIwhIchIsanIncreaseInwom-
enshortIcuIturaIIabor,thepedImentoIthesystem.
Women IncreasIngIy perIorm the garden work that produces
rootcropsIorIargerhumanpopuIatIonsandIordomestIcatedpIg
herds,aIormoIweaIththatIstheIocusoImaIeandIemaIeatten-
tIonandpredomInant!y maIe prestIge. A shIItIn the reIatIons oI
productIon occurs as womens Iabor IntensIIIes, brIdeprIce be-
comesaIeatureoImarrIagetransactIons, andthe!IensonmutuaI
supportareexpressedInapatrIIIneaIIdIom.
*This marks a shift from direct exchange to generalized exchange. For an illu
minating analysis of structural transformations, see Rubel and Rossman (1978).
238 Shirley Lindenbaum
EasternhIghIandgroupsIIIustrateaIurthershIItInthatbothse-
men and maternaI bIood are acknowIedged as procreatIon sub-
stances.Menmake menbyseparatIngboysIromtheIrmothers
and other IemaIes and bycommIttIngyouths to acommunItyof
menandmaIethIngs.InpIaceoIanexchangeoIsemen, theIocus
InrItesoImascuIInItyandmaIeaduIthoodIsonthepaInIuIdraIn-
IngandtransIormatIonoImaternaIsubstancesIromambIguousIy
genderedyoungbodIes. InavarIetyoIvIoIentrItuaIs,supposedIy
heIdIncompIetesecIusIon,theInItIatesmothersareseveredIrom
theyouths,drIvenback, sometImesIgnored,andIdeoIogIcaIIydIs-
paraged. rdeaIs oI nose-bIeedIng, penIs-cuttIng, and IorcIbIe
cane-swaIIowIngIurtherrIdtheInItIatesbodIesoImothersbIood
andmothers Iood (seeHerdt1982) . Moreover, maIe-IemaIe reIa-
tIonstake onasharpnessnotpresentIn most homosexuaI cuI
tures. MenandwomenopenIyexpressantagonIsm,rItuaIprotest>
thatbegInInanatmosphereoIenjoyabIeobstructIonoItensIIpIn
moreunIettereddIsputesandphysIcaIabuse(see8erndt1966: 171;
Mewman and 8oyd 1982: 255-56). SexuaI attack and gruesome
punIshmentIoraduItery or suspected aduIteryaretheIotoIthe
ForeandoImanyothereasternhIghIandwomen(8erndt1966). In
marrIage rItuaIs oI the eastern hIghIand Gahuku-Gama,
wound thebrIde In herrIghtthIghwIthasmaIIthree-pronged
arrow caIIed anger (Read 1984: 219), whIIe Mdumba women,
neIghborsoItheFore,assureeachotherthatmenaretheenemy
(HaysandHays 1982: 244).
StIII,theresuItoIthIssexuaIjoustIngIsnotasImpIemaIe-IemaIe
poIarIzatIon.AsMeIgsnotesInadIscussIonoItheeasternhIghIand
Hua, 'apersons genderdoesnotIIeIockedInhIsorher

butcanIIowandchangewIthcontactassubstancesseepIntoand
outoIhIsorherbody (1976: 406). !ost-menopausaIHua
thus acguIre maIe guaIItIes and a kInd oIrItuaI purIty, whereas
oIdermentakeonIemaIeattrIbutes. EasternhIghIanderscomoose.
consteIIatIons oI gender (!ooIe 1981) Irom the Interchange
IdeoIogIcaIIyImpregnatedIoods,behavIors,andbodysuos.aae
YoungmaIeInItIatesbegInrItuaIIIIeasguasI-IemaIesand,by
IngthroughaserIesoIchangIngreIatIonshIpswIth theIrmaIe
structors, attaInamascuIIneIdentItythatstIIIcombInesboth
andIemaIeeIements.
AIthoughthe events, Ideas, symboIs, and sentIments In
InItIatIon rItes proceedIroma predomInantIy IemaIe begInnIng,
The Mystification of Female Labors 239
|hroughanambIguousmaIe-IemaIeInterIude,toapredomInantIy
maIeIInaIe,theIemaIeremaInsaubIguItouspresence.Womenare
conspIcuousIy absent at maIe InItIatIon. Yet, the rItuaIs are per-
|ormed behInd IeaIy screens, In the canopIed Iorest, or besIde
streams near the vIIIages, and the waIIs, Ioud stampIngs, buII-
roarers, utes,chants,andremotesongsaremeanttocarrymes-
sagestothewomenwho,asTuzInnotes(1982) aretheobjectoIboth
physIcaIandrhetorIcaIaggressIon. ThesuherIngInItIatesarepro-
|ectedbytheIrmothersbrothers,actIngasIemaIerepresenta-
tIves. SInce InItIatIon rItuaIs and marrIage ceremonIes occur sI-
muItaneousIyInthesecommunItIes,theInItIatesareremIndedoI
|hatheterosexuaIendpoInt, marrIagetoawoman. MaIeIdentItIes
arethus createdIn thecontextoIIargerheterosexuaIevents, and
|heexchangeandtransIormatIonoIweaIth,symboI,andpersonneI
inaworIdInhabItedbybothmenandwomenconstItutesthe
whoIedrama.
MaIeInItIatIonrItesoItheeasternhIghIandsthusconveyacom-
pIIcated set oI Ideas. As In the homosexuaI communItIes dIs-
cussedabove,menIayrItuaIcIaImto thepowersoIIemaIerepro-
ductIon,amystIIIcatIonoIIemaIereproductIveIabor.However,
|hemaIecIaImtothereproductIonoIsocIetyIsstatedherewIthIess
certaInty,IorbIoodasweIIassemenaresaIdtocombInetoIormthe
Ietus.Moreover,maternaInurtureIsencouragedthroughoutchIId-
hoodevenIIItIsIatertransmutedandvoIdedwIththeIngestIonoI
maIe Ioods and the IettIngoImothers bIood. The excIusIve doc-
|rInesoImaIeInItIatIonIacecontradIctIonaIsoInthetImInganden-
meshIng oItheevents themseIves, asweIIas InthesexuaIambI-
guItyoIthekeysymboIs,theerotIcmaIeutes,whIchtheInItIates
HrstencounterdurIngtheIrInItIatIonconIInement.
TheIdeoIogyoImaIeparthenogenesIsIn homosexuaI socIet-
iesneveramerecIaImtobIoIogIcaIprowessbutanaccountoIthe
rebIrthoIaIIsocIaIIIIeIIIIItsthesocIaIcondItIonsoItheeastern
hIghIands.ThepartIaIIyIntensIveproductIonsystemswIthnew
Iorms oIweaIth,newIaborreguIrements, andconseguentIynew
sets oIsocIaIreIatIonshIpsdemand otherdeIInItIons oIgender.
Intheseareas,pIgsandsheIIsratherthansemenareexchangedIor
*Since many marriages involve the sisters of initiates, the two events combine
to orchestrate the necessary diferentiation of cross-sex siblings. In "homosexual"
societies, sister exchange and ritual attention allows for a similar separation of
brothers and sisters without severing their bond.
zqo Shirley Lindenbaum
prestIge, and theseweaIthItemsbecometheagentsoI socIaIre-
productIon,asmaIeIdeoIogyg!ossesoverthep!aceoIIema!eIabor
In domestIcproductIon. Womenare dIsparagIng!y eguated wIth
thepIgstheyproduce(HaysandHays 18z.z1), thereby
mInInganyc!aImtheymIghthaveto theseproductsoItheIr
!abor. WomensproductIveand reproductIve IaborsIIgure
Ing!yInrItuaIandmyth,wherewomenaredepIctedasthe
ownersoIthegreatcreatIveIIutes,subseguentIysto!enbymen,
womendonotcontrIbuteegua!!ytothecurrentIdeoIogyby^^
oI whIch socIety Is reproduced. ]ust as homosexuaI OLL1LLC
mutetheIema!ero!eInreproductIon, easternhIgh!anders
attentIonIromwomens productIve contrIbutIonto thIngs oI
tus.pIgsandaduItmen.Moreover,ahIna!reIatIonsInthese '** "
areambIguous.Inthe16os,IorInstance,!oremenwere
whether women or brIdeweaIth had the greater va!ue
baum 1y), aguestIonansweredwIth assurance bythe
hIgh!and Me!pa who Iocused wIthout waver upon the marrtaq
weaIthItseII(StrathernandStrathern16) .
Appropriation of Female Labor in the Western Highlands
TheInguIryIntodIherentnotIonsoIgendercouIdbeextended
thecentraIandwesternhIghIands,asWhIteheadschapterIn
voIumesoweIIIIIustrates.!romthevantagepoInttakenInthIs
say,ItseemspossIb!etotracechangeIndeIInItIonsoIgenderas
asanIdeo!ogIca!shIItawayIromanemphasIsonbody
as menandwomenobjectIIy theIrIaborandpsychIcenergIes
pIgs,Ieathers,sheIIs,andotherIormsoIweaIth.InaddItIonto
dIherent symboIIcrepresentatIon and experIence oIsexand
der, Iorms oI economIc expansIon In the western hIghIands
manddIherentmarrIage systems, as weI!asan IntensIIIcatIon
womenshortIcuIturaIIabor.IncontrasttohomosexuaI
thatreproduceandexchangeIaboramongahIna!Iy-reIated
InwhIch cross-sexsIbIIngsheIpeachotherIngardenwork
1yy),orInwhIchMaIeku!achIeIsproIItIromthe!aboroItheIr
ers, westemhIghIandssocIetIes derIvetheIrIabor systemhom
dIherentIdeoIogyandorganIzatIonoIgenderandmarrIage.
exogamIc marrIage ruIes keep sIbIIngs at a dIstance,
groupscommandthea!IegIance oIpatrIIInea!!yreIatedmen,
theaddedworkoIIntensIIIedhortIcuItureIsprovIdedbyan
bIageoIextrawIves,bacheIorsand,Insomecases,menoIIIttIe
The Mystification of Female Labors zq1
ure.InthecontextoIthevastceremonIa!exchangesoIweaIththat
arIseIn thesehIgh productIon systems, mendrawuponanIdIom
oIreproductIon toportray exchange vaIuab!es asItems obtaIned
wIthoutIemaIe!abor. ThemaIeInItIatIoncomp!exIsabsent.
Western hIghIanders abandon the notIonthatmen reproduce
adu!tmenand cuItIvateInsteadtheIdeathatmenreproducekey
weaIthandkeypersonsIgMen. IIItcanbesaIdthattherItua!
productIonandexchangeoIsemenInhomosexuaIsocIetIescer-
emonIaIIycreatesmascu!InIty, theceremonIesoIthewestposethe
notIon thatmenbegetadIherentcurrency oIexchangethatIsthe
ha!ImarkoImaIestatusIntheregIon. ThemystIIIcatIonoIIemaIe
reproductIve powers Is Iess the Iocus oIInteresthere, the appro-
prIatIonoIIemaIe!aborandtheproductsoIIemaIeIaborcommand
IncreasIngattentIon.ItIsInthIscontext,Itshou!dbenoted,thatthe
gIversoIbrIdeweaIth are saIdto have socIaI ascendancyoverthe
gIversoIwomen.
AnIIIumInatIngrepossessIonoIreproductIve IdIombyeastern
hIghIandwomenoccursInrecentIemaIebankIngandInvestment
schemesInwhIchwomenusetheceremonIesoIbIrthandmarrIage
asanorganIzatIona!nexusIorrecIaImIngtheproductsoItheIrown
Iabor. Oaughter groups (brIde receIvers) pay cash (brIdeprIce) to
themothers(brIdegIvers)Iortheknow!edgeoIWokMerI(Wom-
ensWork),womensbankIngandInvestmentprocedures,receIv-
IngInreturn thegIr!,adoIIormeshbagoIcoIns decoratedasa
brIde.ThebrIdeprIceIsa!oankeptandInvestedbythemothersIor
|heIrownpurposes,repaIdattheendoIyearswhenthedaugh-
tersbecomeanautonomousgroup,IreetosponsortheIrownWok
MerI ceremonIes (Sexton 18z).
t
The ImpuIse to estabIIsh a!I-
temaIeassocIatIonsstemsIromthewomensIrrItatIonconcemIng
mens consumptIon oI beer In ceremonIaI exchange, seen by
womenasanonproductIveapproprIatIonoIIema!eIabor.*Thecer-
emonIesoIWokMerI are, In addItIon, ananswerto atesons
*Melpa say that Moka shell currency is entirely a male achievement, a statement
contradicted at the symbolic level by the red ochre decoration and yellow sheen of
the shells, which conv

y associations with women (Strathern 1979: 534). Ponape


me

, who are e
?
gaged In the exchange of valuables, also speak of "giving birth to"
their exchange Items (Glen Peterson, personal communication).
tHere, the givers of women appear to be in social ascendanc
tStrather (1979: 545) similarly notes that Melpa women consider beer to be the
most nak

d form of appropriatio

engaged in by men. Beer enters Moka exchange
as the eqmvalent of a l

g of pork, IS consumed largely by adult men, thereby adding


|o contemporary tensions between men and women concerning wealth transac
t ions.
242 Shirley Lindenbaum
rohlem,rovidingacoherentiftelescoe accou

toftheint

r-
connectionsamongsex,gender,androductiverelationsthatexist
hereaswellasinthehomosexualandheterosexualregionsof
PauaNewGuinea.
Conclusion
Thisessayhasexaminedthemanywaysthatwomenandmen

PauaNewGuineaarticulatetheirmoral, sentimental,andlegaI
attachmentsto rightsin others and the way
.
he

exres

th

se
rightsinritual,ideology,andinth

dail
/
ientificationsofkinsh

.
Inordertolocatethecharacterofkinshi,itwasnecessarytorelin-
quishaholdonkinshiitself,andtoin

estigateinste

doinerent
genderformsandtheassociatedideo?giesofro

ctionan
roduction.Certainsharedfeaturesof homoexual
gave the grous a common structural r

file
.
. stress

n
hondsinroductiverelationsunderlaymen sgifts
.
to

mesor
tureauines,thehrother-sisterairemergedasasigiuficant

unit, and sister exchangewas the characteristic marria

e form

Semenexchangehetween secifiedmalesunderwrote sister ex-


change,whichwasonekeytotheegalitarian
.
n

ture
.
ofthe
.
andtoitsreroduction. Andfinally, thesoci

tiesdiscussed
drewuonanideologyandaatternofhehavior

e
^
ouldcall
mosexualto organizeroductionandrerod

ctionmc

mm
tiesofsmallscale.ThelatmulandMarindAnimgaveevidence
theconictsinsentiment,serviceohligations,andgender

thataccomaniedthedemiseofsystemsofegalitarianssterand
menexchangeduringcolonialeacetime. The exenen

eof
easternhighlandersrovidedawaytoexloreananalytic
tionfromahomosexualtoaheterosexualwayoflifeand
view.Withtheircommitmenttotheaccumulationofwealth,
landsocieties,eseciallyinthewest,wereseentomanifest
entrelationsofroductionandtoexressashiftingender
logies and in the ower relations among auines. 1..

(
communications concerning hody suhstances and hodily
cessesmoldandexressthesearrangements,eadingto
.
exectationsofmoralhehaviorandetiquete

mthsevanous
cations.Authoritativedoctrinesahouttheongmofhfe
therocess.
Inthesmallhomosexualcommunitiesthatvaluemale
The Mystification of Female Labors 243
menaresaidtogivehirthtomen,andsemenistherizedmedium
ofexchange.lnthemoderatelyintensiveroductionsystemsofthe
easternhighlands,mencreateadultmen,hutattentionturnsalso
totheaccumulationofadiuerentformofexchangewealth (igs,
shells,andfeathers),andfemalelahorreceiveslittleritualorideo-
logicalelahoration.Inthemoreoulousheterosexualregionsof
thewesternhighlands, menagainroclaimthemselvestohethe
genitors ofwealth, andwomen'simortantcontrihutionstoro-
ductionareconcealed.Inthislatterregion,claimsontheresources
andlahorsofothersareexressedmosteuectivelyinaatrilineal
idiomthatfirmlylocatescommunitymemhershiinlargecoro-
rategrous.
The story of homosexuality and heterosexuality in New
Guinea,itseems,isachaterintheoliticaleconomyofgenderas
wellasinthehistoryofmoney,forwomenandmenareseento
transfertheirconcernfromsemenandhodysuhstancestomoreoh-
jectifiedformsofwealthwithwhichtomystifytheroductivero-
cess.Kinshiistheidiomthroughwhichersonswithuniquegen-
der identities orchestrate and conveytheirmutualexectations,
emotions, andcommitments,allformedinthecontextofhistori-
callychangingroductiverelations.
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea
Hariet Whitehead
IM A RCMT surveyandanalysisofferiiIiiyculisinNewGuinea,
IfoundmyselfiakingissuewiihJaneCollierandMichelleRosal
do's 8 essayPoliiicsandGnderinSimleSocieiies(:hiie-
head 8a and 8h) . *Ouroini of dehaiewasihe sociaIad
oliiicaIunderinnings of ihe noion of feriiIiiy
.
asiiaearsm
irihalsysiems,andiherelaiionshiofhoih
.
feruliyconceis
.
nd
iheirsocialhaseiomaledominance.Aconimuauonandclanfica-
iionofihaidehaieseemshighlyaroriaiehere,foriheseferiiliiy
culisaearioheihemainceniersofaricuIaiionfor

he

ihaifigure inioNew Guineaconsiruciionsofhoi gender


wewouldcallii)andkinshi(aswewouldcallii) . An
inioihesocialandoliiicaIhaseforiheferiiliiyculis, andihe
iiliiyconceiihaicharacierizesihem,isihusineviiahlyan
alihoughindireci, inioNewGuineaconsiruciionsofgender
kinshi.
Thedirecifocusofihisariicleisihequesiionofmale
insiaieless(irihal)socieiies. Moreariicularly,iiisihesymholic
araiusihroughwhichiheelevaiionofmenoverwomenis
*That survey is "The Varieties of Fertiity Cultism in New Guinea," which
peared in two parts in American Ethnologst: 13, no. 1
_
(1986): 8o-98; and 13,
(1986): 271-89. The present paper is a sho

tened vers

o

of th

second
_
part. I
grateful to the editors of American Ethnologist for permtsst

n t

mcl

de 1t here.
tSeveralother factors make it appropriate to prese
.
nt this dtscusst
<
n here.
the original research for my argumen! 'Vas s

t in motion y Jane Collier and


Yanagisako's invitation to me to p
_
artictpate 1

the Bellag10 conference.
volume edited by Collier and dedicated to Michelle Ro

aldo seems a
for work that is lineally descended, so to speak, from their own. Thus Tfd1il!hmI
of intellectual kinship, involving gratitude and obligation, are
ful commentary on earlier drafts of this work I wish to thank Roert Bntm!augh
Phillip Guddemi, Raymond Kelly, Sherry B. Ortner, and Anna Tsmg.
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea 245
lishedandexressed.InNewGuinea,asinihecasesresearched
byCoIlierandRosaldo,anoiionofgeneraIizedferiiliiyseemsio
siandaiihecenierofsocialreeminence.Thosecaiegoriesofsocial
acior culiuralIy endowedwiihferiilizing owers, ihose charged
wiihiheresonsihiliiyforferiiIiiymagicandculi,areihesameas
ihose whom Wesien anihroology has singIed oui as sociaIly
dominani.InNewGuinea,asinihecasesresearchedhyCollierand
Rosaldo, ouicial ideoIogy orirays men as more feriiIe ihan
women. Thequesiionheforeusishowiogoahouiundersianding
ihissiaieofauairs.ToseiihefolIowingargumeniinemiricaIcon-
iexi,IwillskeichiniheNewGuineamaieriaIashrieyasossihle
(wiih some ineviiahle oversimlificaiion), noiing regional diuer-
encesihaiaregermaneioiheargumeni.ThiswillhefoIlowedhy
myexIicaiionofCollierandRosaldo'sihesis.
New Guinea Tribal Organization and Fertility Cults
MainIandNewGuineaiseoIedhyMelanesiansraciicing,in
variedcomhinaiions,horiiculiure (redominanilyofrooicros),
ighushandry, andforaging. Nowhereisihereanyformofcen-
iraIizedoliiicalorganizaiion.Thusalliheseeolesare'
.
irihes-
men in SahIins'sierms(Sahlins 8). Againsiahackgroundof
culiuraI ihemes and rinciIes found widely ihroughoui ihe is-
land,severaldisiinciculiuralregionshavehecomeaareni.This
regionalvariaiionhas asirongIyecoIogical casi, forihe diuereni
geograhicareasermiidiuerenisocioeconomicorders.Ahighly
simlifiedskeichwilIserveforihemomeni.
ThroughouiihehighvalleysofiheceniraIcordilIera,calledihe
NewGuineahighlands, irihalgrousraciiceiniensivesweeio-
iaio culiivaiion andighushandry, relying only modesiIy uon
foragedfood.(Secondarycrosofyams,iaro,sugarcane,hananas,
and greens are aIso culiivaied.) Poulaiion conceniraiions are
high.OnihePauaNewGuineasideofiheisland,highIandersare
mosihandilysuhdividedhyiheirredominaniformsofceremo-
niaIexchange (see RuheI and Rosman ,8.chas. ,-). Mosi
easiernhighIanders-ihosegrouseasiofiheWaghi-Chimhudi-
vide-andgrousioihenorihofihewesiernhighIandsraciicea
igfeasiceremonial,inwhichslaughieredigs,firsidedicaiedio
iheancesiors,aredisirihuiedhyahosigrou(oragrouofjoini
hosis) io inviied aIlies and auines nom diuereni communiiies.
246 Harriet Whitehead
These communitiesareexectedtorecirocatewithinvitationsto
theirig feasts. Westen and some southernhighland eoles,
suchas the Enga seakers andtheKakoli,articiatein the re-
versingchainexchangesystemscalledmok ortee inwhich
torygiftsofshells,liveigs,andorkaredistrihuteddowna
ofreciients(communities orindividuals orhoth) anda
withincrementcomeshackuthechainatsomeointinthefu-
ture. There arealsooccasionsinthewesternand southern
landsinwhichigsaresacrificedforancestors,hutoftentheseoc-
casionsare artially or totally searatefromthe more secular
moka ortee celehrations.
On the margins of the highlands, and at middle
throughouttheisland,distinctlysmalleroulationclusters
ticemixedcrocultivation(hananas, taro,yams,andsweet
toes), ratherextensiveforaging,andvarying degrees ofig
handry. These grous, of|entermedfringe, arequitevaried
regardtoceremonialexchange.CertaingrousoftheMountainO
area-suchastheBimin-Kuskusmin,whoaarentlystandat
centerofaregionaltradingnetwork-maintainaquiteelahorate
dualisticexchangerocess,comarahletoalowlandsystem.The
eolesofthePauanPlateauhaverituallyunelahoratefeastsfor
surroundingallies, auines, and neighhors, these ceremonies re-
semhleigfeastsintheirstructurehutdonotrequireextensiveig
slaughter or the huildu of herds (Poole 1976: 593-613; Kelly
1980: 222-28; Schieuelin1975: 27, 161-64).
Lowlandoulations, concentratedalongthecoastsandlarge
riversystems, rely heavily uonwildandhumanlyroagated
sagowhilecultivatingrootcrosaswell. Seafood,game,andthe
orkofwildandsemi-domesticatedigssulythemeatintheir
diet.Head-hunting,facilitatedhycanoetransortation,wasonce
common in the lowlands. Denser in oulation concentrations
thanthefringe grous, thelowlandcultureshavegreaterelaho-
rationofceremonialexchangeaswell. RuhelandRosmandi

them into two tyes, those in which all forms of exchange-
women,wealth,ritualservices-areconcentratedalongamoiety
axisandthoseinwhichmaritalexchangeformsasearatesemi-
comlexcircuitofwomenandgoods (RuhelandRosman 1978:
chas.2-6). Inthesearatedsystems,nonmarital(dualistic)ex-
changes take the form ofcometitive exchanges ofmale-grown
feastcros and/orexchanges ofritualservices.hurial, initiation,
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea 247
curing.Thelowlandatternoforkexchangeusuallyinvolvesfat-
|ening designated animals for ceremonial occasions rather than
buildinguherds,asiscommoninhighlands.
InmostNewGuineasocieties,cyclicallyreeatedcollectivefes-
|ivals-often soken ofascultsin theliterature-regulate as-
pectsofexchangeandrenderaarentthecurrenthoundariesof
politicalsolidarity.Thetambaran cultsoftheSeikandnorthcoastal
peoles, thebans oftheMountainOkarea, theancestor-oriented
ig slaughters of the eastern highlands, the moka or tee ig ex-
changesofthewesternandsouthernhighlands,thegisaro rituals
ofthePauanPlateau, andthemany-namedfestivalsofsouthern
riverineeolesareallinstances.Excetinthewesternandsouth-
ernhighlandsandthePauanPlateauwhereasearatecycleof
hachelor-sonsoredinitiationcultsexist,maleinitiationisadjunct
to,oroftenarincialfocusof,thesecommunalfestivals,andthe
festivalsthemselveshavearitualcharacter.Boththecommunalrit-
ualsandthehachelor-sonsoredinitiations,wheretheseexistse-
arately, alsoexhihitthethemesofgrowthandfertility.Thegrowth
ofhoysintomenmayhethemaininterestoftheritual(asinthe
hachelorcults),hut,morecommonly,theerceivedhenefitofreg-
ularly celehrating these collective ceremonies is not just male
growthhutcommunalwell-heing.theourishingofcrosandig
herds,thehealthofindividualsinthecommunity,thegrou'ssuc-
cessinwarfare,theroductivityofwildlantsandgame. Inthis
regard,thesecollectiveritualsystemsmayhetermedfertilitycults.
InaIlareas,menaarentlyhavetheultimatesayintheconduct
ofthese ceremonies, which, in more areasthan not, are largely
closedtowomenandchildren.Theritualcomlexalmostalways
hassecretstowhichonlymenmayhecomerivy,indeed,theini-
tiationofuninitiatedmalesintothesecretsisacommonart-and
inareasofNewGuineathefocus-oftheceremonialcomlex.The
secretsthemselvesarefarfromgenderneutral.Theyconcernhu-
manrocreativity, theessentialmodelforalldimensionsofregen-
eration,andtheycommunicatethemessagethatmen,orsiritfig-
uresresonsivetomen, controlthefemaleaswellasthemalerole
inrocreativiiy. Itisnothardtoseewhythetermmalecult is
mostfrequently alied to New Guinea ritual systems. Wewill
laterseethatthedegreeofmaleexclusivityactuallyvariesinanin-
terestingwayacrossthecultsofcertainregions,andthatthisvari-
ationmayhelexlainwhatunderlies thisexclusivity. Butletus
a|8 Harriet Whitehead
dweIIforihemomenioniheoverwheImingIymascuIinecharacier
offeriiIiiyinNewGuinea.lndoingso,wefocusoniheioicihai
servesasiheIaunchingoiniforCoIIierandRosaIdo'sessayonoI-
iiicsandgender.
Collier and Rosaldo's Analysis of Politics and Gender
CoIIierandRosaIdoiakeasiheirrohIemihecurious
iionihaiinmanysimIehunier-gaihererand
aIisisocieiiesiiismenraiherihanwomenwhoarecrediied
seciaIowersofferiiIiiyandregeneraiion.AnihrooIogicaI
arshiofiheasihasaIwaysiendediowardiheoosiie
iion.accordingioBachofenianreasoning,ihecIoserioiherim -
iiiveandionaiureagrouis,ihemoreIikeIyiiisioveneraie
moiher-goddess. Bui ihis iurns oui noi io he so. Raiher
WomaniheMoiher,iiisManiheHunierorManiheKiIIerwho
considerediheemhodimeniofIifeforceinihecuIiuresCoIIier
RosaIdoexamine.
Focusing,forinsiance, onihehunier-horiicuIiuraIisilIongoi
ihe PhiIiines, who in ihe asi raciiced head-huniing,
wriie. 'ManiheHunierandWoman'wasiheiiiIeRosaIdoand
kinsongaveiheir,ariicIeonihegenderconceiions
inlIongoihuniingandhoriicuIiuraImagic.TheiiiIerefIecis
concIusionihaiaIihoughriceandgameare,inmanyways,
hoIicequivaIenis, lIongoisequaiehuniingwiihheadhuniing
sowiihmen'svaIuedandIife-iakingvioIence,huidonoiasoctaie
women's cuIiivaied roduce wiih Iife-giving feriiIiiy and
(CoIIierandRosaIdo8.o8) . ThaiIife-iakingequaIs
seemsioheiheimIiciiformuIaiionhere,aformuIaiionihai
caIIyriviIegesformsofinierersonaIvioIence.Thereare,in
words,iwoeIemenisioihehenomenonheingrohIemaiized.
associaiionofferiiIiiywiihmen,andiheassociaiionofferiiIiiy
men'svioIence.SeisofsymhoIicassociaiionssimiIarioihoseof
ongoiarenoiedamongihe|Kungbushmen,socieiiesin
SouihAmerica, andiheAusiraIianahorigines. Of ihea
Murngin,forinsiance,CoIIierandRosaIdoohserve.Mungin
uaIsdisIaymen'sunisexuaIcaaciiiesforcreaiion,andiheir
iiyioincororaiefeminineassociaiionsinanaII-maIeriiuaI
iexi, and so io give Iife hy ihemseIves (CoIIier and DOod)O
8.o).Theremainderofiheiressayisdevoiedioan
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea a|
iionofihissymhoIiccomIexandanargumeniforexIicaiinggen-
derandsexuaInoiionsinIighiofoIiiicaI-economicdynamics.
TounwindCoIIierandRosaIdo'sargumeniassuccinciIyasos-
sihIe,iheirfundameniaIasseriionisihaiwhaiisreaIIyheingso-
kenofiniheidiomofferiiIiiyisihecreaiionofsociaIhonds.lnihe
socieiiesunderconsideraiion,ihecreaiionofsociaIhondsdoesin-
deedderivemorefromiheaciiviiyofmenihanfromiheaciiviiyof
women.Whyisihis?CoIIierandRosaIdoresiriciiheiraiieniionio
socieiiesinwhichhrideserviceisiherinciaImeansofmarriage
makingandinwhichihisserviceisfuIfiIIedrimariIyhyaman's
coniinuingohIigaiioniorovidearenis-inIawwiihhuniedgame.
SuchsysiemsareiheonesiheyduhsimIe.Marriageiiesareihe
rinciaI sociaIiiesinsuchsysiems, andmen'sredominancein
sociaIhondmakingisafunciionofiheirgreaierconcernwiihmak-
ingandmainiainingmarriages. Theassociaiionihaimenmakehe-
iweenmaIeferiiIiiy(ihaiis,hondmaking)andmaIevioIencede-
rivesnomiheirerceiion-anexaggeraiederceiioninfaci-of
iheusefuInessofvioIencehoihinhuniing(forihegameihaiwiII
hefurnishedioin-Iaws anddisirihuiedsociaIIy),andinesiahIish-
ing ihe righi negoiiaiing osiure in encouniers wiih oieniiaI
hroihers-in-Iaw, andindefendingiheirmarriagesagainsiaduIier-
ousrivaIs(CoIIierandRosaIdo8.a-|,o-o,,-8) .
BuiwhyismarriagerimariIymen'sconcernandnoiihaiofhoih
sexes?CoIIierandRosaIdoanswerihaiaiihehaseofmen'sgreaier
inieresiinmarriagemakingisafundameniaIoIiiicaIinequaIiiy
ihaiarisesfromihesexuaIdivisionofIahorinhunier-gaihererand
somehunier-horiicuIiuraI sysiems. Whereas womenin such so-
cieiiescanreIyonihesociaIdisirihuiionofmeainomihehunifor
iheir share ofihemaIeconirihuiionio suhsisience (inasmuch as
iheyreceiveihisroduciaiaII),mencannoisimiIarIyohiainashare
ofihefemaIeconirihuiion.Womendonoidisirihuieiheirgaihered
andgardenedroduceheyondiheirhousehoIds, andihereforea
manwiihouiawifeisreducediodeendencyuonanoiherman's
househoIdforfemaIeroducisandservices.Thereihusarisesin
mena secificaIIy oIiiicaI imuIse ioward marriage ihaiis noi
|ound amongwomen. Freedom from oIiiicaI deendency is a
|unciionofacquiringandkeeingawife.
Men'sandwomen'sunequaIoIiiicaIinieresiinmarriage,a re-
suIiofihe sexuaIdivisionofIahor, is, inanimoriani sense, ihe
moiorofCoIIierandRosaIdo'ssysiemicexIanaiionofihemaIe
ao Harriet Whitehead
fertiIity comlexthatlaunchedtheirinquiry. Inthehrideservice
system,men,notwomen,hecomethechiefursuersofthemaritaI
tie,huntingtoleasein-laws,adotingareadinessforhair-trigger
vioIenceinorderto discouragerivaIsfortheirwives' attentions,
andinitiatingexchangeswithotentiaIhrothers-in-lawtosecure
theirownmarriages. Itisthesemarriage-roducingandmarriage-
maintainingactionsthat,inCollierandRosaldo'smodeI,createthe
widersocialhondsthatconstitutetrihaIsociety. Itfollows, inthe
culturaIlogiccommontosuchsystemsinwhichfertilityisassoci-
atedwith socialcreation, thatmenmuchmorethanwomenare
viewedasalife-givingforceinthecosmos.Indeed,theirviolence-
whichintheirviewisthechiefguarantorofmaritalsecurity-a-
earstothemenofthesesimlesocietiesasthechiefingredientof
ageneraIizedfertility. lf, inculturallogic, menachievetheirin-
deendencethroughfeatsofviolence,itisalsothecasethatmale
otency[thatis,violentower](whichleadstomarriage)iswhat
hrings men together in eace and cooeration. . . . Marriage is
whatcreateslastinghonds,andinsofarasmen'makemarriages,'
thesocialorderthatexistsstandsasaroofthatmen, infact, are
endowedwithanextraordinaryandvaluahlesortofforce(ColIier
andRosaldo8.o).
Thefruitfulalicationofthisanalysistohrideservicecultures
leads CollierandRosaldoto suggestthatothercultures'conce-
tionsofgenderandreroductivitymighthegrasedanalyticallyhy
comarahleinquiryintotheinterIayofmarriageandroduction
Theysuggesthutdonotdevelotheideathatmarriagesystemsin
whichahrideweaIthrequirementindehtsthe groom-to-he tohis
own kinsmen wiIl roduce a greater symholic emhasis uon
women'sfertilityandmotherhood(CoIlierandRosaldo8. ,
a).
Theideaoftreatingthecomlexofmarriageandroductionsys-
temsinrecaitalistsocietiesasasortofhasewithcertaininherent
inequalities towardwhich suerstructuresofritualheliefwillhe
orientedcanhetracedtoClaudeMeillassoux(Meillassoux,).
AIthoughcertainNewGuineastshaveheguntoadotthissortof
aroach(GodeIier8aa,Godelier8ah,Modjeska8a,Linden
haum 8|, Lindenhaumthisvolume), noonehasyetexamined
whetherorhowwellthearticularCollierandRosaIdoformula-
tion, withitsemhasis onthemascuIineandviolentcharacterof
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea a
|ertility,fitstheNewGuineacase.ThisistherojecttowhichInow
|urn.
The Brideservice Model in New Guinea
Asnotedahove,NewGuineaahoundswithculturallinkageshe-
|weenmenandfertility.Themostcommonformulationisthemale
culticaroriationofthereroductiveattrihutesofboth sexes, a
|ormulationvirtuallyidenticaltothatoftheMurnginritualscited
byCoIlierandRosaldo.AsintheIowlandSouthAmericancultures
towhichtheyallude, sotooinNewGuineaoneofthemostcom-
monmythicjustificationsforthismaledominationofritualisthe
assertionthatwomenonceossessedtheritualshutlostthemto
themen, whothereaftercontrolledfertiIity(Oosterwal ,GelI
,, Tuzin 8o, Kaherry |o-|, Gillison 8o, Rohhins 8a,
Herdt 8, Hoghin,o, Newman andBoyd 8a). In aword,
men'sdominanceofthefertilityritualisnotjustincidental,itiscul-
turallyforegroundedandjustified.
Theconnectionhetweenmalefertilityandmaleviolencealsoa-
earsinNewGuineacultidiom,mostdramaticallyamongthelow-
landhead-huntingcultures,whoseculticsymhoIismoftenexlic-
itlymakesofthetrohyhead(whichonlymencangarner)anagent
offertiIity (Zegwaard , Van Baal .cha. a, Ruhin n. d. ,
Bateson 8.|o-|, Forge .a,, o,see also Bowden 8,
Bowden8|) .Theconnectioniscertainlyresentaswellinthose
highlandancestorcultsinwhichcommunalfertility can onlyhe
assuredhymiIitarilyavengingtheunavengeddead-againamale
resonsihility (Buchhinder and Raaort ,) . All in all, the
symholic-ritualcomlexthatCollierandRosaldoexlicatethrough
the dynamicsofmale oliticalconsciousnessinhrideservicesys-
temsiswellexemlifiedinNewGuinea.Thesuerstructurethey
descriheisthere. Butwhatahoutthemarital-roductivehase?
IhaveheenahletofindtwoNewGuineasystemsthatstrikingly
fittheattenColIierandRosaldodetailforus.OneistheWaina-
Sowandagrou studiedhyAlfredGeIl (Gell ,). Aratheriso-
latedlowlandfringegrouwithfewformsofexchangewealth,this
societystressesreaIorclose sister-exchangemarriageandthe
ohligation ofmarriedmentohuntgamefor auines. The deen-
denceofhachelorsuonthehouseholdsofmarriedmenforsu-
aa Harriet Whitehead
lies ofsago-the female contrihutionto suhsistence-is soevi-
dentlyasourceofhachelorsuhordinationthatGell, theethnogra-
her,commentsonitintermsthatalmostforeshadowCollierand
Rosaldo's analysis (Gell ,.o,-8). Associationsexisthetween
sexualityandviolenceintheculturegeneraIly,and,moresuhtly, 8
linkaearshetweenfertility and warriorhood inthe maincom-
munalritual, the ida. This ritual alsofits my criteria for a New
Guineafertilitycult.
ThesecondisthesmallcongeriesoftrihesalongtheTor River
drainage in Irian that Oosterwal called the eole of the Tor
(Oosterwal ) .TheTorarealsoasago-deendentlowlando-
ulationinwhichwomenaeartodomostofthesagowork.Men
rovide fish and, when ossihle, scarce game to auines. Direct
hrideexchangeisstressed,andundertraditionalconditionshach-
elorsaresaidtohavefelttheirsocialinferiorityandthelackofawife
keenly. * Fertility goals are very exlicit in communal male-
dominated cultritual, andthe dislayofenemy skullsandwild
hoarjawhonesintheculthouse suggeststhatfertilityislinedto
malewarfareandhunting(Oosterwal . chas. a,,) .
FromtheviewointofaMelanesianist,theWaina-Sowandaand
TorcaseslendcredencetotheideathatCollierandRosaldohave
identined a genuine tye ofmarital-roductive system that a-
earsindeendentlyinmanydiuerentcultureareas. Theosited
connections hetween the elements of this tye remain oen to
question,however.
Anotherarea thatinitially seems to conformto the suggested
modelisthePauanPlateau,alsoafringearea.Huntingisanim-
ortantartoftheeconomy,thereisastressonconstantlyrovid-
ingauineswithhothgameandorkfromdomesticatedigsand
on maintaining a halanced exchange of women. Male fertility
themes aearin the initiation heliefs, although it is unclear to
whatextentmaleviolenceistiedinwithsuchthemes.Theexected
attenisjoltedoutofalignment,however,hytheresenceoffairly
suhstantial hridewealth in the marriage arrangements of these
grous(Kelly8o.au,Schieuelin,) .
*At the time Oosterwal studied the Tor peoples, the model of politically subor
dinated juniors set against autonomous senior households was imperfectly realized
owing to certain peculiar demographic distortions: an unexplained imbalance mthe
sex ratio at birth, the early physical decline of both sexes at middle age, and the
extremely low fertility rate (see Oosterwal 1961: 36-45, 57-143, 206-10 )
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea a
Thishringsustothefirstseriousrohlem.therelativescarcityof
urehrideservice systemsinNewGuinea. Thegreatmajorityof
NewGuineasocietieshaveamixofmarriageexchangerinciles.
Commonly, thereisonelevelofsegmentationinthe system-he
this clan, suhclan, moiety, village, or vilIage art-that is con-
cernedwithmaintainingahalancedexchangeofwomenovertime,
aconcernthatmayhehrasedasanidealofsister-exchange,oras
anidealof delayed hride return, or oftenhoth, commonly, too,
thereisaassageofsomewealthfromwife-takertowife-giverover
andahove gifts ofgame (Reay ., Ruhel and Rosman,8,
Raaort.a,-a,StrathenandStrathern.,O'Brien
.aaa-a|).Althoughincertaincultures, suchastheDarihior
theManga,woman-for-womanexchangeisviewedasasuhstitute
foramarriageaymentandviceversa(Wagner, Cook),
thetworacticesarenotincomlementarydistrihutionovertheis-
landasawhole.IngroussuchastheEtoroofthePauanPlateau,
theAhelamofthenorthcoastalranges,ortheTelefominofWestSe-
ik,marriageaymentscoexisteasilyenoughwithanideal, and
oftenareaIity,ofdirecthrideexchange(Kelly8o.cha.,,Losche
8a.cha.a,Poole8. aa,|-,Craig).ThustheMeil-
lassouxiancleavage, suggestedhyCollierandRosaldo, hetween
hridewealthsystemswhereina cadetisindehtedtolineage se-
niorsforhismarriagesandrehridewealthsystemswhereayoung
mancantakechargeofhismaritalandexchangedestinywillen-
counterinsuerahleamhiguitiesinthisartoftheworld.
IshouldnoteatthisointthatCollierandRosaldo,inaseriesof
(tomymind)amhiguousassages, seem to suggest that direct-
exchangemarriageisenoughtoindicatetheresenceoftheolit-
ical dynamics they are concerned with, even though-admit-
tedly-directexchangemayoccurnotonlyinthesimlesocieties
theyclaimastheirdomainhutalsoinmoreadvancedandmoreo-
litically comlex societies (Collier and Rosaldo 8.a-oo).
Shouldwethenconsidertheresenceofsister-exchangeractices,
withorwithouttheracticeofhuntingforauines,withorwithout
the additionofsomeformsofhridewealth, suuicientevidenceof
theresenceofthoseoliticalrelationsthat,intheCollierandRos-
aldomodel,energizethemalefertilitysymholiccomlex?
Answeringthisrequiresacloserlookattheositedoriginofthe
culturallogicthatanimatesmalefertilitysymholism.Emheddedin
CollierandRosaldo'smodelisastructuralactorfromwhoseview-
a| Harriet Whitehead
oiniihemysiiqueofmaleferiiliiymakessense.iheyoungmanin
iheearlysiagesofhismariialcareer.Drivenioseekawifeihrough
ihedesireforoliiicalauionomy,andforihesamereasondrivenio
defendhisnewmarriagehyculiivaiingarickly don'iireadon
me siance, ihissiruciuralaciorisiheonemosiaueciedhyariiy
consciousnessandiheonemosilikelyioerceivehisvioleniskills
ofhuniing andfighiingas esseniial io making andmainiaining
honds. Wheiherihe culiurallogicissunouihy suchaciors di-
recilyorsunouiwiihiheirviewoiniinminddoesnoimaiier,ii
ismosisiraiegicallyaddressedioihem.Thequesiionihushecomes
wheihersuchasiruciuralacior,orviewoini,ishroughiinioheing
hyNewGuineamariial-roduciivecomlexes.
Inihisreseci,iheNewGuineafindingsseemiomelessrom-
ising ihan ihe mere resence of ariiy-orienied hride exchange
wouldsuggesi.Leimeconceniraieonlowlandraciices, forhere
wefindihegreaiesirelianceuonrealornearsisier-exchange
marriageaswellassomeofihemosiamhoyaniculiicexressions
ofihelinkheiweenferiiliiyandmaleviolence.Inihelargecoasial
andriverinevillagecommuniiieswhereferiiliiyculiismiswellde-
veloed,iheyounghachelor-whoinCollierandRosaldo'smodel
shouldhegoingouiiomakehisownmarriagehyhuniingmeai
forhisfuiurein-laws,demonsiraiingvioleniprowessiowould-he
rivals, andseekingouihroihers-in-lawwiihwhomioiniiiaieex
change-islargelyrelacedhyiheyounghachelorwho,confined
forlongeriodsofiimeioculiicseclusion,assivelyawaiisiheday
whenadulisofihecommuniiyconsiderhimsuuicienilymaiureio
iakeuresidencewiihahridedesignaiedforhiminhischildhood.
Indeed,inihoseNewGuineacommuniiieswhereihehalancedex-
change ofwomeniyicallyconsisisofihe exchangeofreal or
nearsisiers, familydemograhicsiendioimelihesysiemio-
wardchildheiroihal,adoiion,andoihermechanismsihairequire
aneiworkofnegoiiaiingeldersandihusremovemarriagemaking
fromihehandsofiheyoungergeneraiion(Serenii . a|-,
|n,Tuzin8o.a,Mead|o-|.|ac-a,VanBaal .aa-o,
|8-, McDowell ,a). Ifanyihing, ihe ihrusi ofihe sysiem,
andceriainlyiheihrusiofculiicseclusion,isiowardsiiingiheim-
ulses of young men io iake marriage maiiers inio iheir own
hands.
Infaci, iheviriuallyan-NewGuineaheliefihaiheierosexual
coniaciihreaiensmalegrowihwould,ifiakenseriously, aciioin-
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea a
hihiiyoungmen'simulsesiowardasseriiveheierosexualcouri-
shiinihefirsilace.lnmanyareas,ihereisevidenceihaiihescare
lore is iakenquiie seriously (Herdi8,Gell ,.u, Glasse
n. d. , Meggiii |, Kelly ,). Looking hack on ihe Waina-
Sowandacasehriefly,wefindihaiiheyioohavechildheiroihalsas
wellasculiuralheliefsihaicausehachelorsiohefearfulnoiofca-
sualsexhuiofmarriage(Gell ,.ou).Thus,eveninoneofihe
hesiexamlesofihehrideservicesysiem,elemenissuressiveof
ihehachelor'smarriage-makingimulsesuiiniheiraearance.
Themarriedman'sneediodefendhismarriagefromadulierous
rivals,hyviolenceifnecessary,ceriainlyaearsiohereseniin
NewGuinea. *Thequesiionis,isihisalone suuicieniiosuoria
symhoIiclinkageheiweenhondmakingandviolence,ahseniihe
oiherfaciors?
Finally, ihereisihecrucialmaiierofihe conirasiinmen'sand
women'sneediomarry, animhalancecreaiedhyihesexualdivi-
sionoflahor. Hereweencounierihesecondsuhsianiialdiuiculiy
osedhyNewGuineasysiems.ihisinequaliiyofneedheiweenihe
sexesishardioesiahlishclearly.Whereverihereisviialrelianceon
eiiherhoriiculiureorsagorocessing(andihiscoversviriuallyall
ofNewGuinea),significaniarisofihemaleconirihuiionioihese
aciiviiies are noi organized communally. Male workariies for
clearingeldsorcuiiingsagoofienuoninseciion resolveinio
maleairs(orgrousofsame)formedihroughmarriageoreven
wife exchange (Eyde ya-,, Oosierwal ,.-,, Gell
,.o),ihus,evenmen'scommunallahorwouldnoicomeinio
heingwiihouiwomenmarryingandcannoiheviewedindeen-
denilyofihis. Awomanwhoreliedrouiinelyuonihelahorofa
faiherorhroiherswouldceriainlynoisiarve,huishe,likeherhach-
elorcounierari,wouldhedeendeniuonihesousesofoihers
forhel ihai she would normallyheexeciedio receivefroma
souseofherown.Inlighiofihissiaieofauairs,iheeconomicim-
ulseiowardmarriageinNewGuineacannoiheihoughiioarise
solelyinihehearisofyoungmen. (lndeed,NewGuineahassome
renownasaculiureareainwhichayoungunmarriedgirlcanini-
iiaieanengagemenihyrunningawayioihehomeofherchosen-
whoresondsioiheoveriurerelucianily, ifaiaIl.)lnsum,iwoof
*In many cases, the most accomplished adulterers are apparently the older mar
ried men who have lost their heterosexual inhibitions (Meggitt 1964; Glasse n.d.);
all wives are potential targets, however.
a Harriet Whitehead
the rincial oliticaI-economic dinensions of the hrideservice
modeIdeveloedhyColIierandRosaIdo-men'sandwomen'sun-

equaloliticalinterestinmarriage,andtheahiIityofyoungmento
forgemarriagehondslargelythroughtheirowneuorts-areforthe
mostartoorIyexemlifiedinNewGuinea.
NotethatIhavenotquestionedwhatmayaeartohethemost
mysteriousofCollierandRosaIdo'ssuggestions.thattheimagery
offertility, orlife-generatingotency, isawayofconcetuaIizing
thecreationofsocialhondsandsociaIorder.Infact,thesymholism
ofNewGuineacultismmakesthiselementoftheirargumentvery
ersuasive,justasitsuortsthenotionthatthereisalinkofsome
sorthetweenfertilityandmalevioIence. Itisforthisreasonthat
theirmodeIwarrantsscrutinyinlightoftheNewGuineamaterials.
Whatthisscrutinystronglysuggests,however,isthattheassoci-
ationofmanhoodandmaIeviolencewithfertiIityismoregeneraI
thanCollierandRosaldo'sfocusonhrideservice systems wouId
suggest.ThesymholiclinkageoccursinNewGuineanotjustinthe
twocasesthatnicelyfitthehrideservicemodelhutinanynumher
ofIowIand, fringe,andeasternhighlandcaseswherethesecific
olitical-economicdynamicsColIierandRosaIdodescrihearenot
welIexressed.Oneisthereforecomelledtolookforamoregen-
eralmotivationforthismysteriousmalefertiIitycomlex.Inwhat
foIlows,IwilItrytoseIloneout.
Gifts, Blows, and Male Fertility
IsuggestthattherohleminCoIlierandRosaldo's attemtsto
dealwithritualizedmaledominanceinoIiticaI-economicterms
hingesuonaninadequateexIorationoftheoliticaIeconomyof
trihalexchangerocesses.Itisossihlethataneagernesstoincor-
oratereIationsofroductionintotheirmodeIsisartIyreson-
sihle.Morelikely,theseauthorsare simlyfoIIowingtendencies
resentintheworksofLevi-Strauss, ourrimearticulatorofex-
changetheory, whoseinsightsintothedynamicsofgiftecono-
mieswererematureIynarrowedhyanegIectofthehostilesideof
exchangedynamicsandhyanoveremhasisonmarriage.Ifwe re-
tainCollier and Rosaldo's insight that notions of fertility are a
meansofconcetualizingthecreationofsociaIhonds,hutexand
ouranalysisoftheoliticaleconomyofexchangerocesses,wewill
heahletoaccountforthediueringdegreestowhichfertiIityisat-
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea a,
trihutedtothesexesinNewGuineaculturesgenerally, asweIIas
thediueringdegreestowhichthecuIticcontroIoffertiIityexcIudes
womenincertainregions. Byimlication,thisaroachcanheex-
tendedtothecasescoveredhyCoIIierandRosaIdoaswelI.
Tohringoutthosedimensionsofexchangetheorythatareatis-
suehere,itwiIIhesuuicienttocitetwoauthorswhohavemostar-
ticulateIydelineatedtheoIiticaIdimensionoftheoIiticaIecon-
omiesthatariseoutoftheworkingsoftherincileofrecirocity.
Thefirstis MarshaIISahlins(seeSahIinsz8,Sahlinsz,aa,Sah-
Iinsz,ah),thesecondD. J . J . Brown(Brownz,).Weheginwith
Sahlins.
Ratherthantrying,ashasheencommoninanthroology,tore-
discoverthefunctionsofthestatescatteredahoutinvarioustrihaI
institutions, Sahlinstakesas histheoreticalfocusthe stateofaf-
fairsthatexistswhenthestatedoesnot. Heholdlycomaresthe
stateIesssituationoftrihaIsocietiestoHohhes's stateofWarre,
reservingthatantiqueselIinginordertoreserveHohhes'sse-
ciaI meaning. that the nature ofWarre, consistethnotinactual
fighting[necessarily],hutintheknowndisositionthereto,during
alIthetimethereisnoassurancetothecontrary.Hohhes'sfamous
concIusionsnotwithstanding,itisnotnecessarythattheLeviathan
ofthestateriseutoguaranteesafetyandeaceinsuchasituation.
Thesamecanhesecured,forintervaIsatleast,throughthemech-
anismofrecirocalgiftexchange(SahIinsz,aa.z8-8,).
Sahlinsworksoutacontinuumofformsofrecirocitythatty-
icaIIyaearintrihalsystems. attheositiveendofthecontinuum
there is the altruistic heling among the cIose in-grou. This
shadesintothecarefullyhaIancedgivingthatohtainshetweenthe
not-so-cIose, andthisinturngiveswaytothenegativereciroc-
ities ofchicanery, theft, sorceryaccusations, andvendettasthat
ohtainhetweenthosemostaIiento (or disaointedin) onean-
other(seeSahlinsz,aa) . EachointaIongthecontinuumrere-
sentsaformofrecirocity,andrelationshetweenanytwosocialen-
titiescanshiftineitherdirectionalongthecontinuum.
ItisimortanttorememherthisIastoint-thatthenegative
recirocitiesareasmuchaartofasystemofrecirocitiesasarethe
ositive.Someofthehest-knownarticulatorsofexchangetheory-
Levi-Strauss, for instance, and even atoints SahIins himself-
tendtoconfinetheirtheoreticaIsecuIationstotheeacefulsideof
thestateofWarre,theexchangeofgiftsandwomen,negIecting
a8 Harriet Whitehead
theviolentunderinningsofthetrihaloIiticaleconomy.Yetaswe
shallsee,theviolentsideofexchangeisultimatelywhatwillallow
exchangetheorytoencomasstheeculiarequationthattrihaIso-
cieties,inNewGuineaandelsewhere,tendtomakehetweenvio-
lenceandfertility.
Turning to New Guinea, we find discussions of recirocity a
commonlace in the areal literature. Exchange dominates New
GuineaoliticaIlifeandisoneofthecentraIdynamicsinthefor-
mationoftheoliticalcommunity.Asexchangetheorywouldre-
dict,theoliticalIysolidaryunitsandsuhunitsare,inanimortant
sense,constitutedinexchange.Thosewhodefinethemselvesasof
one kind wilI hefound ooling theirresourcesin oosition to
otherkinds,andthisoositiontakestheformofexchangere-
Iations. hostile, friendly, or oscillatinghetween the two (Brown
,, Schwimmer ,, Wagner , RuheI and Rosman ,8,
Whitehead8a,Whitehead8h).
Whatisimortantinthecurrentcontextisthatthroughoutmost
oftraditionaINewGuinea,withtheexcetionofthesecularized
westernandsouthernhighlandsarea,fertilitycultsarehoththein-
struments through which communal solidarities come to he ex-
ressedandtherinciaIregulatorsofintra- andinter-community
exchange. Where fertility cults dominate, culterformances are
the occasions for exchange, secific cultic actions are services
thatmustthemselvesheexchanged,culticinitiationsandritesof
assage situate individuals inexchange artnershis, andcultic
magicisconsideredessentiaItotheroductionofexchangeitems.
Mostsaliently,cuIticcyclesarecyclesofroductionandfighting.
Theamountoflandundercultivationisintimatelytiedtorojected
feastingohligations,andcultictahoosahettheaccumulationro-
cesshyforhiddingconsumtionoffeastfoods. Aeriodofaccu-
mulationisoftenmatchedhyaeriodofeace,andattheclimactic
feastofthecycle,traditionalenemiesmayhecome,inonewayor
another,articiantsinthefertilityrites.Whenthefeastinginter-
val ceases, warfareromtlyresumes. As inthemakingofgar-
dens,cultinstrumentsaresoundedtoinstigatethemakingofwar-
riorsindistincthasesofmaleinitiation. Indeed, amongformer
ractitionersofhead-huntinginthelowlands,ahead-takingraid
seemstohaveheenanecessarysteinthenextgrowingcycleof
lants andmen, sincetrohyheadsconstitutedagrowthagent
(see Raaort 8, Tuzin 8o.-, a|,-|8, , Gell ,.
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea a
-8, Read a, Bateson 8. a, ,, Landtman ay8,
Kuruwai,).
Ineuect,thefertilitycultgovernsatotaloliticaleconomy, one
whosenaturemusthegrasedheforeolitical-economicanalysis
canheaccuratelyaliedtoit.Myownconcerniswiththequestion
ofsocialdominance. It seems cIearthat the dimensionofdomi-
nancethatcanhegIossedasrestigeascendancyis,inthesesys-
tems,intimatelyhounduwiththewaydiuerentcategoriesofac-
tors are ositioned in exchange rocesses. In other words, itis
intimatelyhounduwiththevaryingowerofdiuerentcategories
ofactorstocreatesocialhonds.Anditseems,too,thattheidiomof
fertiIityisafavoredvehicIe(thoughnottheonlyvehicle)forcon-
cetualizingexchangerocessesandexchangeower.
ColIierandRosaldocomeveryclosetomakingthisointhutare
deterredhytwofactors.Thefirstistheiroverridingemhasisuon
maritalexchange, anemhasis thataarentIy stemsfromtheir
analysis of men's and women's uneven interest in marriage in
hunter-gatherer and hunter-horticultural systems. New Guinea
materialnotonlyraisesquestionsahoutmen'sandwomen'sun-
equalinterestsinmarriagehutalsofurnishescasesinwhichtheid-
iomoffertiIityveryclearlyattachestoformsofexchangethatdonot
involve marriage. The YamCultsoftheSeikandnorthcoastaI
eoles,forinstance,rovideuswithnumerousexamIesofse-
cificaIly nonmarital, nonkinceremonialexchangesthatare shot
throughwiththeimageryofrocreation(Tuzin,a,Forge ,
Kaherry |o-|, Bowden 8|). What we are seeing in New
Guinea,andIsusectinCollierandRosaldo'scasestoo,issimIy
ageneral(andcommon)culturalequationhetweenthecaacityfor
creating social connections through exchange and the ower to
conveylifeorvitality.
The secondIimitingasectof ColIier andRosaldo'sanaIysisis
theirfailuretoaddressfullytheexchangerelevanceofmen'svio-
lence. Again, anemhasis uonmarriageskewstheiraroach.
ThemaleofCollierandRosaldo'ssimlesocietyisinfatuatedwith
hishuntingrowess(whichenahIeshimtowoootentialauines
withgameouerings)andwithhisahilitytofightoumaritalrivals.
Becausehothhehaviorsinvolveviolentskillsandhotharerequisite
to making and maintaining the marital hond, the hyothetical
hunter,inhiscuIturallogic,inatesviolencetothelevelofacosmic
fertiIizingforce.ThisisratheramystificationinCollierandRosal-
a-e Harriet Whitehead
do'soinionsince-eveninthese systems-marriage-makingre
quiresagooddeallessviolencethanthemenseemtothink(Collie
dosaldo

,s

.,.

-.,,.Again,NewGuineasystemsurgeacar
ificanonofthissituation.TheviolenceglamorizedinNew
and associatedwithfertility isveryclearlyintercommunity
lence.Inthelowlandsitwasoftenhead-hunting,violencethatgar
nersforthehomecommunitythetrohyheadsthatarean
dientmhumanandcrofertility,inthehighlandsitwas
againsttraditionalenemies,violencethattheclanancestorsIPOO:*o
heforehestowinggrowth, roserity, andwell-heing uon
descedants. Interers
.
onalviolenceattendingmarriage
nance1 Snotthewellsnngofviolenceglamorization.True,thetwo
formsofviolencemayoverla,whenadulteryandahductioncross
thehoundariesofoliticalcommunities,NewGuineans-likethe
GreeksandTrojans-maygotowar.Butdailyhickeringoveradul
terywthin the oliticalcommunilyisattoheculturallychan-
neled mto the unglamorous husiness ofin-grou sorcery. In a
word, thefocalointofviolenceglamorizationinNewGuineais
thewarfarehaseinthefeastingandwarfarecycle.
Whatweseeinthisandwhatitisnecessarytorediscoverinex-
chagetheoryisthattherelationhetweenviolenceandexchange
ohtamsatamoregenerallevelthanjusttheoliticizationofmar-
riage. In stateless societies, violent resonses are themselves a
formofexchangeinseparahlylinkedtoalltheothers.Recentwork
hyD.J. J. Brownhasheledtoromotethisissueonceagain and
itis from BrownthatI havetakenthe usefulhrase gift; and
hlos(seeBrown.,,,,.Inessence,thegiftandthehlowareo-
ositeendsofanexchangecontinuum,theositiveforms ofex-
chang cannotheconcetuallydivorcedfromthenegativewithout
ohscurg
.
theeasonsforthegreatvarietyinkindsofrecirocity
hatexistmtnhalsystems andthetransformahilityofeachkind
mt? aother .
.
If;eloo simlyat:'haancedrecirocity(themid-
otmSahhsscontmuum),whichistheformofrecirocitythat
tyicallyohtamshetweensearateNewGuineaoliticalcommu-
nities,weofenfin miricallythatwoventogetherinoscillating
pattens
.
areitsositiveforms(forexamle,ceremonialfeasting),
tsngauveforms(forexamle,vendettas),andeverysortofshad-
mg mhetween (for examle, cometitive feasting) . In the case
Brown documents, the Poloa, gift exchanges and violent ex-
changesaltenatecyclicallyhetweenanytwogivencommunities,
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea :-.
withthetransitionsmarkedhytheaearanceofgiftlikehlowsor
blowlikegifts.Giftsmayhe intendedtohumiliateandassinto
hlows,andhlowsmayheaimedtomissandassintogifts(Brown
.,,,.,.a,. Eric Schwimmer's workonthe Orokaiva isertinent
hereaswell,foritillustrateshowemheddedintheOrokaivacos-
mologyisthenotionthatfeastingandfightingareeachother'sre-
conditions(Schwimmer.,,,,seealsoForge.,,a,.
Therelevanceoftheinsearahilityofgiftsandhlowstounder-
standingthemalefertilitycomlexisthis.therealmastersofsocial
hondingintrihalsystemsarethoseinaositiontocommandhoth.
Onlythewar-makerscanagreetotheeace. Thus,
.
co

trolof:x-
changehas as one ofitsreconditionsthemonopohzau?nofvo-
lence.Atthesametime,eacecannothemadewithnothmg.Thus
anotherreconditionforthecontrolofexchangeisregularaccess
toandcommandofdesireditens.Whatisfinallyrequiredinany
system of recirocity are ways to mohilize

an coordinate re-
sonses. Theseways, diuerentlydeveloedmdiuerentsystes,
are themselvesinstruments ofower, erhas the mostcrucial,
anditisthroughthemthatsystemsofrecirocityhecome,always
tosomedegree, systemsofdonination.
Theseointsallowustoaroachfromafreshangletheques-
tionofritualizedmaledomination.Ohviously,itisossihlefordif-
ferentcaacitiesforrecirocalresonse,negativeorositive,tofall
intothehandsofdiuerentsocialcategoriesinanysystem.Thisdif-
ferentialdistrihutionofowerinexchangecanheusedtoaccount
fordiuerentialsocialvaluation,including,ofcourse,thatwhichoh-
tainshetweenthesexes.TurningagaintoNewGuinea, Ithinkit
canhesafelyarguedthatthroughouttheislandmenaresecurelyin
command of the far negative ole of the exchange continuum.
Moreover, this commandis notreadilyundercut, asitcanhein
someurehunter-gatherereconomies, ytheahilityo comu-
nitiestoavoidviolencehyeasilysearatmgwhenconIictsanse.
Thus,forcehecomesacriticalinstrumentinthecreationofsocial
honds.Thesituationalcontextofthisviolenceservestolegitimize
itevenheforeoneconsidersitsrelevancetothecreationofwider
social ties. Male violence assumes the face of community de-
fense.Thereisnogreatneedforthemenofacommunitytoturn
theirweaonsagainstthewomenandchildreninordertoestahlish
theirdominance. Thesewomenandchildren, liketheirmenfolk,
lie under shared erilfrom theweaons ofthe enemyoutsider.
aa Harriet Whitehead
Menvaliantlydieintheirdutyofrotection,howcanoneaccuse
themofselfishinterests?Thedegreetowhichdisutesmayhecon-
juredarhitrarilyintoexistence-makingdefensenecessary-is
rohahlyneverclearlyerceivedhyanyarticiantsinthesystem
(d. Modjeska8a.a).
Oncewemoveawayfromhardviolence,however,andintoin-
termediateandositiveformsofrecirocity,thereisroomformore
variahilityinthedistrihutionofnegativeexchanges.Althoughsor-
ceryaccusationsinthemajorityofNewGuineasocietiesaretraded
hack andforthhetweenmen-in many cases, simlya form of
softviolencerodromaltoarmedconict-womencanartici-
ateinthisshere.Theymayhethoughtcaahleofcertainforms
ofmalevolentmagicor,inamorefrequentformulation,theyare
thoughtcaahleofsolicitingtheaidofmalesorcererstorosecute
a ersonalvendetta (Gell ,.-8, Knauft 8|.chas. -8,
Rohhins8a.8a).
Intheareaofositiveexchanges,womencanarticiatehyro-
vidinghothvaluedgiftitemsandcertaintyesofformal(forex-
amle,funerary)services.Iwillconfinemyattentiontotwomajor
atternsintheirsulyofgiftitems.Inone,confinedasfarIcan
telltoartsofthelowlands,thegatheredandgrownvegetahlero-
ducethatiscentraltoexchangefeastinghas not-forsome rea-
son-hecomesecializedintothehandsofmen.Thehenomenon
ofcrogenderingsocommoninNewGuinea-andsoohviouslya
wayofdemarcatinganexchangeeconomythatismalefromasuh-
sistenceeconomythatisfemale-isnotdeveloedintheseartic-
ularareas.Thusfeastitemsarethe roductofanacknowledged
j ointeuort,oreven,forcertainitems,aredominantlyfemaleeuort
(Oosterwal .cha.a,VanBaal .8-a,,-,o,Eyde,.
cha. ,Lset8|).
Thesecondwayinwhichwomenmakeasignificantcontrihution
toexchange,inhothlowlandsandhighlandshutoutstandinglyin
thehighlands,ishyraisingigs.Wemayseculateahoutwhyitis
womenwhoerformthislahor. Crogenderingmayagainlaya
role,thistimewithaaradoxicaleuect.Thesweetotato,almost
nevervaluedasafeastcroandaccordinglylefttowomentoraise
(orviceversa),turnsout tohetheig'sfodderofchoiceintheheavy
ig-raisingareas,suchasthehighlands,wherefodderingisanes
sentialartofherdmanagement. Anotherfactorcontrihutingto
women's involvementmayhethe comatihilityhetweenthe de-
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea a
mandsoftendingigsandthedemandsoftendingfamilies.New
Guineawomenhaveachievedadegreeoffameforthethorough-
nesswithwhichtheyhlendigtendingintotheirdomesticrou-
tines. Thedailyclose-to-homesuervisoryactivitythatigcareen-
tailswouldhohhleamaninmostoftheactivitiesthatordinarily
ensure his revalenceinexchange. traveling, contacting outside
grous, trading, fighting. The result is that, althoughin many
areasmenerformagreatdealofhackgroundlahornecessaryfor
raising igs-notahly clearing additional gardens and huilding
fences-theyarestilllessvisihlyandimmediatelyidentiedwith
theanimals. Often,however,menmaycounterthisdisadvantage
invisihleassociationwithanimalshyhringinghomewildiglets
fromthehushandfarmingtheseoutwiththeirwivesorhytrans-
ferringsurlusigletsfromtheirwives'herdstotheherdsofthe
wives of exchange artners or relatives. The catured or trans-
ferredigtendstoheidentifiedwithitshringer-aman. Inareas
whereigsarehroughtinthroughfinance(credit,essentially),
they also are identified with theirmalefinancier (see Strathern
,, Josehides 8). Thus, although ig raising may tend to
strengthenwomen'shandsinexchange,therearemalemovesthat
canousetthisadvantage.
Itmustalsohestressedthatevenwhenwomen'scontrihutionto
exchangeremainsrelativelyuncloudedanddirect,itdoesnotre-
sultintheirelevationtosocialequivalencewithmen.Butitmust
herememheredthatmenretaineverywherethemonoolizationof
force as well as some, usuallyconsiderahle, giftower. Accord-
ingly,itisnotillogicalthatmeneverywhereoeratethemeansto
coordinatefeastingandfighting,which,untilwereachthewestern
highlands,takestheformofafertilitycultthatvalorizestovariahle
degreesmalelife-givingforce.
YetIthinkitcanhearguedfromNewGuineacasesthatwomen's
contrihutionto exchange does notgounmarkedinideology, in-
cludingtheideologyoffertility. Mostimortantly, thetendencies
(where these are found) in New Guinea culture toward greater
ideologicalarticulationofwomen'sfertilizingrolearallelten-
dencies toward greaterfemale contrihutions to exchange, a fact
thatruns countertoMarxisttheories ofmystification. I have at-
temtedtoshowthiselsewherehycontrastingtwotyesofNew
Guinealowlandsociety(seeWhitehead8h). Onetye-which
includes the eoles of the Tor (Oosterwal , Oosterwal
a| Harriet Whitehead
,), ihe Asmai (Kuruwai ,,Eyde ,), iheKiwai(Landi-
man a,), and, wiih qualificaiions, iheMarindAnim(VanBaaI
,VanBaaI 8|)-ossessesimorianiriiualsorwholeriiuaI
cycIesinwhichmaiurewomenariiciaiewiihmeniniheriiuaI
consiruciionofferiiliiy.Femaleariiciaiioniakesiheformofcol-
leciivesinging, dancing, andsexualiniercourse. *The suhsiance
mixiuresroducedihroughriiualsexualiniercourse,ihemingled
soundsroducedhymen'sandwomen'ssinging,orhoiharecon-
sideredmagicalIygeneraiive.Thesuhsiancemixiuremayheused
insuhsequenigardeningmagic,andheierosexualconiaciisofien
seen as oieniiaiing various roduciive enierrises (Landiman
a,. aa,|-|8,o-,o,Oosierwal .,|,aaa-a|, |-|:
Oosierwal ,. ,8, 8a, VanBaal .-|, |,Eyde ,.
ao-o,Kuruwai,,seeaIsoMeekereial.8) .ThisiyeaIso
ossessessomeexclusivemaleriiualormarksouarisofihemaIe-
femaleriiualformenonly.
The second iye of lowIand sysiem simIy does noi incIude
womeniniheferiiliiyriiuaI,riiuaIsofihesecondiyeresemhleihe
maIe-only aris of ihe firsi iye's sysiem. The owers of male-
femalecoulaiionare reresenied inariifacis roduced andma-
niuIaiedonlyhymen(forexamle,iheandrogynousuies
aresoundedinhigh-lowairs),heierosexuaIconiaciiscasias
iiiheiicaliomosiroduciiveendeavors.Thehesiexamlesofihe
excIudersareiheYamCulieolesofihenorihcoasialrangesand
fooihiIls.iheAraeshandAhelamgrousandiheKwoma(Tuzm
,a,Tuzin8o,Mead|o-|,Kaherry|o-|,Kaherry,,
Bowden8|).TheKimamofFrederikHendrikIslandmighialso
heincluded,ihoughelemenisoffemaIeincIusionarealsoT1tHt1
iniheirsysiem(Serenii,Serenii8|) .
Theconirasiiniheexchangesysiemsofiheseiwoiyesis
worihy. Iniheiyewiihfemale-inclusiveriiual,ihegardened
gaiheredvegeiahleroducenecessaryforiniercommuniiy
reresenisaconirihuiionfromhoihsexes,oreven
from women, ihe meai comoneni of ihe feasi comrises
female-raisedigsandmaIe-huniedgame.Furihermore,sexual
vors(someiimeshomosexuaIasweIlasheierosexual)areariof
currencyofexchange,andofienwife-swaingarinershis
*The Murik Lakes society may also qualify for inclusion. The tenlal-mclusive
ceremonies and the exchange system in which they are embedded display
tributes singled out here, although I have not been able to find an account of
ideas regarding fertility (Lipset n. d. ; Meeker et a!. 1986).
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea a
ihe social axis alongwhich exira-auinal alliances are organized
(Eyde ,.ao-o, |-8, Oosierwal .-,, aoa,Meeker
eiaI. 8,VanBaal ).limusiheoiniedouiihaiihesesexuaI
exchanges,likeiheexchangeofwomeninmarriage,aimaihond-
ingmen, andihereseemsaifirsiglancenoohviousreasonwhy
such exchanges should rivilegewomeninculiicferiiIiiyidiom,
whenmarriage(iniheseandoiherlowlandsysiems)doesnoi.The
diuerence,lsuggesi,liesinihefaciihaiiniheseredominaniIyen-
dogamousIowlandcommuniiies,mosimarriagesIaynoariin
iniercommuniiyalliance-making.Thesex-exchanges,oniheoiher
hand,arearegularfeaiureofiniercommuniiyfeasiing,ihusinihe
sex-exchangingsysiems women (and women's food) are ariici-
aiinginawidershereofsocialhondcreaiion,andiheouierlim-
iisofanyexchangesysiemiendiohemoreriiualIymarkedandva-
lorized.HencewomenaremoreriiuaIlymarkedandvalorized.
Byconirasi, inihe female-excIusive sysiems, cros are gen-
dered so ihai ihe resiigious feasi cros-iyicaIlyyams-are
grownexclusivelyhymen.Exira-auinalexchangesofihesecros,
usuaIlyhuinoialwayscomeiiiive, occuriniheconiexiofinier-
communiiyalliancemaking,siruciurallydislacingiheexchange
ofsexualfavorsandgender-undiuereniiaiedfoods.Therheioricof
feriiliiydiuersaccordingIy. Maniulaiingiheirgeneraiiveara-
hernaliainsecrei,menrocreaieandgrowiwoihings,malecros
andnewmen(iheiniiiaies),whicharesymholicalIyequaiedinrii-
ual(Tuzin ,a.a-,,Kaherry|o-|. -,).Ineueci, men
arerocreaiingsymholicalIyevenasiheyarereroducingaciually
ihecondiiionsofiheirrule.gifis(yams)andhIows(newwarriors) .
And ihey aredoingso, inihese sysiems, wiihouiihe assisiance
of women. We should recall here ihai ihe male-onIy aris of
ihefemale-inclusiveriiualcyclesaresimilarlyconcernedwiihihe
makingofwarrior-huniersandwiihiheexchangeofihecharacier-
isiicmalegifi, huniedgame (Oosierwal .ao-|,, Oosierwal
,.8|, Landiman a,.,-,, ,a-,8.
*
ln sum, women dis-
*Empirical evidence suggests that the two forms of ritualism-female-inclusive
and female-exclusive-may co-exist within the same population, though not nec
essarily in integration with each other. The south coastal Marind and Kiman both
furnish some evidence of dual systems. The predominant system among the Mar
ind appears to have included women, while the predominant system among the
Kiman involved female-exclusive rituals and the exchange of male-grown yams.
The presence of a good deal of homosexual sexual exchange in both societies sug
gests another mechanism through which women may be "displaced" in communal
fertility ritual (Van Baal 1966; Serpenti 1965).
266 Harriet Whitehead
aearfromiheriiualconsiruciionofferiiliiyinihoseoriionso
iheriiualsysiemihaicenieronmale-monoolizedcurrenciesofex
change. lnsocieiiesinwhichall ofiheimorianicurrenciesofex
changearemonoolizedhymen,womendisaearfromiheidiom
offeriiliiyeniirely. *
Conclusions
ThisconirasiheiweenlowlandNewGuineasysiemsihaiinclude
womeninferiiliiyceremonialandihoseihairadicallyexcludeihem
reinforcesCollierandRosaldo'sinierreiaiionofferiiliiyideology
asawayofmakingsiaiemenisahouiihecreaiionofsocialhonds
and, inmyesiimaiion,reasserisiheimorianceofiheirirainof
analysis.BuiiheNewGuineadaiaalsoserveioalierourareci-
aiionofiheoliiical-economicunderinningsofsocialhondmak-
inginirihalsocieiies. TherohleminalyingCollierandRosal-
do'shrideservicemodel io New Guinea is noisimly ihaiure
hrideserviceorganizaiionisrareinihisarea,whereasmaleferiiliiy
imageryisahundani.Therohlemisamorefundamenialoneiha
revealsihelimiiaiionsofexchangeiheoryasiihascomeiohede-
loyed. Alihoughiheyquihhlewiihhim, CollierandRosaldoul
iimaielyinheriifromLevi-Sirauss ihe iendency io overrivilege
marriageandunderrivilegevioleniexchangesinihecreaiionof
socialorderinsiaielesssocieiies.If,asLevi-Sirausssuggesis,irihes
havechoseniomarryouiraiherihanhekilledoui,iiisnoiihe
caseihaiiheyihereforeeiiherceasefromallkillingandihreaiening
iokiIlorihaiiheyrelyexclusivelyuonmarriageforiheirrinci
lesofeacemaking.Tracingihesignificaniihreadofferiiliiyim-
ageryihaiCollierandRosaldohavehighlighiedforus,wefindihat
ihecomlexwehofiniergrouexchangeinNewGuineareiainsiis
violeniunderinnings-hence,iniercommuniiyviolenceisglam-
orized as feriile-andihaiamuliiiude ofgifi iiems andservices
*Total female exclusion is in fact relatively rare in New Guinea. In highland sys-
ters, women's role in pig raising cannot be overlooked, and their ritual contribu-
tion in the easter highlands is refected in the mixed-sex gerua dances that accom-
pany fertility-oriented pig feasts (Salisbury 1965; Newman The heightened
focus upon kin group ancestors as the agents of fertility in can also
be construed as a way of integrating both sexes into the idiom of Analysis
of the highland situation is complicated by the apparent decrease in the
of fertility cultism in areas of enchained exchanges, the western and
highlands.
Fertility and Exchange in New Guinea 267
musiheweighediniheeacemaking equaiion. Likeihevarious
formsofviolence,ihesegifiseachhaveiheirariicularcondiiions
ofroduciionihaifigure inioiheroleiheymaylayinihe con-
siruciionofawidersocialorderandinioiheroleihaivariousaciors
inihesysiemmayadoiinrelaiionioihem.
Eniailedinihisreundersiandingofihedynamicsofexchangeis
areareciaiionofihemeaningofdominanceinirihalsysiems.Re-
callihaiLevi-Siraussheldihaimaledominanceinirihalsocieiyis
afunciionofmen'srighiioexchangewomen.Womendonoienjoy
acomarahlerighiioexchangemen or eachoiher (Levi-Sirauss
1969: 52-68; seealsoRuhin1975). ThissiaiemenilefiLevi-Sirauss,
andsuhsequeniihinkers, wiihiheunanswerahlequesiion, How
domenohiain ihis righi? Again, ihe reduciion ofrecirociiy in
irihalsysiemsiorimarilymariialrecirociiyisresonsihleforihis
imasse.lfweseeirihalrecirociiiesasencomassingarangeof
negaiive and osiiive exchanges, eachwiih iis ariicular condi-
iionsofroduciionandeachamenahleiodiuereniformsofcon-
irol,weareahleioheiierundersiandhowceriaincaiegoriesofac-
iorcan,hyconirollingdiuerenielemenis, comeiodominaieihe
exchange sysiemas awholeoriishighesilevels. Monoolizing
forceandalwayssomeareasofihegifieconomy,NewGuineamen
redominaieaswelliniheidiomofferiiliiyandiniheferiiliiyculis
ihairegulaieiheoliiicaleconomyasawhole. Women'saear-
anceinferiiliiyidiomandinculiicaciiviiylargelydeendsonihe
degreeiowhichiheycanhringioiniercommuniiyexchange,and
canclaimasiheirconirihuiion,desiredgifisandservices.
Part Three
Descent and
the Construction of
Gendered Persons
Producing Diference: Connections
and Disconnections in Two New Guinea
Highland Kinship Systems
Marilyn Strathern
Ir 5 AM iniriguingfaciihaiinsomePauaNewGuineahighlands
socieiies,hridewealihresiaiionsarelikenediodeaihcomensa-
iion, whereas elsewhereiheyrefigure childgrowihaymenis. *
Diuerenisiruciures ofkinshirelaiions areinvolved. Indeed, in
ihewaysinwhichwomen'siieswiihiheirnaialandauinalkinare
conceived,wefindgreaierorlesserweighiheinguionkinshias
such. Throughiheirlife-cycleresiaiions, somehighlandssociei-
ies makeroomforihegeneraiionofwhaiIcallnon-kinshivalues.
Where grous suchas clans emerge asihe uniis ihai arrange
marriages, ihe rereseniaiion ofwomen's clanmemhershi and
iheirassageinmarriageiscomarahleioiheideaihaimenshare
commonsuhsianceorclaimsioland.menandwomenareequally
ariicianiaciorsandequallysuhjecisofsymholicrereseniaiion.
Ohviously, ihissiaieofauairsis noiresiriciedioclan-hasedsys-
iems.HarrieiWhiiehead'sariicleinihiscolleciiondealswiihihe
exieniiowhichvaryingconsiruciionsofgenderarerelaiedioro-
osiiionsahouigrouhoundednessiiself.Iiniroduceinihisariicle
*This paper was first written in 1982. Much that is germane to its argument has
been published since, but I treat these later developments in a forthcoming book,
The Gender ofthe Gif. I am in debt to the organizers and participants of the Bellagio
Conference for providing such a stimulating forum for these ideas. I am also grate
ful to Andrew Strathern and Aletta Biersack for their comments on an earlier draft.
Richard Fardon and Ladislav Holy were helpful critics of a spoken version given at
St. Andrews, as were Ann Whitehead and members of A.F.R.A.S., University of
Sussex. Jane Collier and Sylvia Yanagisako have taken considerable editorial pains.
I thank Gregory Acciaioli, Paula Rubel, Abe Rosman, Susan Drucker-Brown, Rena
Lederman, and Roy Wagner for their comments. Francesca Merlan and Alan Rum
sey have since furnished a detailed critique from which I have benefited, as did
Meyer Fortes not long before his death. Not for this reason alone, however, do
dedicate this paper to him.
a,a Marilyn Strathern
iheargumeniihaiihesenseofhoundaryihaiseemsiovaryso
iween highIands socieiies is ideaiionaIIy generaied hy
ihaiaIsounderIineconsiruciionsofersonhood,forihereare
nificanivariaiionswiihinihehighIandsiniheexieniiowhich
sons are conceiuaIized as seIf-govening agenis. OnIy
ceriain socieiaIcondiiions doesihe erson seemioemerge
auionomous. where kinshi formuIaiions generaie eniiiies
ceaseiohedenedhykinshi.AuionomyisdeIineaiedihrough
iomsofdeiachmeni. OnIysome, andindeedrohahIyonIya
noriiy, ofhighIands kinshi sysiems faciIiiaie such aODrr!11
disengagemeniofersonsfromihenexusofkinreIaiions.
derdiuerencesandreIaiionsareaowerfuIsymhoIicresource
ihisend.
ThisargumeniassumessymhoIicinieniion(ihaieoIewani
rereseniideasahouiersons) andreadsceriaincuIiuraI
gories(suchasmaIeandfemaIe)hackwardsfromii. BuiI --
hackwardswiihasecificendinmind.Weassumeioomuchif
aroachihesymhoIsofoihersaswedoourown-ifweOOOI14lV)
forexamIe,ihaimaIeandfemaIeasgeneraIizedgender
egoriesareaddressedrimariIyiowhaimenandwomendo.As
havearguedeIsewhere,iheyareaIreadyanahsiraciionfrom
menandwomendo.
Thereasonforreeaiingihisoinihereisaiihecenierof
inisianaIysis.ConsideringhrideweaIihresiaiionsfromiheview
oiniofwomen'saiiachmeniiomaIe-definedcIanscouIdweIIIook
IikeresurreciingihesecireofmenasaciorsmaniuIaiingassive
women.IwouIdasseriihaiihiscanonIyhereadinioihedaiafrom
ceriain secific reoccuaiions wiih agency. l refer io Wesiern
ideas ihai inform much sociaI science anaIysis. Agency, for in
siance, isgeneraIIyrecognizedinasuhjeci'smaniuIaiionofoh-
jecis, ihemseIvesdefiniiiveIynoi-agenis (aiiheoiniofmaniu-
Iaiion, ihe ageni is a erson aciing on ihings) . Associaied
noiionsofower,wiII,andsoforihresionaWesienhierarchism
ofihiskind.Whenweseemenandwomeninanaarenilyasym-
meiricaIsiiuaiion-womenmovingheiweencIansofmen-weare
ihus aiio iake for granied ihe suhjeciofihe symhoIs invoIved
(women'ssuhordinaiion,iheirheingireaiedIikeohjecis). Buiii
isimorianinoiiorejudgewhaiismeaniinihesymhoIizaiionof
femaIe and maIe (see Leacock 8, Sacks ,). Oiherwise, we
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems a,
hIock oui ihe ossihiIiiy of cruciaI insighi inio sociaI-hisioricaI
rocess.
OneseiofrocessesdemandingexIicaiionsringsfromPauIa
RuheIandAhrahamRosman's(,8)comaraiiveconsideraiionof
highIands socieiies. ihe uneven deveIomeni of ceremoniaI ex-
change asauhIic-oIiiicaIinsiiiuiionwiihiisown ends disiinci
fromihe endsofIife-cycIeandkinshi-hasedaymenis. Shirley
Lindenhaum's ariicIemakesihe oiniverycIearIy. Themorewe
know, ihe more evideniiiis (cf. A. Siraihern ed. 8a) ihaiihe
Iarge-scaIeorganizaiionsofiheMendi,Hagen,orMaeEngaiyes,
wiihiheircIearconceiuaIizaiionofresiigeandBig-Manshi,are
infaciexiremeinihisdeveIomeni,aIihoughonceiakenasiyicaI
ofiheregionasawhoIe. Manymoresocieiiesareakinioihoseof
iheIowIandsiniheirinieresiinceremonialresiaiionshasedon
kinshiandiheIifecycIe.
lnoiniingio one ariicuIareihnograhicconirasi, Ihaveno
douhi conaied oihers. ShirIey LindenhaumandHarrieiWhiie-
head have surveyed some of ihe diuereni cuIiuraI coniexis for
kinshi-hased exchanges. My own inieresi is in ihe symhoIic
mechanismshywhichnon-kinshivaIuesaregeneraied.Howis
resiigeerceivedasanaiirihuieofoIiiicaIaciiviiy?Howdoes
weaIih, creaiedhyiheworkofmenandwomenaIike(roduc-
iion),comeiosiandforsomeihingihaiceasesiohavereferenceio
ihaiwork(iransaciion)?Fromwheredoesihenoiionofaerson
derive?ThequesiionsareinierreIaied.iiisinihosehandfuIofhigh-
Iands socieiies whichhavehighIydeveIoed noiions ofresiige
ihaiweaIsofindconceiuaIizaiions,firsi,ofweaIihasasourceof
exirinsicvaIue(andnoimereIysomeihingowediooihers,orro-
erIyheIongingio oihers), and, second,ofiheersonasanauion-
omousageni.
ThenoiionofageniiniheseIaiiersocieiiesresuosesamairix
ofreIaiionshisiowhicheoIeheIonghuifromwhichiheycan
aIsodeiachihemseIves. An ideaiionaIconirasiheiweenconnec-
iionanddisconneciioniscommon

yreseniedihroughihaihe-
iweenmaIesrooied io cIanIandandfemaIesseveredfromii. In
ihese ariicuIar highIands socieiies, hrideweaIih may iake ihe
characierofdeaihcomensaiion.AIsoinihesesocieiies,wefind
markedairiIineaIideoIogies(cf.FeiI 8|,ShairoihisvoIume) .
Thaiis,iheconceiofahoundedgrouaearsmosisaIieniinihe
274 Marilyn Strthern
resenceofihesymholizedossihiliiyofdeiachmenifromgrou
relaiions,noiionsofhoundednessaresirongesiwherenoiionsof
ersonalauionomyare alsoronounced. Wheiheroneiakesihe
houndednessofgrousoriheauionomyofersonsascon
rior,eachi siheconceiualreciiiaieofiheoiher.Thiscould
heihecase,however,wereiherenoiiwokindsofersons
andfemale-ihaicouldgiveaconcreierereseniaiionofihe
leciicalnaiureofihissiruciure. (lfmenareaiiachedioclanland,
womenaredeiached,ifwomenareaiiachedioroduciionon
land,menaredeiachedihroughiheirexchanges.)
Inhisariicleinihiscolleciion,MauriceBlochshowsiheandr-
gynous Merina deme iranscendeni over feminine
equallyowerfulimages,drawingoncaiegorizaiionsderived
everydaylife. Amongihe HagenersofiheWesiernHighlands,
sirongsenseofgroucolleciiviiyisconsianilyseiouhyan
sirongsenseofersonalauionomyoniheariofhoihsexes.
iheinieresisofindividualclansmenmayaearioresisiihe
esisofiheircan,womenmayaearioresisiiheinieresisof
IresenisomeevidenceforiheunderlyingHagen
TomakeiheoiniljuxiaosemaierialfromiheWiruiniheSouih

ernHighlands,whereceremonialexchangeisemheddedinar
irixofkinresiaiions,whereresiige,Big-Manshi,and
hood are hy comarison allrelaiivelyundeveloed, and
grouhoundednessisofliiilesalience.Herehridewealihis
iIaied io childgrowih aymenis. Here symhols ofwomen's

men'saiiachmeniioiheirkincommenionihenaiureofemhed-
dednessandideniiiyhuidoliiileiodelineaiedeiachmeniinany-
ihinghuianehemeralway. *
ElsewhereIwasconcernedwiihconirasisiniheconsiruciions '
HagenandWirugenderforwhichahriefsociologicalanalysis
exchangesysiemswasoueredinexlanaiion.Thisariiclehas
oihersiariingoini.Giveniheariicularconsiruciionseniailed
genderformulae, whaiareiheconsequencesforihe
.

izaiionofoiherareasoflifeiowhichihoseformulaeareahed?
shallargueihaiHagenersusegenderasavehiclefor
izing diuerences inihe qualiiies of kinshi aiiachmenis. Au
*My fieldwork among the Wiru was limited to two months, and I am
dependent on Andrew Strathern's ethnographic investigations. A nu

ber
points I make come from joint discussions; I have also drawn freely on h1s
insights.
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems 275
omyisdelineaiediwice.firsi, asacharacierisiicofdeiachedindi-
viduals whose inieresis cannoi he aligned wiih ihose of iheir
ascrihedgrou,second,asevincediniheroduciofarelaiionshi
heiweenariners,iheenergyandinieniandworkihaiinihecase
ofsouses(likeexchangeariners)noimerelyauirmsiheirmariial
siaiusvis--viseachoiher,huiresulisinj oinicreaiions(children,
wealih)noiexclusivelyideniifiedwiiheiiher.
InusingiheWiruasafoilioihisanalysis,Ialsouiilizeaconirasi
heiweensymholicdevices.Thediscreiecaiegoriesmaleandfemale
arehroughiinioarelaiionofjuxiaosiiioninHagensocieiywhere
iheycanheconaiedinWirusocieiy. BuiHagenandWirucannoi
heiakenassomesociologicalorculiuralair.Thereisaconirasihe-
iweenihemaccordingiomyaxesofanalyses,huiihisisnoiofahi-
narykind. lwouldfollowBlochinarguingihaiihereisnosingle
gender-orderingofvalues io hefound, evenwiihinoneculiure.
ldemonsiraie ihe oini, however, noiashedoeswiihreference
io diuerences in kinds of knowledge hui io diuerences in sym-
holic consiruciion heiween ihese iwo socieiies (see Colhy eial.
1981: 431).
Kinship: Connection and Disconnection
AnaiiveseakerofiheEnglishlanguagemighiheforgivenfor
suosingihaikinshiwasonlyahouiconneciions.Asarela-
iion (Schneider1968), arelaiivesiandsforiheveryideaofrela-
iionshi.Buikinshialsoroducesdiuerence,andqualiiaiivedis-
junciionheiweenceriaincaiegoriesofkinmaysecificallyiakeihe
formofdisconneciions.
Comoneniial analysisofkinshi ierminologies ceriainlyro-
ceedsonihe assumiionihaiariicularierminologicalosiiions
areiheroduciofdisiinciions(e. g. , iniermsofageorsexorgen-
eraiion)comhiningioroducediscreiecaiegories. Buisequenceas
wellasermuiaiionmayheaiissue.liisnoijusiihai,inRadcliue-
Brown'shrase, asocialersonaliiyisiheroduciofconverging
relaiionshis,soihaidiuerenicomonenisofiheerson'smakeu
are visihleinihe diuereniiies he or shehaswiih oihers (Fories
1969: 95). Norevenihai,inreseciofariicularkin,aiiachmeni
mayheofradicallydiuereniorders(Leach1961). Ifeoleareseen
ioshedaswellasacquirekinshiideniiiy, aicrucialdevelomenial
junciureswhaimayhe siressed hecomes noiiheir conneciionio
a, Marilyn Strathern
ihisseiofersonshuiiheirdisconneciionfromihaisei.Socialiran
siiionsmaywellfocusonnon-kinshielemenis-iheacquisiiiono
adulihood,iheauirmaiionofsexualmaiuriiy,oriheaiiainmenio
oliiicalouice-leavingkinshidesignaiionsiniaci. Onieoih
hand,iheymaydeliheraielyseiiheersonaarifromreviouski
conneciions. Riiesofassagecanheheldioeueciachangeinsuh
siance-iorelaceahoy'smaiernalhodyhyaiernalhody,orioen
dowagirlwiihsexualiiyfromanouisidesource.Conneciionsar
ihussevered,iransformed,aliered,andersonsexiraciedfrom
mairuinwhichiheywerefirsiemhedded.
Onenoiahleconiexiismarriage.Andihemosinoiahlecaiegor
ofersonsfromiheviewoiniofunilinealmodeIingisihesous
whoisnoiinaosiiion io reroduce himselfor herself. Wher
ideasofowandiransmissionofsuhsiancerovideidiomsofre
laiedness(seeWeiner,8.,,Weiner8o.,a,Poole8),
such sysiemsalsohaveiorovidea symholiccounierari. idea
of hlockage and ierminaiion. This is irue of ceriain Paua
Guinea highlands desceniconsiruciswiihaairilinealcasi,
wivesmarkedouiasihenon-reroducing souse. The
conirihuiionmayhaveioheohliieraiedfromihechildren'shodies
oroiherwiseseiagainsiiheconneciionsiracedihroughihefaiher
Thewomanherselfmayheregardedasseveredfromihehody
herclansmen.Asaresuli,ihecaiegorywomenconnoiesdeiach
ahiliiy.Womenaresecificallydisconneciedaiariicularoinis
iheirlivesfromkinshi-hasedrelaiionshis,suchasihoseihey
joywiihiheirarenisandsihlings.
However ihecreaiionofdiuerence(disiinciionsinwomen's
men'smaku)ishynomeansauniformrocess.Inihe
sysiems io which lhaveheenreferring, awoman'sdeiachmen
fromherclanmayrovideamodelofnon-kinshivalues. As
ihanafullclanmemher,she,andihemairilaieralconneciions
reresenis,comeiorefernoionlyioexira-canresourceshuiio
sourcesroducedinoliiicalconiexisnolongerclassifiedhyihe
quiremenisofkinrelaiions.Inoiherhighlands(andlowlands)
iems,hyconirasi, disconneciionmayinsieadheariof
euoris io mainiain diuereniiaiion heiween caiegories ofkin
Wagner,,a),ioensureihaimaierniiyandaierniiymakea
ferenceiniheconsiiiuiionofaerson.Theendresuliofihis -e~
aciiviiyisihesusiainingofdiuerenceiiself,andiheconceiual
iiiiesihusgeneraiedmusireferhackioiheunderlyingkinshi
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems a,,
neciions.Underihecondiiionsofihefirsicase,wefindamarked
conceiualizaiionofiheersonasdisiincifromakinsman.This
islesssoinihesecondcase.Thecondiiionsinquesiionemergeas
conirasiingmodesofsymholizaiioninwhichgenderasasourceof
diuerencelaysaceniralrole.
lnsofaraskinshiconsirucisiurnoniheereiuaiionofsimi-
laiiiesandihe creaiion ofdisiinciions, ihen discriminaiionshe-
iweencaiegoriesofkinareahouiihediuerenceiimakesioaer-
son's siaius io he ihe roduci of various oihers. Disiinciions
heiweenihesexesinvariahlyenieriniosuchdiscriminaiions.Bui
emhasisongenderalerisusioihefaciihaidiuerencesheiween
ihesexesmaynoi,asaiechnicaloini,heconsiruciedinihesame
way-wemaynoihedealingwiihasinglemodelofdiuerence
(c. Sacks,.) .
Whaiisirueofihewaydiuerencesaremodeledwillalsoheirue
ofihewayrelaiionshisaremodeled. Therefore, iihecomesana-
lyiically significani wheiher, for examle, a shell siands for ihe
wholeman,orforariofhimselfseenasdeiachahle,forihiscreaies
disiinci siruciures-iheersonasaneniireiyorasariihle. Be-
iweenihesexes,iiissignificaniwheiheronegendercandislace
orsuhsiiiuieforihe oiher, orwheiheriherelaiionshiheiween
ihemalwayssusiainsananiiihesis.Yeiiheconceiofrelaiionshi
iiselfisamhiguous.Weuseihenoiionofarelaiionhoihiosuh-
sumeideniiiyandiodisiinguishideniiiy(ihereisnodiuerence
heiween elemenis) from relaiional equivalence (elemenis are
linkedhuiremaindiscreie).ThusD.J.J.Brown(8o.a) reminds
usihaidesceniiheorysuhsumesrelaiionunderiherincileofdef-
iniiion,whereasexchangeiheoryrecognizesiherincileofrela-
iionasdisiinci.lssuesofihisnaiureledRoyWagner(,)ioclar-
ify iwo modes of symholizaiion-iwo models of relaiionshi-
namely, figuraiiveconsiruciionsinwhichmeaningsareiled on
and images suhsiiiuied for one anoiher, andliieral orrelaiional
consiruciions in which elemenis are hroughi iogeiherin such a
wayihaiiherelaiionshiiiselfhecomesasearaielycognizeden-
iiiy. Thefollowingaccounidrawsoniheseroosiiions.
Hagen: The Premise of Diference
AHagenwomanisreseniedasseveredfromherclanaimar-
riage.Pariofihehridewealihihaiassesnomherroseciivehus-
a,8 Marilyn Strathern
hand's kinioherclansmenisacaiegoryofnon-reiurnahle shells
called peng pokla, head cuiiing (cf. M. Siraihern ,a.o|). In-
deed, inmanyresecis,hridewealihiscomarahleiodeaihcom
ensaiion(ayingforihehead) (A. Siraihen8a.ao) .Inihis
sense, awomanisdeiachedfromherclan.Yei,aiihesameiime,
shecarriesiisnamewiihher.Nomaneisreferrediohyhernaial
clan in ihe aellaiion Membo amb Nomane (ihe Memho [clan
womanNomane[ersonalname]). Moreover, shehecomesanac
iiveroadforihelinksnowesiahlishedheiweenherownand
hushand'sclan.Thehloodsheiransmiisioherchildren,farfrom
havingioheohliieraied, symholizesihischannelofLLIII1lL1
iion.lshallshowihaiihisisnoiihearadoxiiseems.
Hagenhridewealihisacomleieiransaciion,ainal
followhuiareovershadowedhyihedevelomenioffull-scale
emonial exchange (mok) . * On uhlic occasions, such ainal-
maiernalkinneiworksareiakenforgraniedanddonoihecomean
overiraiionaleforsiagingexchanges(A. Siraihern,8).Yei
daughiersandsisiershaveheensymholicallydeiached,ihereis
amhiguiiyahouiiheirsiaiusaswives,ihusiiisiolerahlefor
iolive,asafewdo, wiihiheirnaialkin. Howevermuchihis
romisesongoingconjugalrelaiionsheiweenhushandandwife,
doesnoiaeciiheirformalsiaiusassouses-ihewomanis
married-noriheagnaiicailiaiionofherchildrenwhomay
accomanyher.Forihesymholicdeiachmeniihroughonoewea
makesawife'ssiandinginrelaiionioherhushand
suchihaihermovemenihackandforihheiweenhisandher
homeneednoicomromiseiheirformalmariialsiaius,any
ihanhermaiernalconirihuiionioiheirchildisaihreaiio
ideniiiy.
Hagenersdeiachiheiransmissionofclanideniiiyfromihej
workofihesexesinchildhirih.Togeiherihesexesmakeand
dowihechild.Thereisawayofreferringioiheiransmissionof
scenisuhsianceasmalesexualiiy(ndating) (A. Siraihern,a.
),huiiiisremarkahleihaiingeneralarlance,ihefaiher's
irihuiion(semen) andihemoiher's(hloodandlaiermilk)arein
*Hagen bridewealth transactions often initiate personal exchange nartnrmD8
between a man and his afines. Maternal kin receive child payments and death
ments, but the bulk of transactions-even though they are with maternal
final kin-are converted into mok. From the men's point of view, individual
merges into group relations, and women become intermediaries between
linked clans.
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems a,
relaiionshiofequivalence,inihaiiheiermgrease(kopong) may
referioallihese,ashlood(mera) mayalsoreferioageneralized
ideaofhysiologicalconneciion. Moiherandfaiherhavedisiinci
origins,huiiheirferiiliiyisuiiojoiniuse.Makingchildrencan
ihusheregardedasalahorinvolvinggrease(iheconirihuiionof
hoih),asisihelaniingofcrosoniheland'ssurface(A. Siraihern
8a.aaa) .
lndeed, in ihinking ofihe consiiiuiion ofihe feius, Hageners
siressihecomlemeniariiyinihehushand'sandwife'sconirihu-
iions, muchasiheairworksiogeiherinallroduciiveaciiviiies.
Eachgivesa ari ofhimselfor herselfwhilereiaininga disiinci
ideniiiy. Buiclanshiroducesaskewing.Thedisiinciivenessof
ihehushand'sconirihuiionliesiniisreferenceioihefaciihaifood
isgrownoniheimmuiahleunderlyinghoneofclanierriiory.ihe
associaiionheiweenihishasisfornuriureandiheclanhody(hone),
aswellasihenameihaiihefaiheriransmiis,consiiiuiesiheclan-
shihischildrenacquire. *Thewifeaddsherelemeniioii,asshe
addsherworkioclanendeavors.Andiiisihisaseciofhercon-
neciionswiihherownkinfromwhichshewasseveredwhenshe
married.Sheneedundergonochangeofiniernalsuhsiance. Her
iransiiionfromheingadaughier/sisierioawifeissimlyaccom-
lishedaiiheiimeofihehridewealihiransaciion.Sheisfirsicuio
fromiheclanname. Alihoughshecarriesiiwiihherandmayhe
ireaiedaccordingiohernaialclanmemhershi,iisdemisewiihher
owndeaihhasheenforeshadowed,shecannoirereseniiheclan
asiismalememherscan. Second,virilocalresidencenormallycuis
heroufromclannuriure.alihoughshemaymainiaingardenswiih
her ownkin, and herchildrenhave couriesyrighisihere, ihese
childrenofhersarefundameniallynourishedhyiheworkshedoes
onherhushand'sland.
ThishasconsequencesforiheHagenconsiruciionofersonas
ageni,alihoughImusimakeiiclearihaiihereisnosingleHagen
*The donations of semen and blood, which belong to a domain of joint parental
activity, are conceptually distinguished fom the child's acquisition of clan identity
as "bone." Men and women both have "bone," of course, as a matter of such iden
tity; however, women are also said to have "no bone" (they lack "strength," insofar
as this identity has a diferent placement in their lives from that of men) (M. Strath
er 1972: 159).
tShe sometimes transmits her own clan name to matrisegments within her chil
dren's clan, but precisely to draw attention to diferentiation or to some special re
lationship in a way men cannot. Men transmit their personal names or personal
characteristics such as "short/tall."
a8o Marilyn Strathern
iermforerson,anymoreihanihereisforoiheranalyiical
sirucissuchaskinshioroliiicalanddomesiicdomains. Laier
hrieyindicaiehowiheirersondiuersfromiheersonofcer
iainanihroologicaliheorizing.
Consiruciioninvolvesasignificanisequencing, andmore
oneconsiruciionisaiissue.Whenachildisconceiualizedas
roduciofihediuerenceheiweeniisarenis,iiisihus,soio
an eniiiy oiher ihan ihose diuerences ihemselves. Ai ihe
iime, ii musi move ina diuereniiaied world. There is a
senseinwhichiheersonisariihle,andiherelaiionshi1
ihe aris Hageners consiruci ihrough gender imagery.
quenily,oniheonehand,ihechild,likeiheerson,is
dered. Buioniheoiherhand,ersonsconiainwiihinLI1I
hoihamaleandafemaleelemeni.Thereisasalieniseiof
aiionsheiweenihefemaleari,deiachahiliiy,andihecirculaiion
wealih ohjecis. Mairilaieral conneciions areariofihis
_

g_____@
raiion(maiernalkinareregardedasasourceofwealih),yei
comoneniofiheersonisnoisimlyinheriiedfromihe
TheersoninHagensocieiyisareconstitution ofandnoia
caiionofarenialinui,andihisreconsiiiuiionisalsoihe
ofiissiaiusasanon-kinshieniiiy.
Imakesuchanasseriiononihegroundsofiechnicaliiiesin
holconsiruciion.Iiisihereforenecessaryioheclearahouiihe
niquesaiissue. *HereIursueihedisiinciionheiweena
consiruciion, which ihroughsuhsiiiuiionhuilds u or
ideniiiy,andaliieralone,whichdeiachesaariwiihoui
romisingideniiiyandihuscreaiesarelaiion.Arelaiionshi
aroduci,ideniiiydoesnoi.
Theformersuosesananalogyheiweeniheelemenis
inioconjunciion(oneelemenioverlaidhyanoiher) .Thelaiier
osesconiiguiiy, wiihihearialsosiandingforiissource.A
couldnoisiandforihewholeinihissenseifiheiwowerenot

diuerenidimensions. Disjunciionisihusseiu.ihearimusi
conceiually deiachahle. Wealih, which comes io men's
*The terms "literal" and "figurative" come directly from Wagner's
(1975; 1977a; 1977b). They address a diference in modes of symbolization
been treated in other contexts (e.g., Tambiah 1968; Colby, Fernandez,
feld 1981), as for instance in Ortner's (1973) deployment of
"elaborating" symbols. Summarizing symbols lead to a process of substituti<t
l
figurative structure), whereas elaborating symbols spell out relationships (in
eral mode).
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems a8
(skins) maysiandfororrefer ioiherominence ofmenas
iransaciors,huiihiswealihisalsodeiachahle. Clanshiformen,
oniheoiherhand, isnoi. Buiclansareiherehyahleio augmeni
iheirnameshysomeihingihaiisnoi-clanshi(suchaswealih) .For
women, ihesiiuaiionisdiuereni. Iiisfromclanshiihaiwomen
areregardedasdeiachahle.TiesihroughHagenwomencannoihe
regeneraiive ofagnaiion-noihecausewomenareunimoriani,
hui hecause ihey imorianily siand for someihing ihai is noi-
clanshi.Menaddihis(wealih,andiheroduciiviiyofwomen)
ioihemselvesinsuchawayasiocreaieforiheiroliiicaliransac-
iionsvalueswhichnolongerreferioihoseofkinshi.Oniheone
hand,ihen,afiguraiivesuhsiiiuiioniscreaiedihroughoneaiirih-
uiesiandingforanoiherinanencomassingmanner(forexamle,
agnaiionandrooiednessinancesiralrelaiionsarerereseniedin
maleaiiachmeniioclanland,suchihaiamandisconneciinghim-
selffromihislandcomromiseshisagnaiicsiaius),ihiscreaiesai-
irihuiesasinirinsic(mendoordonoiresideonclanland) .Onihe
oiherhand, anaiirihuiemayheregardedasaliieralexiensionor
artofiheersonihaiersonsalsohaveaiiheirdisosal,ihisgives
ri

io ossihiIiiiesofdisconneciion(forexamle, shellsmusihe
goifrom elsewhere, igs raised aihomecanheseniawayinex-
change). These consiruciions underlie ihe circulaiion of suh-
siancesandihingsheiweenersons.lnihefirsiinsiance,ohjecis
(suchasclansuhsiance)mayhemeiahoricallysuhsiiiuiedforer-
sons,andiniheiransmissionofsuhsiancesaciorshecomeiden-
iified,inihesecond,ohjecis(suchaswealihiiems)areconiiguous
wiihersons, andmiheexchangeofiiems aciors are relaied.
These consiruciions comrise diuereni coniexis foriherelaiion-
shiheiweenmaleandfemale.liisiheliieralconsiruciionihaiis
ariicularlyofnothere,forincreaiingarelaiionheiweenihem-
selvesasdiuereniiaiedeniiiies,iheariiescreaiearoduciihaiis
diuerenifromihem.
Man(wuo) andwoman(amb) areanirreducihlelexicalairin
iheHagenlanguage,Mela(LancyandSiraihern8,cf.LeRoy
:8) .Theiwoiermsiakeondiuerenivalues,however,deending
oniheconiexiinquesiion.Wheremanandwomaneachhave
afiguraiive siaius, siandingonlyforihemselves, innaiely diuer-
eniiaied, we may seak of same-sex coniexis. men do male
ihings, women do female ihings. To iake male and femalein
cross-sexconiexis,however,aswheniheaciiviiiesofonearecom-
282 Marilyn Strathern
aredioiheoiherorihesexesjoiniogeiherinanenierrise,isio
enierihedomainofliieralexression.Hereihingssymholizedas
eiihermaleorfemaleoiniuarelaiionalconirasi.Genderisused
insuchcomarisonsiocreaiedisiinciionsheiweenseisofersons
or iniernal elemenis wiihin a erson. Thusihe relaiionshihe
iweenworkandresiigeorheiweenroduciionand

canheialkedahouiiniermsofrelaiionsheiweenwomenandmen
oriniermsofiniernalhodilyconsiiiuiion.Theoiniisnoijusiihat
ersonsarecomosedofdiuerenielemenis,huiihaiiheir
iuiionmodelsrelaiionshishasedonaniiihesis, soihaiihey
whaiiheyarenoi.iheyarehoihx andiisoosiiey. Awoman
hoihaiiachedioaclan(male)andseveredfromaclan (
whereas a man ishoiha household roducer (female) and
iransacior(male) .
TheHagenersonihusreceiveshoihanguraiiveandaliieral
siruciuring.Asaroduciofdiuerence,iiisiiselfiniernally
fereniiaied. The ersonisanalogous inihiswayio ihe
consiruci of ihe clan (ihe clan ihoughi of as undiuernii
male) . *However, when ihe erson movesin diuereniiaied
iionshis,ofwhichcross-sexinieraciionisamodel,iiaears
iihle,wiihaariiodisoseofinrelaiionwiihoihers.Thus
whenamaleclannolongersimlyref|ecisoniiselfhui
iniorelaiionwiihoihers,iiswealihandowermayhesaidio
derivedfrom a comhinaiionofmen's euoris as agnaiic kin
women'seuorisasdisosahledaughiersandincremenial
Thewholemaleersonhasafemaleariinhismakeu,ihe
femaleersonamaleari. Iiniroducesame-sex/cross-sexconiex
iualizaiionioemhasizeiheoiniihaiihemaniulaiionof
ideasiscrucialioihissiruciuringofiheHagenerson.Whai
aiaformalleveliniermsofgender(iheconirasiheiweenmale
femalerefersiodiuerencesinihewayersonshehave,andihe
son as such is neiiher male nor female) is relicaied
meniallyiniheroduciionofersonswiihinihe household,
humanersonhoodofihechildderivesneiiherfromone
norfromiheoiher,huigrowsasajoiniroduciofih

irLLII Q\
*The comparison between "person" and "clan" was initially made, in
terms, in respect of their figurative construction. Essentially, however, the
is genderless, whereas the clan sustains same-sex male identity. In literal
a person entering into transactions or engaging in encounters with others
like the clan, partible and assumes a male identity with female dis]OS<b.
attributes.
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems 283
meniaryinieraciion.Iisariihiliiyiscreaiediniheconiexiofse-
cificrelaiionshiswiihgenderedoihers.Leimesellouisomeof
iheimlicaiionsofihisgendersymholism.
InHageniherearesiiuaiionsinwhich,asIhaveindicaied,ihe
figuraiiveideniiiyofmaleorfemaleisreseniedasinnaieornon-
negoiiahle(M.Siraihern1980). Thus,sousesareinasiaieofnon-
irunsformahle equivalence, each conirihuies his or her comle-
meniarycomoneniiojoiniaciiviiy. Byihesameioken,iheyare
diuereniiaiedfromiheroduciofihe iransaciion (ihe igs ihey
roduceorihewealihihaicomesfromauinalexchanges).Whereas
anumberofeniiiiesinHagenihoughiexisionlyindualrelaiional
form(male/female,domesiic/wild,resiigious/ruhhish),igsand
wealih(ihings),likeiheerson, arenoisoconsirucied. These
iermsdonoiformoneofaair.Aswholeeniiiies,iheyareiniurn
figuraiiveconceiualizaiionsofiherelaiionshiwhichroduced
ihem.
Theformalequivalenceheiweenmenandwomenassousesin
iheconiexiofdomesiicroduciion,iowhicheachconirihuieshis
orherwork,isnecessarilyoverriddeninconiexisinwhichwomen
are equaied wiihwealih as ohjecis ofmediaiionheiween clans.
Womenhecome a movahle, deiachahle resource ihaireresenis
ouiside sources,whilemen-land-hasedandclan-iied-rovide
iheideniiiyihaiisaugmenied. Hagenclansas same-sex eniiiies
candiuereniiaieihemselvesfromlikeclansonlyihroughreinforc-
ingideniiiy.Theydosowiihreferenceiogenealogiesandioreceni
hisioriesihaiaremeiahorsofclanshi.Buiiheymayalsocomeie
wiihoihersforresiige,iesiiheirsirengih,makeclaimsahouiiheir
wealih.Thisisideniiiyaugmenied.Whaiisaugmeniedisadded,
symholically consirucied as having an exiernal source, so ihai
wealih,sirengih,andowermeionymicallysiandforanincremeni
ioiheclans.The searaienessofihisincremeniismarkedhyref-
erence io gender symhols ihaimake ihe exienal source ofmale
clanresiigeandsirengihfemale.Thus,alihoughineriwealihis
ungendered,whendeloyediimayhevisualizedasafemalere-
source ai male disosal, andconsequenily imagined as hoih or
eiihermale/female.
Thereareconsequencesforiheconsiruciionofwomen.Whai
isioheaddedmusialsohedeiached.Womenwhoareseveredfrom
iheirclanoforiginaroriaielysiandfordeiachmeni. Theirre-
|aiionshiioiheirnaialkinandioiheirauineshecomesmeionymic
284 Marilyn Strathern
inihisrelaiionalconiexi. Theywholinkclansinallianceareseen
asadeiachahleariofiheirown,andasconirihuiingihisaria
anexiernalelemeniioiheclansofiheirhushands.Awoman
noi,ofcourse,losehernaialideniiiy,oniheconirary, iiisihe
seniialdiuerenceihaishecarrieswiihher.Neiihercanshe
iheagnaiicideniiiyofherhushand'sclan,sheconirihuiesioii
work.
TheHagenerson,ihen,mayemergeasamaleeniiiywiih
diiionalfemaleaiirihuies. Thisworksforhoihmenand
Thereisasense*inwhichihewealihandferiiliiyihaimen
ihroughiheireuorisarefemaleaddiiionsioiheirgiven
ihereisa senseinwhichwomen'sideniiiywiihiheirhome
makesihemlikemaleersons,alihoughiiisanideniiiyihey
rooi.Hagenwomenareconsiruciedasaionceconneciedand
connecied.Theirlossinmarriageisalsoawealihgainioiheir
clan,andiheyincreasewiihiheirworkandferiiliiyihe
clan wiih whom ihey are ariially iniegraied. The
ihen, heiweenmaleandfemaleissuchihaiifmen siand '^
iivelyforclanshi, ihenwomen siandinaliieralrelaiionshi
iheseuniis.Thismeansihaiclanshihasadualaseci-hoih
irinsic(men) anddisosahle (women) . Thediuerenceihai
makeioahodyofmaleclansmenisemhasized.ihey
ouslyreresenidangerouseneiraiionandrofiiahlerouiesof
ansion. Ceriainersons-iheiraciiviiiesandenergies-are
seenasadded iooiherersons,wiihouianycomromiseof '
ideniiiy.Agnaiionisnoimodified,ihewomanisdeiached,hui
agnaiicideniiiyisnoioiherwisealiered.
These consiruciions have reercussions on how men
womenliveiheirlives. Deiachmeniresenisersonal
forHagenwomen, whomayindeedialkahouiheing
Ceriainly, ihereisamomeniofrecognizedsychological
iniheirexerienceaiihemarriageceremony. Thehridealone
riesihehurdenofiransformaiion.Aiiheouisei,sheacisas
saryforherownkin,iowardiheendofiheroceedings, she
comesemissaryforherhushand'skin.Herneihagisfilledu
cookedork,whichshehearsfromhernewhushand'skinio
ownrelaiives. Willingnessiocarryiheofienveryheavyloadis
*Here, as elsewhere, I am summarizing a number of ethnographic facts. I
sent them, however, through an analysis of what take to be the symbolic bIt3OTUt
at issue.
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems 285
ioindicaiewillingnessiosiaywiihherhushandandhearhimmany
children.Hercommiimeniisasmuchaiissuehereasheroieniial
moiherhood.Indeed,marriageiiselfislessasymholofarenihood
ihanofalliance,andihehrideisclearlyinihisconiexiiheohjeciof
mediaiion,iheroadalongwhichwealihwillow,inhelongingio
hoihsides,shealsohelongsioneiiher.Thisisihemomeniaiwhich
sheacquiresihequaliiyofheinginheiweeniheiwoseisofmen.
Aiihesameiime,iheconsiruciionofgenderideniiiyasarior
nonnegoiiahle given gives women a sense of sirengih as ihem-
selves. *Thisiniurninfusesiheirconirihuiioniomaleenierrises
wiihersonalvigor,iiequallyallowsroomforwomeniorefuseio
conirihuie.Wheiherornoiiheyhelmen,inihiscross-sexinier-
aciioniheydonoicomromiseiheirsiaiusaswomen.Same-sexfe-
male coniexis for aciion are noi much elahoraied, only when a
womanconirihuiesexcessivelyiomen'senierrisesioiheoiniof
overshadowingoihersmay shehe ieased ordenigraiedhyoiher
womenforheingioolikeaman.
WearenowinaosiiionioundersiandwhyHagendeaihcom-
ensaiionformenislikenediohridewealihforwomen.Iiisnoiihe
lossoflifeassuchoriheohliieraiionofclanconneciionsihaiseem
ioheaiissue,raiher,uniilihedeadmanhasheen(figuraiively)re-
consiiiuiedasanancesior, heisseveredfromiheclanhody. His
iemorarydeiachahiliiyinsymholiciermsuishiminioa(liieral)
relaiionwiihii.heisariofhisclan,huihecannolongerre-
reseniiiasenduring,inihewaylivingmalememherscan,ihissiaie
iscomarahleioiheermanenideiachahiliiyofwomen. Inihese
circumsiances,ihosewhohavearoriaiediheheadmusire-
sioreequivalenceheiweenihemselvesandiheclanhodyiheyhave
decaiiaiedihroughihemediumofcomensaiion. Andiiisihe
ermanenisymholicdeiachmeniofawomanfromhernaialclan
ihai consiiiuies her marriage. Thai she remains married-
wheiher or noi she is living onher hushand's clanierriiory-is
guaranieedhyihefaciihaiasawomanshecanneversiandinafig-
uraiiverelaiionioherclan. Theioialcolleciionofshells, igs, and
*Hagen women do female things but do not have to do "being female." They
have few ceremonies of their own; neither first menstruation nor childbirth receives
elaborate attention. Significant cultural meaning is not constructed out of these as
specifically female (same-sex) matters. It is cross-sex acts that receive attention:
when symbols of sexuality and fertility are manipulated to make statements about
social regenesis-as in the spirit cults-male and female elements are consistently
brought together.
286 Marilyn Strathern
moneyihaimakeuihehrideweaIihconsiiiuieameiahorforih
hride,andiisfaceisaIIreferioasecisofihehride'sosiiion(he
work,hersexuaIiiy, ihenuriureshereceivedfromhermoiher) .I
iisiransfer,iiismeionymicaIIydeiachedfromihegroom'ssidean
comesasweaIihioihehride'sside.
Theorgannoman (mind)issimiIarIyconsirucied.Thenoman is
meiahorforiheungenderederson.InHageniheoriesofdeveI
omeniiiderivesfromexchangesheiweeniwogenderedoihers-
achiId'sarenis.Thefaiher'sworkandihemoiher'swork''io
geiherroduceasearaieeniiiy(iheerson/ihenoman). lndeed
ihedomesiichousehoIdisihe cruciaIIocusforiheroduciiono
newhumanheings.Throughiisarenis,iiisirue,achiIdreceive
iwodisiinciiveformsofnuriure. ihefaiherIanisiiinhiscIa
Iand,ihemoiherfeedsiiwiihiheroducisofherIahor.Buiihisi
noihowachiIdacquiresiisnoman. HagenerssecificaIIysayihe
man deveIos wiih ihe chiId's areciaiion of recirociiy (M
Siraihern1968): iheroduciiveworkofihefaiherandmoiher,vaI
ued ascomIemeniary, rovidesihechiIdwiihiismodeIofreci
rociiy.Asadefiniiiveaiirihuieofihehumanerson,ihenoman i
aseIf-refereniiaIeniiiy, ungendered.Aiihesameiime,iican
comeinioameionymicaIreIaiionshiwiihiishosi. Men's
aresaidiohediuerenifromwomen'sminds.WhenaHagengirIi
reIucianiio marry, she canhe aeaIed io orcanmakeaeaI
ihroughreferenceiohernoman. Buicommiimeniioiheinieresis(
oihersissomeihingshecangiveorwiihhoId,havingconiroIove
hermindinsofarasiiisboth ariofherseIfanddeiachahIe.
can Iose iheir noman. More imorianiIy, ihe kind of oiher
direciednessihaifirsicharacierizesiisemergence, inIaierIife
seenioheconiroIIedhywiII.Thus,ihenoman canreferaiihe
iimeiocoIIeciiveorieniaiionandiowhaiinHagensocieiyis
iimes consiruedasiisconceiuaIoosiie, individuaIau.oo=)
(A.Siraihern1981).
ThesesymhoIconsiruciionsaIIowersonsiohe
asaddedioandsuhiraciedfromoneanoiher.HagencIans
aIocusofideniiiy,auniiioandfromwhichiheaddiiionsand
iraciionsare made. Inihisconiexi, menasmenareonIy
rariIydeiachahIe,whereaswomenaswomenareermaneniIy
Thusihewifeadds workioiheendeavorsofherhushand's
ihaiissuhiraciedfromherowncIan.TheiwoauinaIcIans,in
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems 287
changingaris(ihewomanagainsihrideweaIih),eachsusiaina
disiinciiveness,ihereIaiionshiheiweenihemheingoneofequiv-
aIence.PersonsassuchareaIsooieniiaIIyariihIe.Iniheconiexi
ofdomesiicroduciion, sousesaciwiihiheirdisiinciaris,ihey
areheIdinareIaiionshiofequivaIence.Eachismade disiincihy
hisorherkinshiconneciions. Buiiogeiheriheyroduceaneniiiy,
thechiIdasaerson,ihaihasavaIue(asiniisdefiniiionasauion-
omous,wiihanoman ofiisown)noicircumscrihedhykinshias
such.
Wiru: The Premise of Confation
AWiruwomanisnoiseveredfromherkin,WiruairiIineages
aresmaIIIocaIizedsuhgrousofdisersedhrairiesihairovide
menwiihnameshuiarenoiseenascruciaIeniiiiesiniheexchange
ofhrides. PersonsareemheddedinaseiofersonaIkiniiesfocused
oniheiransmissionofsuhsianceihairequireIifeiimeaymenisio
maiernaIkin. BrideweaIihmarksihesiariofsuchaymenisand
aniiciaiesiheaymenisihaiahushandwiIImakeiohiswife'sna-
iaIkinforherchiId.TheassociaiionissocIoseihaireguIarsexuaI
iniercourse is suosed io foIIow immediaieIy afier ihe hride-
weaIihgoodshaveheenhandedover.Thegroommakesreeaied
ersonaIaymenis,whichheandhisnewwifeiakeioihewoman's
faiheruniiIshehecomesregnani (A. Siraihern1980: 61). Proer
chiIdaymenisaremadeonceihechiIdishorn.SoifHagenhride-
weaIihisIikedeaihcomensaiionincuiiingihewomanfromher
kin,WiruhrideweaIihisihesiariofacycIeofchiIdaymenisihai
susiainaowfromherkinioherseIfioherchiId.
Yeiihereisarocessofsuhsiiiuiion.TheWiruhushandsuhsii-
iuieshisownaierniiyforhiswife'sfaiher'saierniiy, forihefa-
iher'smascuIineinuimusiheohIiieraied. Thedisjunciionseiu
heiweenhushandandfaiherhasiohesusiained.Inihissiiuaiion,
somefeeIiiinioIerahIeforawomanioreiurnhomeioresideaiher
faiher's house. Perhas aquarierofWirumarriagesin faciiake
IacewiihinorneariheviIIage.BuiagirIwhosehushandIiveseIse-
wherereiurnshomeaihereriI,infaci,ifsheisioremainmar-
ried,heronIyoiionisioseekanoiherhushand.TheWirumoiher
ihushecomesafocusforaymenisihaihaveioesiahIishherchiId
asiheroduciofherhushand's,raiherihanherfaiher's,aierniiy.
288 Marilyn Strathern
Thenecessiiyofmakingihisdisiinciionisindicaiedhyiheihreai
ioideniiiyihaiafaiheraarenilysuuersifhisdaughierreiurnsio
liveaihome.
SinceIiniroduceWiruforihesakeofcomarison,leimeoini
uceriainsignificanioinisofconirasi.WhereasHagenarenis
ofienseekoliiicalconiacisihroughamarriageasawayioesiah-
lishfriendlyrelaiionswiihallies,Wiruarenisseekawealihyson-
in-law.Theyviriuallydiscounihisoliiicalsiandinginfavorof
childaymenisiheyhoewillfollow.AHagendivorceecanalways
come home, and indeed is likely io do so hefore

whereasaWirudivorceeismuchmorelikelyiogoouio
man. Iimayheaddedihaiheforemarriage,whichdoesnoi
heiroihal, aHagenwomanisrelaiivelyinaciivesexually,
herheiroihalasachild,aWiruwomanislikelyiohavehad
arinersinherownvillage.
Iniheonesocieiyhridewealihresiaiionsheiweenauines
iniouhlicceremonialexchange, iniheoiherinioersonal
menisforskinorhody.IfiheHagenaduliisanauionomous,
direciedersonevincingnoman (mind,will)inhisorher
meniioiasks,includingiheursuiiofresiige,iheWiruaduli
ieknonymicallyknowninreferenceiohisorherchild,forheing
arenireroduceshisorherownemheddednessinaersonal
shineiwork(A.Siraihernn. d. ). Hagenkinsmenregardiias
iimaielyfuiileioforceasisierordaughieriomarryagainsiher
fora successful marriage deends on ihecommiimeni ihai
arinershringioii.Wirukinsmenihinkiicrucialihaiawoman
seeniohemarriedandarerearediousehysicalcoercion,a
ihermayihreaieniokillhisdaughierifsheisreluciani.
Hagenwomenaarenilycommiisuicidehecauseiheyare
heiween coniciing demands, Wiruwomenaarenily L&
suicideinihefaceofauihoriiariandominaiionhyeiiher
orfaiher.AHagenwomanhoihcanheaealedioandcan
iooihers,forshehassanciionsofherowniohringagainsiher
orhushand,hersiaieofmindmusihenoied,sinceifiiisusei,
ownagnaiicghosismayiniervene.Wirumindsarenoi.O1Q
t
feelingorwill (wene) isdisirihuied ihroughou|ihe lody,
fesied only in timini (nose), an individualiiy of LlDL1OlL)tj
Brideshavefewsanciionsaiiheirdisosal(mairilaieralghosis
mosifrequenilysendsicknessareconcernedraiherwiihihe
suhsiance of iheir descendanis). Finally, we have seen ihai
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems 289
Hagennoman isaroduciofhumangrowih,inheriiedfromneiiher
areni hui an undiuereniiaied manifesiaiion of ersonhood as
such, ihecomhinedroduci ofihearenis'joiniaciiviiy,Wiru
timini isaiernallyderivedandihusareniallydisiinguishedfrom
ihe erson'shody (skin, or hodily suhsiance, tingini), whichis
ihesecificroduciofmoihering.
Wiruhrairiesrovidenamesformen.Hereunilinealdesceniis
noiacrucialfaciorinihesiaiusofihenonreroducingsouse,for
inrelaiionioihisowihenonreroducingsouseisihehushand.
IhavearguedihaiHagenwives'euorisaddioiheachievemenisof
iheirhushand'sclanandhringwealih(iniheformofhridewealih)
ioiheirown.Inmainiainingiheirhrairynames, however, Wiru
menarenoiiniheosiiionofaddingioanyihing.mensimlyer-
eiuaieiheirnames.Iiiswomenwhoereiuaiesuhsiance.Inor-
deriodoihis, iheirhodies musiheseenioundergoiransforma-
iion.TheWiruwifeisihussuhjeciiohysicalchange.Shemusihe
ihereciieniofherhushand'saierniiy, andiiwasnoiedihaisex-
ual relaiions are hounduwiih ihe comleiion ofihe marriage
iransaciions. Theseculminaieinevidenceofheriransformedsiaie
inregnancy.Thehushand'sconirihuiionhereoverlayssomeihing
|hewifealreadyossesses,soihaiiheiransformaiionihaiiheWiru
womanundergoesisiohaveariofherselfrelacedhyanoiher
ari. *Theresuliisadualandgenderedroduci,ihefeiuswhose
hodyorskincomesfromihemoiherandwhosedisosiiionor
characiercomesfromihefaiher.
Now,aHagenwomaniransmiisvaluedsuhsianceioherchild,
whichhecomesariofihechildwiihouicomromisingiisagnaiic
ideniiiy. Moreover, insofarasiheHagenwomanhoihhelongsio
herclanandisdeiachedfromii,sheundergoesnoiniernalmodi-
ficaiion.
t
Shesimlyconirihuiesmaiernalhloodihaimingleswiih
iheaiernalconirihuiionofsemen,ihereisnochildinheruniilihe
minglingiakeslace.InWiru,however,ihewoman'smakeuhas
io hemodified. The aiernal ideniiiy ofihe maierial she carries
wiihinhermusiheoverlaidhyihehushand'sconirihuiion.Inihis
sense, iheWiruwomanisalreadysymholicallywiihchild,whose
*Gillison (1980: 168) describes a similar transformation for Gimi.
tBy way of comparison, I would like to draw notice to Bloch's description of Me
rina motherhood in this volume: maternal vitality can be added to the blessings of
the descent group only after the woman representing vital forces has also been cut
of from it.
'f'
ao Marilyn Strathern
ideniiiymusiheredefinedhyihenewaierniiyofherhushand(c.
GiIIison8o).
*
Equaiionsheiween ersons and wealihinWiruconsequeniIy
iake averydiuereniform. Wealihisnoi oniheskin huiis
skin iiself, and ihushridewealihis seenasin exchange for
hride'shodilysuhsiance(tingini) (A.Siraihern8o.o) .
Wirusuhsianceflowsfromwomen.faihersimressiheirnames
ihechiIdandendowiiwiihindividualiiy. Inihemannerin
aiernaI origins musi he disiinguished from maiernal ones,
hushandisaIsoheingdisiinguishedfromhiswife'sfaiher(cf.
Siraihern n. d. ). Makingmalearenihood diuereni from
arenihoodihusresemhlesiheiaskofkeeingsearaieihe
of a meiahor (Wagner ,,a) . Wiihoui diuereniiaiion, ihere
coniexicollase,andonesimlyhecomesiheoiher.Inouoo1um
ihisdiuereniiaiionasanaciiviiy, iheendIessfIowofgoods
duceskinshi. Neiiherwealihnorwomenare deiachahIe
ihiskinshinexus.ThishasanumherofimIicaiions.
AsingIeWiruvilIagecomrisesseisofeolefromagnaiic
iries disersed ihrough many. Avillage conducis wars and
kilIs, huiiisexiernalrelaiions are noimediaied ihrough ihe
change ofwomen, nor are iis iniernal relaiions huiIi on
o
(clanlike)kinshiheiweenmen.Womensignifyneiiherexoiic
sourcesnordangerousihreais. Raiher,relaiionsaiihevillage
are crosscuihyihe ersonalneiworksofindividuaIs,which
videeachersonwiihhisorherownsourceofsirengihand
iiy.IniheIifeIongaymenismadeioiheirmaienalkininreiurn
iheirownhodilysuhsiance,menandwomenayforihis
wiihgoodscaiegorizedasmaIe(shells,sali),andreceivein
fromihesourceofmaiernalnuriurefurihergifisihaisignifyihe
maIenessofihisnuriure(rihcagesofork) .TosusiainiheiniiiaI
dowmeniofhealih,ihesegifismusihemadeereiualIy.A

coniinualIygivesiohisorhermaiernaIkinamasculineversion

ihefemininesuhsianceheorsheconiinuallyreceivesfrom

Iiisiheiriniernalconsiiiuiionihaiismaniulaied. lniheflow
orkandshelIsihaisiandformaiernaIandaiernalelemenis,
7
*These are not observations explicitly made by the actors, but represent an
,- derstanding of a range of symbolic equations. would add that in Gillison's

' of Gimi initiation and marriage, the constitution of the child occupies
place. Her insights have obviously been a significant stimulus to this
ing of the Wiru material. I am also grateful for her specific comments on this
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems a
iransaciionsihemselvescreaie ihediuerenceheiweenihese ele-
menis,andiherehyimlyiheirriorconaiion.
Theiransferofgoodsseisuarelaiionshiofideniiiyheiween
donorandreciieni(cf.Schieuelin8o ) . Maiernalkindonoialone
creaie a child, ihus ii is aroriaie ihai a erson's suhsiance
should he symholizedin male, aiernal ohjecisas well. Buiihe
moreamangivesshelIsandsali(hisindividuaied, masculinized
suhsiance)iohismoiher'sfaiherandhroihers,ihemoreihesemen
iniurnauirmiheirownideniiiywith the mother whowasihevehicIe
for ihe iransmission of suhsiance, iheygive hackfuriherfemale
suhsiancein iheform ofrihcages. Inreceivingaymenis forihe
chiIdrenofiheirsisiersanddaughiers, ihen,ihesemenacknowl-
edgeihemseIvesasasourceofsuhsianceconceivedhyiheWiruin
esseniialIyfemaIeierms.
Women'sowninieresisundergochange. lniiialIyvaluahlesfor
ihewomanherseIfgoiohermaiernaIkin(hermoiher'sarenisand
sihlings),onihehirihofherchildren,herhushandisexeciedio
makerearaiionforiheirousringioherarenisandsihlings.In-
deed, womenaciivelyromoieiheowofgoods, ioiheoiniof
iniiiaiingexchangeswiihmenfromwhomiheyhoeioclaimma-
iernal aymenis. A secific caiegory of women's exchanges is
calledlangi, whichmeansiomakeahodygrowfai.Womengive
foodioiheirhushand'smaIe(esecialIyjunior)relaiives,forwhich
ihemenreiunshellsormoney,ihewomenarehuiIdingihemen's
hodies, aconirihuiionihaimusiheaidfor. Alihoughihereisa
valueaiiachediomaIeindividualiiy-ioiheenergyandgenerosiiy
wiihwhichmenfulfilIiheirohligaiions-ihereisnomarkeddivi-
sionheiweenmenandwomenasaciorsinexchanges. Womenare
iheagenisofiransformaiion,iurningvegeiahleroduceinioshells
ormoney.Theyiransaciwiihmenandioalesserexieniwiihoiher
women. ln iaIking ahoui why she gave food io her hushand's
hroiher, oneWiruwomancommeniedihaishedidnoiseewhya
womanshouldnoihelikeherhushandandworkwiihhishroih-
ers.hygivingfoodioaman,shecouldexeciwealihinreiurn.She
ihuserceivedherhehaviorongroundsofsimilariiyandideniifi-
caiionwiihmen.

Wiruwomendonoiinihemselvesreresenidiuerence.There
isnoeniiiycomarahleioiheHagenclaniowhichiheyarerelaied
andfromwhichiheycanhedeiached. The suhjeciofskinirans-
aciionsisiheverysuhsianceihaiwomensharewiihiheirchiIdren.
292 Marilyn Strathern
Wiruwealih iiemsmayhe considered ariof (examles of) ihis
suhsiance. *Thus, iherihcagesconirihuiefemalenourishmeniio
iheoriginalohjeciofnuriure,shellsareihemalewealihhywhich
aersonisindividuaied. Togeiher, iherelaiionshiheiween
iiemsmodelsihecomleieerson(cf.Baiiaglia1983), made
hody and face, and ihese conirihuiions do noi siand for
wholerangeofoiherdiuerences,iheyarereducihleonlyioihe
ferenceheiweenihefemaleandmaleareniwhose
aresocomhined. Byihesameioken,WirugoodsarenoifOYO
iiaiedasihings(wealihiniheHagensense)fromdonorsand
ciienisinanexchange,huiineueciiakeamaleorfemale
andaersonisnoidiuereniiaiedhyihemoiher'snuriure,since
aymenisheorshemakesforiiareforhimselforherself,ihe
iureisnoiconveriihleiniooiherinieresis. Consequenily ihe
jecisusedinaymenisdonoicomeioreresenianideaof
asadeiachahleresource.
Wiruwomenareiosomeexieniihoughiofaswealih,hui
wealihiiemsiniunexressiheimorianceofmaiernal
Thusihehushandiakesoveraymenisforawoman'sskin
hefirsiayshridewealihandconiinuesiodosouniilshehas
dren,whenihesehecomeaymenisforihechildren. The
areherskin. Theereiualroundoflife-cycleaymenis
creaiesihedonor-reciienirelaiionshiasiiselfihesuhjeciof
iransaciions.ThereisihusliiileroominiheWiru sysiemfor
hancemeni of resiige of a non-kinshi kind ihrough ihese
changes. TherearenoBigMenoniheHagenscale,Wirumen
noihaveihesamehoesofconirolorinuenceoveriheminds
oihers,and,aswehaveseen,wealihisnoiconsiruciedas
ahle. Indeed,AndrewSiraihen(1978: 78) wriies, Themosi
ingdiuerenceheiweenihe[Hagen]andWirurulesofexchangeis
ihaiinWiruihereisno'rincileofincremeni.' Wealihoermes
ideniiiyandcannoiihereforeheaddedioii.
*The chief component of the payments made to materal kin is shells; in
and flowing in the same direction as the woman, come ribcages. If ribcages
sent the same substance already embodied in the skin, the action is part of the
-fer that constituted the person who is paying for his skin. The food a
duces, and the vegetable gifts she makes to others, are also part of this cortstituting
substance. The shells in return stand for the child individuated by paternity,
back part of its paternally constructed self to the maternal kin. Yet neither
by itself but depends on the other for completion (there cannot be "face" withott'1
"body") . Each requires the other as its encompassing context.
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems 293
Ifihe diuerencesheiweenmenandwomeninarenihoodare
noiiakenasinnaiehuihave iohe creaied, ihenihismusioccur
againsiahackgroundwheremaleandfemalesiandmeiahorically
forihe sameihing (arenihoodiiself)andihusforoneanoiher.
Whaiisinnaieisaconflaiedeniiiy, andwhaihasiohediueren-
iiaied are ihe maiernal and aiernal conirihuiions. The words
hreasiandenisinWiru,asAndrewSiraihernhasrecorded,
mayhelexicallycomhinedioreferiosouse(s)(andonora). Men
andwomenalikeassisiinihisdiuereniiaiionhydoingmoiher-
hoodandfaiherhood.Thesequenceofexchangesindicaies,how-
ever, an uliimaie encomassmeni of male hy female elemenis.
Consequenily,Wiruagnaiionisnoiiakenasagiven.liis,iniurn,
creaiedhywhaimendo,inindividuaiingseisofmen,iidoesgive
ihesemensomecolleciivehase,assharednamesdo.Suchindivid-
uaiionofersonalnamesandofagnaiicassociaiionworksagainsi
iheencomassingnaiureofsuhsianceconsequenilyconceivedas
maiernal.
Wirusymholizaiiondoesnoi,iherefore,rovideihecondiiions
foriheconsiruciionofwhaiinHagensocieiyIhavecallednon-
kinshivalues.Wemighiask,inihaicase,whaiihedeiachmeniof
iheWiruhrideisahoui.
Deiachmeniiakesiwoforms.ihersiisihesexualsuhmissionof
awomanioherhushandandihe suhsiiiuiionofhisaierniiyfor
whaiwouldoiherwiseheconsiruedasherfaiher's.Thesecondis
herchangeofresidenceiolivewiihherhushand.Theseacisserve
iosearaieherhushandandfaiher,adeliheraielysusiaineddiuer-
eniiaiion. *Thefaiherwaiisforhisdaughier'schildiohehorn,es-
eciallyifsheishiseldesi,foriheaymenisowingfromihiseveni
willesiahlishhimselfasihereciieni.Iiisihisiransformaiioninhis
roleihaiseemsioheihesuhjeciofihehridewealihaymenis, and
iiisihusihaiweshouldundersiandWiruhridewealihasihefore-
runnerofhirihaymenis.T
Thesocialersonswhomusihedeiachedfromoneanoiherare
ihehride'sfaiherandheriniendinghushand. Ohviously, ihede-
iachmeniinquesiionisnoifromanagnaiichodyandisnoiamaiier
*There is a strong identity between mother and daughter, one that seems to be
a conceptual problem for men (both the mother's husband and the daughter's hus
band) rather than for women.
tin a sociological sense, it does not matter who becomes the actual recipient of
these payments, provided there is some self-designated husband to make them.
a| Marilyn Strthern
ofheingurooied,iiinvoIvesmencarvingamaIeideniiiyouiofa
neiworkofkinrelaiionsofanuliimaielyfemalecharacier. Ifihe
Hagenwomanhas diuicuIiiesinhridgingconiexis(movingfrom
one clanioanoiher), iheWirumaninhisreIaiionswiihihe

osiiesexhasioreveniconiexicollase(ideniificaiionwiih
wife). Infaci,iheexchangesaresosiruciuredihaihis
aierniiywiIlheexiinguishedinhisownlifeiime,whenihe
he receives for hisdaughier'schildren's skins celehraie ^^+D
suhsiance.ForiheWiruhride,areIacemenihasiakenIace,
handsuhsiiiuiingforfaiher,herownhearingofchildrenseiiing
anideniiiyheiweenherseIfandhermoiher. Indeed, iiseems
ihoughiheconirivedsearaiionofmaleandfemaleaIsoIeads
same-sexmergingheiweenmoihersanddaughiersand
faihersand hushands. Such anxieiy and disiress as
Wiru marriages ai iheir inceiion iurn on iheseideniifica
Faiher-daughierreIaiionsinWirusocieiyarenoiahIeforiheir
cidence of incesi and violence. Sexual reIaiions are sst )
ariIyhecausesymholicdiuereniiaiionfocusesnoion
geniialsexualiiyhuionarenihood.iiismaierniiyand
ihaiarecreaiedihroughiheskinaymenis.Buiihese,iniurn,
noisiahle referenceoinis for genderideniiiyreciseIy lll O.NC
ihediuerenceheiweenihemiscreaiedihroughiheexchanges
isnoiiakenasagiven.TheresuIiisaceIehraiionofarenihood
equaiesfaihers(ihereciienisofchildaymenis)wiihiheir
(ihecauseofihem) .Iiaearsiohewomenwhoreroduce
selvesinihissysiem,yeiwhaiiheyreroduceishuriedinihe
iesofiheirchiIdrenandisnoiasourceofauionomy. AutO1tO:1Q
doesnoiemergeasasalieniaiirihuieofiheerson.
Asaiechnicaliiy,WirukinshisymhoIscannoirovideihe
iexi for ihe roduciion of auionomous ersonhood. A
womanisherhodilysuhsianceandwilIreroduceihaiDLLDLOJj
suchindividuaIiiyasshehasresidesnoiinsomeihingsheis
ioaddiohergivenconsiiiuiion, huiinsomeihinginheriied
her faiher. BodyiiseIf does noiincororaie a noiion ofL111)JO*
meniariiy,ihereisnogreaiIymarkedemhasisonaconirasi
iweenhoneandhloodor,asinHagen,onihecomJinaiionof
andsemen.Whaifaihersconirihuieisofadiuereniorder.lene
ini (eyenose,emoiion, aggression, feeling) . Faihersaresaid
conirihuieiheirfaces(alsosirii,yomini), iheircharacier.
diuereniiaiionisihusself-signifying,iheconneciionheiween
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems a
sexesisnoiofarelaiionalorder,huiofajuxiaosiiion ofiwoin-
ierdeendenieniiiies.IfWiruersonsarenoideiachedfromkin-
shirelaiions, conceiuaIlyseaking, neiiherareiheyiniernalIy
ariihle.Wealihdoesnoirereseniiheaddiiionandsuhiraciionof
aris. Raiher, ihe hushand's shelIs suhsiiiuie for a suhsiance,
whichmayheihoughiofasmaiernaI,aiernal,orhoih.Hediuer-
eniiaieshimseIffromihesesourcesofarenihoodonlyiooverlay
andihusconaieiheonewiihiheoiher.
Adding and Subtracting Persons
Myaccounihasemhasizedihemakeuofersonsiniermsof
maiernalandaiernaIorigins. ForiheWiru,ihisreflecisaceniral
reoccuaiion of uhIic life-cycle exchanges and of simiIar ex-
changesfoundinanumherofhighlandsocieiies.ForHagen,how-
ever, life-cycle resiaiions are overshadowed hy ceremonial ex-
change(mok) ofadiuereniorder.Kiniiesareireaiedasagivenand
consequenilyare associaied less wiih achievemeni ihanoliiicaI
iies heiween grous and ihe classificaiion of ersons in oiher
ierms-asBigMen,asruhhish, andsoon. Theuhlicdomainof
moka making(iransaciions)isdiuereniiaiedfromdomesiichouse-
holdreIaiions(roduciion)wherekiniieshesiowanideniiiyiaken
forgranied. YeiiiisaiioconsiderHagenarenihood-noihe-
causeihemajorexchangesinHageniakeihisasiheirfocus, hui
reciseIyhecauseiheydonoi.ThediuerenceheiweenmaIear-
eniandfemaleareniholdsadiuerenisymholiclaceiniheiwo
socieiies.
IhaveiriediofoIlowasignificaniasecioffoIkmodeIing. ihai
iherelaiionshiheiweenmaieniiyandaierniiyiscruciallyiied
ioihereIaiionshiheiweenwomenandmen,ihaimoihersarede-
finedinihemannerinwhichwomenaredisconneciedfromorheId
ioheconneciedioiheirkin,jusiasfaihersaredefinedhyihequal-
iiyofmen'saiiachmenis.Inihissense,IhavealsofoIIowedJudiih
Shairo's(z8)dicium ihaiwe should considermen as men.
TheHagenfaiherhasideniiiyasamalecIansman,hemerelysus-
iainsihai(same-sex) ideniiiyhylaniing hischiIdonhiscIan
land.TheWirufaiher,inconsianilyayingforhischildren,hasio
creaiehismaIeideniiiy, iosusiaina(cross-sex)diuereniiaiionhe-
tweenhimseIfandhisvariousfemalekinandauines, forihedif-
ferencecannoiheassumedasagiven.
296 Marilyn Strathern
TheWiruconaiionofmaleandfemaleelemenisrequiresihat
eachgeneraiionanewaiernalfacehasioheimressedoniheD
iernallyiransmiiiedhody.Thiserhasaccounisforsomeof
Wirureoccuaiionwiihsexualaciiviiy.Iiisihewomanwho
feel, asiiwere, ihe diuerence ihaiherhushand's
makeswheniioverlayswhaiwasaiernallyhesiowed.The
an'skinmusiensureihaiwhaiwasaroriaiemaleideniiiy
iheirdaughier(heraienalface)shouldnoiemergeagainin
children.Iiisanimorianiandemoiionalmaiierihaianoiher
shouldheseenioiakeihefaiher'slaceandioalierihe
ofiheskinaymenissearaiingihefaiherofherchildrenfrom
ownfaiher. Thus, ihesignificaniswiichoniheman'sari
whenheceasesiogive(male)shellsforhisdaughierioher
nalkinandgives(female)orkiohisson-in-lawasamaiernal
manofherchildren.
Hageniransformaiionsareofadiuereniorder.Insome1<rcm
clanandersonarehomologous,eachheingaionce 11J
eniiaiedandaoieniiallyariihleeniiiy. Insofarasaclan's
herscanheseveredfromii,iheiniernal whole.ari1 C1OLI
heiweeniiandiismemhersundergoeschange.InheingSV1d
iheHagenwomanreresenisnoiclanshihuiiis disosahle
seis.Thequesiionofconaiiondoesnoiarise,forsheiransmiis
seiofindividual conneciions io herousringihai are in a
mannerihusdiuereniiaiedfromihecolleciiverelaiionshiioiheir
clanihaiihefaiherhesiows. *Inihissiiuaiion,iiiswomen's
asdeiachahleihings(cf.M.Siraihen1983) ihaiissiressed,
ihusiheyareequaiedhoihwiihdisosahlewealihandwiih
siruciural equivaleniin Hagen socieiy, ersonsconceivedasau-
ionomouseniiiies.
Thediuerenceheiweenmaleandfemalehasaroduci,alihough
iheroducisiniheiwosocieiiesarenoiihesame. Asdisiincien-
iiiies(insame-sexconiexis),iheHagenmaleandfemalesiandfor
ahosiofelemenis.Thesemayherelaiionallycomared(uhlic/do-
mesiic,resiigious/ruhhish)incross-sexconiexis.Yeiihereisinad-
*Andrew Strathern points out that child payments in Hagen are not said to be
for the child's body but for its buried feces-for something returned to clan
territory.
tThe equation between persons and wealth is explicit in Strather 1980 and
1982, which examine Hagen and Wiru bridewealth and mortuary exchanges. M.
Strathern 1984 points to the significantly domestic household context in which per
sons are produced.
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems 297
diiionanouicomeofihesediuerencesihaiisneiihermalenorfe-
malehuiiheresuliofihecomhinedeuorisofhoih.iheersonal
ageni. Theauionomousaduliwiihamindiodevoieioariicular
|asks, ihemarkofheinghuman,isroducedfromihecomle-
meniaryaciiviiiesofihehushand-wifedyad.
TheWiruroduciisraiheriheongoingeuoriiosusiaindisiinc-
iion,ioimressdiuerenceuoniheersondeendenionoihers
around him or her for ideniiiy-ideniiiies emhedded in, raiher
ihandeiachedfrom,iheirsame-sexlinks.Theersonhereisafield
inwhichideniiiiesare,asiiwere,merged,andsocialaciiviiyisnec-
essaryioereiuallyreconsiiiuieiheirdiuerence.Theroduciof
Wirudiuerence, workingihrough suhsiiiuiion, iswhaiIcallde-
endencyorideniiiy. *WhereasHagenexchangesihaiheginwiih
kinshi(hridewealih)leadiosomeihingihaiisnoikinshi(oIii-
icalresiige), Wiruexchanges roducemore kinshi, rendering
rohlemaiicreviousrelaiionshiswhichihenhaveioheauirmed.
Thisanalysisofsymholismallowsoneiodisiinguishihemean-
ingofwealihohjecisfromihe meaningofiherelaiionshishe-
iween ersons creaied hy ihe exchange of ihese ohjecis. Wiru
wealih iiems are ariofkinshi suhsiance and name, when ex-
changedagainsione anoiher, ihese iiems imlyaconaiionhe-
iweeniheirsources(ihediuereniseisofkinsmen)whoareiherehy
consiruciedascomhinaiionsofiheseelemenis.Byconirasi,Hagen
wealihiiemsareaiiachedmeionymicallyiodiuereniiaiedaciors
whose disiinciivenessis simly reservedhyiheexchange. ihe
iiemsihemselvesareconsiruciedassiandingforsomeihingelse,
andihissomeihingelseincludesihenoiionofwealihdeiached
fromkinshiandfromiissourcesofroduciion.
Iconcludewiihihissiaiemeniforaariicularreason. Wesiern
formulaiionsofrelaiionshi,erceivedasanariifaciofculiure,
frequenilyoiniioiheersonasanalreadyexisiingnaiuralen-
iiiy.InRadcIiue-Brown'sandFories'susage,ihesocialersonis
ananalyiicalconsiruciihaioinisioassemhlagesofroles,ihevar-
iousrelaiionshisihaianyindividualeniersinreseciioamulii-
liciiyofoihersareinihisindividualoverlaidandcomhinedand
ihusreresenihis orherioial social lacemeni. Buiihe locus of
*Battaglia (1983) has developed the concept as "cover" and demonstrates Sabarl
linguistic sensitivity to these difering symbolic operations. I acknowledge a gen
eral debt here to her own interest in the construction of personhood, as well as to
her observations on the present paper.
298 Marilyn Strthern
convergenceisalsoundersiood, Iihink,asaneniiiyriorioih
idea of conneciion or relaiionshi iiself. The manner in whic
eoleare held ioincororaieihe suhsiance ofoihers, io shar
comonenisofiheselfwiihoihers,ioheoiherwisesearaiedfro
or aiiached io oihers, is assumed io resi on aninfrasiruciure
heingscaahleofrelaiing. CeriainlyinFories'sanalyses,ihe
jeciihaiisihemeeiinglaceforconvergingrolesisalreadya
ageniandioihisexienienjoysameasureofanalyiicalau
Oneinieniionofihisessayisioshowhownoiionsofersons
auionomousagenisemergelesssalienilyinceriainsocieiies
inoihers. Personsareanariifaciofihewayinwhich1ottO,t
shis are handled ihrough ihe ossession and maniulaiion
ihings, andeseciallyihoseihingsconceiualizedaswealih
ihesuhjeciofexchangeiransaciions.IwoulddescriheiheHagen
ersonnoiasariorcondiiionhuiasaroduciofkinshidif
fereniiaiion. Here diuereniiaiion heiween kin, as heiween ihe
sexes,isiakenasagiven.exchangesworkioroduceersonsand
wealih.Wiruformulaiions,hyconirasi,reciiiaieanoiionofsub
siancehuinoiofersonhoodiniheHagen sense. aowofsu
sianceisariorgiven,andexchangesworkiodiuereniiaiemaier
nalandaiernalasecisofii.
Ihaveasecondreasonforconcludinginihisway.MichelleRosal-
do and Jane Collier (1981) and Jane CoIlier (ihis volume) irace
ihrough ihe consequences of hrideservice and hridewealih ar-
rangemenisaimarriageforiheconceiualizaiionofoliiicalequal-
iiyandinequaliiy.Theyshowhownoiionsofhierarchyinherein
ideasahoui gender. SherryOriner (1981: 359) secifically argues
ihaiihe sex/gendersysiem . . . canhehesiundersioodinrela-
iionioiheworkingsofihe'resiigesysiem'(andd. Orinerand
Whiiehead 1981: 16) . By resiige, she means ihe sysiem wiih-
in which ersonal siaius is ascrihed, achieved, advanced, and
losi(Oriner 1981: 359). Likeersons,ihenoiionofresiige'
emerges in ihe highlands under ceriainsecial condiiions. Iiis
mosisalieniinihosesysiemsihaiconceiualizeanincremeniio
ideniiiy. The comosiiion of kinshi ideniiiy is ihus iiself ihe
sringhoardforihefurihersiruciuringofresiigeasanelemeni
conceiuallysuhiraciedfromkinshi,andgenderdiuerencesro-
videacrucialaxisforihissiruciure.
Thesuhiraciedelemeniassumesiwocharacie
,
isiics.iiisseenas
searaiefromihesourcesofiisroduciion,andihushasvaluein
Two New Guinea Highland Kinship Systems 299
|iself(iheahiliiyiohandlewealihassuchhecomesameasureof
presiige),and,asadisiinciunii,iicanheaddedioalargerwhole.
Theariihmeiicalmeiahor(d. Goody1976: cha.7) isaroriaie
for Hagen. Through numerical self-dislay on ihe ceremonial
ground,clanideniiiyissignalednoionlyhyihe (same-sex)unity
ofancesiralsuorihuialsohyihefaciihaieachdonorofwealih
holds searaie (cross-sex) asseis. Thesirengihofihe clan comes
fromihesumioialofnumerouswealih-hearingersons,iisres-
tige a funciion of ihis adding iogeiher. li follows ihai donor-
reciienirelaiionshisinceremonialexchangearesiruciuredona
cross-sexanalogue. *Donorsgiveariofihemselves(wealih)io re-
ciienis.Yeiihereisnoconiexicollase,iheyarenoimergedwiih
ihereciienishuisusiainiheirdisiinciiveness.Thissiruciurere-
leasesohjecisasaformofwealihsearahlefromiheaciors.Indeed,
Hagenersreferiowealihiiemsasoniheskin,andihusdisos-
ahleheiweenmen.
RuhelandRosman(1978) uiHagenandiisMaeEnganeighhor,1
wiihiheirexiensive, oliiicallylarge-scale, andresiige-orienied
exchangeinsiiiuiions, oniheendofaconiinuumofiransforma-
iionsihaiiurnonihetyesofrecirociiyseiuhyiheexchanges
of women andwealih. They elucidaie ihe mannerinwhich ex-
changearinershecome searaiefromauines,andceremonialex-
changesfrommarriageexchanges(1978: 320-23). Myownconcern
hasheenwiihihemechanismihroughwhichohjecisihemselves,
vehicles for conceiualizing relaiions heiween ersons, are ai-
iachedioorconsiiiuiiveofersons(howihesymholicequaiionis
seiu).ThemechanismisihesymhoIizaiionrocessesofgender.
Thus we may inierrei ihe whole Hagen ceremonial exchange
shere(iransaciion)asanaciofdeiachmenihyHagenmenfrom
iheshereofdomesiiciiyandkinshi(roduciion).Wirumen'sef-
*The aggressiveness of donors and subdued manner of recipients possibly r

flect the fact that the donors are giving away only parts of themselves-therr
strength, their wealth-and thus also are expressing an identity that cannot be com-
promised by the transaction.
. . . .
tit is important to note, however, that although there are many similantles be
tween Hagen and Enga and Mendi ceremonial exchange, mthe

as

o To

bema
Enga (Feil 1981) and Mendi (Ryan 1969; Lederma

1980), a wom
.
an s d1stlnctlve p
_
ar
ticipation in exchanges is
_
reflected in the pro

me

t transactional role the b


:
1de
takes in respect to her bndewealth. Along With th1s, the Tombema Enga bnde
wealth is completely returnable by the bride's kin, and
.
the whol

sees of tran
actions is more directly bound up with tee than Hagen bndewealth 1s w1th mok (Fell
1980).
300 Marilyn Strthern

erts

edetach

henselvestrennaternalknshiptndexpressie
Htheupessessienetnanesthathavepublccurrency.Yetwherea
uagennenchargenalenesswthpeltcalneanng,wrunentie
itbackinteknshpcenstructsthateppesepatemitytenaterna
substance. Cenversely, wenennuagennayhavethecharacte
etwealthtens-ebectswitha petentalnen-kinshipreteren
-whereas wiru wenen augnent ther knship-based pesitien
bystnulatingtheexchangeetgeedsthatcelebratether
heed.

teadetaskngabeuttherelatienshipbetweenkinshpand
pehucs,genderandprestige,lhavetredtedenenstratehewan
deaetprestigedetachedtrenkinshpsntactgeneratedtrenthe
knshpp

acenentetth
.
es

exes.w

althtensbehavedinerently,se
tespeak,Hthetwesecietiescensideredhere.wheretheseebects
standtertheaugnentatenetthenanethatgvesdentitytenen
andclans,prestgecanbeaddedinsetaraspeeplesassetsarere-
gardedasdetachable.1heparttenetsstersanddaughtersuen
thernalekin,nsecietiesstchasuagen,enbedesthepessblity
etdetachnentitselt.
Men in Groups: A Reexamination
of Patriliny in Lowland South America
Judith Shapiro
1nr anthrepelegcalstudyetknshphasadvancedcensderably
since the tine when ideas abeut natrlny and patrlny were
shapedbyspeculatensabeutthe evelutienetrelatienshpsbe-
tweenthesexes.lntheceurseettheeurney,anthrepelegstsbe-
caneneresephsticatedindstingushngaspectsetsecalerga-
nizatien that had been uncritically nerged n earler wrtngs.
descent,residence,knclasstcaten,authertypatterns.Cencepts
etnatrlnealtyandpatrilinealtybecanepartetanincreasngly
retineddsceursethatteekdescentsystensasthekeyteanalyzing
secial structure. At the sane tine, secial anthrepelegy neved
awaytrenwhathadbeenacentralcencernetnneteenth-century
evelutienists-the respectve pestiens et nen and wenen in
secety.
1hecurrentteninistnevenenthas,hewever,breughtthisissue
tethetereenceagain.lennstschelarsntheteldetsecalan-
threpelegy (whehavehadte centend, te theirenbarrassnent,
wthanewspateetculturalprejectiensabeutnatrarchy,have
turnedtethetasketbuldingupenandrevsngkinshpstudesn
lghtetresearchabeutgendersrelensecalandculturalsystens.
lennstcencernsareretlectedntherecentlteratureendescent,
whchincludesnereexplctcensderatienetthednerentialpe-
stenetwenenandnennthevarieussecietesthathavebeenthe
*This argument was first eveloped in a paper entitled "Men in Groups: Descent
and Sexual Diferentiation in Lowland South America," presented in a symposium
on descent in lowland South America at the 1975 American Anthropological As
sociation meetings in San Francisco. I am grateful to Harriet Whitehead, Donald
Hunderfund, Irving Goldman, Jane Collier, Sylvia Yanagisako, and Wyatt Mac
Gafey for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
oa Judith Shapiro
subjeciofdesceni-orienied eihnograhicanaIysis over iheyear
(see,forexamIe,CoIIier,|,Schneider).
HavingmadeconceiuaIgainsbydisiinguishingbeiween de
scenisiruciuresandihereseciivesociaIosiiionsofwomenan
men,anihrooIogisiscannowseekamoresaiisfaciory
a
ofieiwoconcerns.Thisaerarguesihaisuchaniniegraiion
ariicuIarIyusefuIforundersiandingdesceniasiihasbeen de
scribediniheeihnograhicIiieraiureonIowIandSouihAmerica.
Descent Patterns in Lowland South America
AIihough eihnograhershadfor someiimeexerienced dii
cuIiiesinaIyingiheanaIyiicconceisofdesceniiheoryioSouih
Americansocieiies,aiieniionfirsifocusedonihisrobIeminihe
,o's (J. Shairo ,a, J. Shairo ,|, TayIorandRamos ,
Jackson ,, GoIdman ,, Lizoi ,,, Murhy ,, J.C.
Crocker ,, Seeger 8o). In some resecis, ihe discussion
echoedconcensihaisiudenisofHighIandNewGuineasocieiies
hadexressedabouiusingmodeIsderivedfromresearchinAfrica
(Banes a, Langness |, Leervanche ,-8). The view
from Souih America, however, oened ihe debaie siiII furiher,
snc

esceniiheredidnoiseemiobeabasisforformingsociaIIy
sigmficanicororaiegrousandsincegeneaIogicaIreckoningex-
iendedminimaIIybeyondihecommuniiyofiheIiving.
DiscussionsofdesceniinIowIandSouihAmericahaveiendedio
focusoniheabsenceofceriainsociaIsiruciuraIfeaiuresamongso-
cieiiesofiheregion.InihisariicIe,IwiIIargueforamoreosiiive
viewofdesceniaiiernsin ihisareabyanaIyzingdesceniinihe
coniexi o reIa:ion

his beiween ihe sexes. Taking such an ap-


roachwiIIcIanfy,firsiofaII,whydesceniinIowIandSouihAmer-
icaisesseniiaIIyamaiierofairiIiny. *TheariicuIarconneciionsI
wiIIbeinvesiigaiingare ihose ihaiIinkairiIinytomarriageex-
changeandmariiaIoIiiics,iomaIesoIidariiyandoIiiicaIfaciion-
aIism, and io ihe riiuaI and cosmoIogicaI exression of gender
oosiiion.
IwiIIdrawmyexamIesfromgrouswhoseairiIineaIinsiiiu-
*Certain lowland societies-for example, the Bororo and some of the Norther
Lgroup

-wer

described as "matrilineal" mearly ethnographic accounts, a label
largely rejected M more recent scholarship (Lave 1971; J. C. Crocker 1977; J. C.
Crocker 1979). For another view, see W. Crocker (1977, 1979).
Patriliny in Lowland South America o
iionshavebeenihefocusofseciaIeihnograhicaiieniion,begin-
ningwiihihesocieiiesofiheNorihwesiAmazon, sinceiherin-
ciIe of desceni is mosi cIearIy deveIoed ihere

AIihough ihe
aIicabiIiiy of desceni conceis has been quesiioned for oiher
IowIand socieiies, airiIiny in ihe Norihwesi Amazon resenis
enoughofihecIassicandfamiIiarfeaiuresofdesce

i,incIudinga
segmeniaryandhierarchicaIorderingofdesce

iumis,forieu

se
ofiheseconceisiobereIaiiveIyunrobIemaiic. Nexi, IwiIIdis-
cussseveraIoiherIowIandsocieiiesihaihavebeencharacierizedas
airiIineaI-iheMundurucofiheUerTaajs
.
River,iheAkwe-
Shavanie, a Ge-seaking eoIe of ceniraIBraziI, andihe Yano-
mamo*ofsouiheasiernVenezueIaandnorihwesiernBraziI-using
ihe anaIysis of NorihwesiAmazon socieiy as a basis for under-
siandingihesignificanceofairiIinyinsocieiieswhereiidoesnoi
consiiiuieascIearandervasiveasiruciuraIrinciIe.
Northwest Amazon Society
LikeoihereoIesofiheiroicaIforesiregionofIowIandSouih
America,grousiniheNorihwesiAmazonareaareswiddenhor-
iicuIiuraIisiswho aIso deend for iheir subsisience onhuniing,
fishing, and foraging. Their sirongIy riverine orieniaiion is re-
eciediniheIocaiionandIayouiofiheirviIIages,iniheiriraveIand
communicaiionaiierns, andiniheir cosmoIogicaI beIiefs. Indi-
viduaI communiiies are IargeIy auionomous oIiiicaIIy and eco-
nomicaIIybuiareIinkediooneanoiherihroughexchangereIaiion-
shis,iniermarriage, andceremoniaIaciiviiies.Thegrous
.
ofihe
area,infaci,formaneiworkofreIaiedeoIesihaimusibeviewed
as a regionaI sysiem. In ihe foIIowing accouni, I wiII iherefore
seakgeneraIIyofNorihwesiAmazonsocieiy, drawingonava-
rieiyofsourcesandrovidingdeiaiIedinform

iionabouig

ous
forwhomwehaveariicuIarIyricheihnograhicdaiaonsociaIor-
ganizaiion-ihe Cubeo andBarasana (seeGoIdman , GoId-
man,,Jackson,|,Jackson,,Jackson,,,Jackso

8,
Jackson 8|, C. Hugh-Jones ,, S. Hugh-Jones ,, Arhem
8).
PairiIineaIdescenioeraiesaiavarieiyofIeveIsinNorihwesi
*The term "Yanomamo," a generally familiar rendering of the tribal name, here
includes the various regional subgroups referred to in the ethnographic literature
as Yqnomamo (or Yan6mami, Yanomam, and Sanuma).
o| Judith Shapiro
Amazon socieiy, fromihe IocaI communiiy-alonghouseinhah-
iiedhyagrouofmaIeagnaiesandiheirfamilies-iohrairicuniis
comosedofairiIineaI sihs ihai ohserve a common rule ofexo-
gamy. *BecauseofiheexiensivescoeofairilineaIdescenireck-
oning, and iheaiiernofexogamyihairesulis, communiiiesare
linkediogeiheroverawidearea.MarriagegeneralIyuniiesmem-
hersofgrousihaiseakdinerenilanguages, sinceeolewho
sharealanguageiendioviewihemselvesasasingleexogamous
descenigrou.TherearesomeexceiionsioihisgeneraIruIe,no-
iahIy ihe Cuheo, whose marriage sysiem is iniernaIly ordered
aroundihreeiniermarryingsuhgrous(Goldman.).Mosi
ofihegrousofiheregion,however,useIanguageasanidiomfor
commondesceniandmariialexchange relaiions. IndividuaIsare
muliilinguaI,andkiniiesarerefleciedinihesocioIinguisiicsiruc-
iureofihecommuniiy(Sorensen,,]ackson,|,]ackson8).
NorihwesiAmazonvillagesareorganizedaroundiherinciles
ofairiIinealdesceniandsexualoosiiion.Posimariialresidence
isviriIocaI, andagrouofmaleagnaiesconsiiiuiesihesocialar-
maiureofiheviIIage. Inmarriedwomenareouisiderswhocome
from various dinereni villages and seak several dinereni lan-
guages.Iniheroundofdailyevenis,womenandmengosearaie
ways-menfish,huni,orsocializeiogeiherinihevilIage,whereas
womensendmosiofiheiriimeworkinginiheirreseciiveman-
iocgardens.

ThevilIageisdividediniozonesforeachsex.Thefroniandhack
_
_

ofihemuliifamiIylonghouseoniheriveraremaIeandfemaIeareas

reseciively,anoosiiionihaiisheighienedandformalizeddur-
ing ceremoniaI aciiviiies. Men and women enier and Ieave ihe
houseihroughiheirreseciivedoors.EncIosedcomarimenisfor
individualfamiliesarelocaiedalongihesidewallsofihelonghouse
iowardiherear.Aiihehackofihehouseisawomen'skiichenarea,
aiihefroni,amaIeceremoniaIIaza. WomenandmengeneralIy
usedinereniarisofiheriverforiheirhaihingandwashing,inihe
BarasanavilIage, ihewomen'soriis ona small sireamreached
fromihehackofihehouse,whereasihemen'soriisonihemain
riverouifroni.Alonghouseisalwaysorieniediowardiheriver,a
malezonenoionlyhecausemenfishiniihuihecauseriversareas-
*
iwill use the ethnographic present throughout, as do my sources, when speak
ing of "traditional" institutions. This decision seems appropriate in light of my at- ,
tempt to explore very general social patterns of long standing in the region.
Patriliny in Lowland South America o
sociaied wiih ihe origin of airilineal desceni grous and ihe
myihiciraveIsofairiIineaIancesiors.Sacredmusicalinsirumenis
helongingioihedescenigrouarekeihiddenaiiheriver'sedge
(GoIdman.a8-,C. Hugh-]ones,.|o-).
Thehierarchicalsiruciuringofairilinealdesceniuniis,fromihe
IocaIcommuniiyiomoreinclusiveagnaiiccaiegories,variessome-
whaiwiihiniheNorihwesiAmazonregion.TheCuheohaveheen
descrihedashavingIineages,sihs,andhrairies. Phrairies,which
areunnamed,aredefinedasriverineierriiorialuniis. Sihs,which
arenamed,arelocaluniisihaiconsiiiuieihehasicsegmeniofCu-
heosocieiy(GoIdman.a).Lineagesaresuhuniisofsihsand
areihemseIvesinciienisihs. ThesedinereniIevelsofairilinyre-
eciaiemoraIrocessofsegmeniaiion. TheCuheohelieveihai
whaiisnowahrairywasonceasingIelonghouseunii. ldeaIly,
eachhrairyissuosedioconiainfivesihs,rereseniingihefin-
gersofonehand,whichisairedwiihamaichinghandofaninal
sihs. Each sih should similarlyhave five fraiernal desceniIines,
sincesihandhrairysiruciurearesuosedioaraIleloneanoiher
(GoIdman,.a8) .
AmongiheBarasana,ihemajorIevelsofairiIineaIorganizaiion
haveheendesignaiedhyiheiermshrairy,exogamousgrou,
sih,andlocaldescenigrou. Anexogamousgrouisaseiof
sihsihaioccuiesaconiinuousierriiory,hrairiesarecomosedof
exogamousgrousihaiheIieveihemseIvesioherelaiedhyiiesof
desceni,huidonoioccuyaconiinuousarea. Phrairiesrereseni
ihewidesieneciiverangeofairilinealdescenireckoningand,Iike
alloiherairilinealgrouingsiniheNorihwesiAmazon,ohserve
aruleofexogamy.SihsareihenameduniisofiheBarasanadesceni
sysiem. The iermlocaldescenigrouisusediodesignaieihe
unnamedgrouofcloseagnaiesihaiformihecoreofalonghouse
ouIaiion (C. Hugh-]ones ,.-aa) . Chrisiine Hugh-]ones
renainsfromusingiheiermIineagewiihreferenceioiheBara-
sana, asdoes]ean]acksoninhergeneraIaccounisofNorihwesi
Amazonsocieiy.
GeneaIogicalreckoningisnoiofgreaiconceninihesesocieiies.
AmonghoihiheCuheoandBarasana,ihereisagaheiweenihe
shaIIow genealogies ihaiindicaie reIaiionshis amongiheliving
andihemyihicgeneaIogiesofiheearliesihumangrous, which
serveaschariersforsihideniiiyandmayheoeniomuIiileinier-
reiaiions (Goldman . o, ,, Goldman ,.ao, C. Hugh-
o Judith Shapiro
Jones,.) .Asih'sconneciionioiisancesiorsdoesnoideend
onesiahlishing,orevenfahricaiing,genealogicalIinks,sihideniity
andconiinuiiyisreckonedmoreiniermsofgeograhicallocaiion
andiheossessionofriiualohjecis.Whaimaiiers,asfarasdesceni
isconcened,isihegeneralheliefihaiiheIivingmemhersofasih
areiiedioiheirremoiemaleancesiorshyanunhrokenlineofkin-
shiihroughmen.

Genealogicaliruncaiionandanaiiendanicollasingofasiand
reseniisrevealedinnamingraciices.Eachsihossessesasiock
ofnamesihaicanheusedonlyforiismemhers.Chdrenreceive
ihe names of deceasedairilineal relaiives ofihe grandarenial
generaiion(Goldman.a,C.Hugh-Jones,.) .Thisrac-

iiceinhihiisiheaccumulaiionofgenealogicalknowledge(C. Hugh-

Jones,.) .Theresuliisaraidrecyclingofsihideniiiiesihai
foreshoriensihehisioricalrocess.
ThelackofgenealogicalconcernamongeolesofiheNorih-
wesiAmazonisiiedio iheirfocusonagnaiicsihIingiies, raiher
ihanfaiher-soniies (C. Hugh-Jones,., Goldman .|,
seealsoShairoandKensingcr8).Malesihlinggrousconsii
iuieihecoreoflocalcommuniiies,formihefocusofhisioricaland

myihicalaccounis,androvidearooimeiahorforsocialsolidar-
iiy.Sihswiihinahrairyarehelievediohedescendedfromasingle
grouofhroihers, andsegmeniaiionaialllevelsofihesysiemis

similarlyconceiualized.
Therankingofihemalesihlingseihyagerovidesamodelfor
ihehierarchicalrankingofalldesceniuniis.Iiisexressedwiihin
ihe longhousecommuniiyinihegeneralheliefihaiiheheadman
shouldideallyheiheoldesiofagrouofhroihers. *Thehierarchical
orderingofsihsreecisihehirihorderofiheirreseciiveancesiors
and,hence,iheorderinwhichhumangrousoriginaied.TheCu-
heo and Barasana, like oiher NorihwesiAmazon eoles, irace
iheirheginningsioroio-ancesiralanacondaswhoiraveledalong
iheriversihesegrousresenilyinhahiiand sioed aivarious
siiesioengenderhumancommuniiies. Thehrairyiiselfislikened
ioananaconda,iishead, associaiedwiihihehigher-rankingsihs,
*An interesting inversion of this structural principle occu

s at the lo

al
_
level of
the patrilineal descent organization of the Arawakan-speaking Wakuena1 of the
Northwest Amazon. There the youngest member of the sibling set is expected to
achieve the highest status. This theme is also refected in Wakuenai mythology (Hill
1985)
Patriliny in Lowland South America o,
isiciuredaiihemouihofiheriverandiisiailaiiheheadwaiers,
wherelower-rankingsihslive(Goldman,.a8,C.Hugh-Jones
,.-8) .
Sihrankingisihusexressedinhoihsaiialandiemoralierms.
AmongiheBarasana,iiisalsoassociaiedwiihahierarchyofse-
ciaIizedmaleroles.ThefivesihsiniowhichBarasanasocieiyisor-
ganized,recallingihequinarysiruciureofCuheohrairiesnoied
ahove, corresondioasequenceofroles.ihechiefaiiheio,fol-
lowed hy chanier/dancer, warrior, shaman, and, finally, servani
(C.Hugh-Jones,. a,-o,|-|) .Thesysiem,whichideallyreg-
ulaiesiherolesofhroihersaswellassihs, doesnoigovernaciual
sociallife,andiissignificanceiniheasiisdiuiculiiodeiermine.
lifunciionsrimarilyasacomelIingideologicalmodeloforganic
solidariiyamongsihgrous. Nosimilarlyelahoraiecomlexhas
heenreoriedforanyoiherNorihwesiAmazongrou,alihough
ihereisfragmeniaryevidenceforiisexisienceelsewhere(C. Hugh-
Jones,.a,) .Goldmanreorisihaihighrankaccordswiihriiual
rivilegeandleadershi amongiheCuheoandihailow-ranking
lineages wiihin a sih are viewed as servanis (,.a8). Among
hoih ihe Cuheo andBarasana, gender serves as a meiahor for
ihesesysiemsofranking,iheservanisiaiusimliesdoingiheme-
nialworkofwomen, andihe male/female oosiiionmore gen-
erally corresonds io ihe oosiiion heiween higher and lower
ihings.
TheelahoraiesysiemofrankinginNorihwesiAmazonairilin-
ealideology does noilacedescenigrousinany significanihi-
erarchyofowerorauihoriiyinaciualsociallife,aileasiduringihe
eriodinwhichihesegroushaveheensiudied.Relaiionshishe-
iweenlocalcommuniiies,andheiweenihemenofindividualcom-
muniiies,areesseniiallyegaliiarian.Thisdisariiyhasheencom-
menieduonhyeihnograhersofiheregion,andiherehasheen
someseculaiionahouiiheossihlesociooliiicalsignificanceof
ranking in ihe asi (Goldman .8-oo, C. Hugh-Jones
,.o-,a,-,,Jackson8.,-,) .InconiemoraryNorih-
wesiAmazonsocieiies, rankofienfiguresinihe sysiemofmar-
riagereferences,noinecessarilyinraciice,huiinihesiaiedideal
ihaimarriagearinersshouldhelongiogrousofcomarahlerank
wiihiniheirreseciivesihsysiems.
Themajorsignificanceofihehierarchicaldescenimodel, how-
ever,seemsioheiisroleinlinkingsocialideniiiyioihecosmolog-
308 Judith Shapiro
icalorder. AsiscommonamongSouihAmericaneoles,iheiie
heiweeneverydayIifeandihemyihicasiisaariicuIarIyclose
one,feaiuresofihelandscae,ihehysicaIIayouiofvillagesand
houses, andiheaiiernofsocialiiescorresondio cosmoIogical
noiionsofiheoriginsofhumansocieiyandiisrelaiionshiiooiher
livingheingsandioiheenvironmeni.Theserelaiionshisaredra-
maiizedinihemajorriiualsinvolvingairilinealdescenigrous,
duringwhichihesocialsaceofdailylifeisiransformedinioihe
cosmicsaceofancesiraIheings.
Ifairilineal desceniiniheNorihwesiAmazoncanhe saidio
consiiiuie aoliiical sysiem, ihereIaiionshis ofowerandau-
ihoriiyiiregulaiesarenoiihoseheiweendescenigrous,huiihose
heiweenihesexes.RiiuaIslayaceniraIroleinihisoliiicalro-
cess,linkingiherincileofairiIinyioiheorderingofmen'sand
women'sreseciiverolesinsocieiy.Wecanseehowihisoeraies
hyexamininghrieysomeofihemajorceremoniaIaciiviiiesofihe
CuheoandBarasana.
Amonghoihgrous,sihmemhershiisriiualizedinsecreimale
culiaciiviiiesihaiserveiodramaiizesocialhoundariesheiweenihe
sexesandioexresssymholicallyiheirrelaiionshiiooneanoiher.
InihecourseofiheseriiuaIs,ancesiralsihsiriisareconiacied,and
hoysareiniiiaiedinioihecommuniiyofadulimen.Theancesiral
siriisareideniifiedwiihsacredfluiesandirumeisihaiarekei
hiddenfromwomenandchildren. AsiscommoninoiherSouih
Americansocieiies, andelsewhereiniheworldaswell,ihemale
culiisassociaiedwiihamyihihairecounisaiimewhenwomen
owned ihe sacredinsirumenis. Themyihrovidesa scenario of
whaisociallifewas(wouldhe)likewhen(if)genderroleswerere-
versed,iichronicIesmen'ssuccessinseizingconirolofiheinsiru-
menis, andiherehyachievingiheirculiurallyaroriaiesueri-
oriiyoverwomen(seeBamherger1974; Murhy1959; Murhyand
Murhy1974) .
Thesecrecyofihemen'sculiisroieciedhysanciionsihairein-
forcegender-aroriaiehehavior, ensure ihereroduciivero-
cess, and make men ihe osiensihle guardians of ihe sysiem.
WomenwhovioIaieihissecrecyaresaidiohecomesexuaIIylicen-
iious,overlycurious,andiaIkaiive-heliefsihaireecimalefears
ofhowwomenwouIdhehaveifnoikeiunderconirol.According
ioiheBarasana,womenwholookuonihesacreduiesandirum-
eisdieinchildhirih. Someversionsofiheculimyihexlainihe
Patriliny in Lowland South America 309
mensirual cycle iiself as a consequence ofihe men's forcing ihe
uies and irumeis u ihe women's vaginas afieriakingihein-
sirumenisoverfromihem. Cororaiehallic aggressionalsoen-
forcesculisecrecy,sinceiheusualunishmeniforanywomanwho
shouldhaenioseeiheinsirumenisisgangrae. SomeCuheo
mensaidihaisuchawomanshouldheuiiodeaihhysorceryio
keep her fromreveaIing ihe secreis io oiher women (Goldman
1963: 193-94; S. Hugh-Jones1979: 129-32).
Aariicularlyrichaccouniofsih/maIecuIiriiesaearsinSie-
henHugh-Jones's 1979 siudy ofBarasanariiualandcosmology.
ThemajorariofhisanaIysisfocusesonaniniiiaiionriiecalledHe
wi, or "He House,whichinvoIveshringingihesacreduiesand
irumeisioihelonghouseioheshownioyounghoysforihefirsi
iime. TheiermHe refersioihesacredinsirumenisand,moregen-
erally, ioancesiraIiimesand ihe siriiworld. TheHe insirumenis
emhodysihancesiorswhoareaioncehumanandassociaiedwiih
variousanimalsiriis.TheHe Houseceremonyoeraiesionegaie
ihe enecisofiimeoniheairilineaIdescenisysiem-iheconiin-
uingrocessofsegmeniaiionihaimakes relaiionsheiweenmen
more disiani and iakes ihem ever fariher from iheir common
origins-hyhringingmen inio direci coniaciwiihiheiroriginaI
ancesiors. Culiiniiiaiesareadoieddirecilyhyihefoundingan-
cesiralsiriis,ihis,asiheBarasanasay, squashesiheiIeofgen-
eraiions (S.Hugh-Jones1979: 249). Asmenariiciaieiniheculi
overiheyears,iheydevelodeeerrelaiionshiswiihihemosire-
moieofiheirmyihicancesiors.
TheriiesihaiiniroduceBarasanahoysioiheHe siriisalsoso-
cializeiheminioihemaIerole,insiilIinginihemihearoriaie
qualiiiesofmasculiniiy.AlihoughiheHe aresihsiriis,ihefaciihai
iniiiaiionceremoniesneednoiheresiriciediomemhersofasingIe
sih indicaies ihai ihe iniiiaies are heing acceied inio a more
hroadlydefinedmalecommuniiy.TheaciiviiiesofiheHe Houseex-
ressihesiruciureofihismalesociaIworld,invokingiherinci-
lesofagegrading,hirihorder,andihesysiemofsecializedmale
rolesouilinedahove.
During ihe eriod of ihe He House ceremony, secial careis
iakenioensuresearaiionofihesexes. Ascreenisseiuheiween
ihemaleandfemaIezonesofihehouse,andihewomenareohli-
gaiedioeewhenihefIuiesandirumeisarehroughiinside. In
addiiioniolayingihecruciaIroIeofouisiders,womenalsoserve
o Judith Shapiro
asauxiliariesaivariousoinisiniheroceedings.Theyare, more-
over,symholicallyresenievenwhenhysicallyahseni.oneofihe
mosiimorianiriiualohjecis,agourdfullofheeswax,isanalyzed
hy Siehen Hugh-Jones as a female symhol halancing ihe male
symholsofiheuiesandirumeis.Maleiniiiaiesandiheshamans
who lead ihe He House ceremonies are symholically likened io
mensiruaiingwomen. Ingeneral, iheriiual symholismreveals a
ceniral concern wiih ihe reseciive sexualiiy and reroduciive
owersofmenandwomen.Asisihecaseinmanyoihersocieiies,
iheconsiderahleowersaiirihuiediowomenareinvokedandma-
niulaied in riiual aciiviiy from which women ihemselves are

excluded.
TheBarasana riiuals exresshoihcomlemeniariiy and hier-
archyhelweenihesexes. Theyreflecianoiunfamiliarconirasihe-

iweenihenaiuraladvaniagesofwomenandihesocialsuerioriiy
ofmen.Womenossessanaiuralimmorialiiyhasedoniheirahiliiy
io mensiruaie, whichisihoughiofas aniniernal skin-shedding
leadingiorenewal,iheyareahleiorelaceihemselveshygiving
hirihiochildren.Theimmorialiiyofmenisachievedonihesocial

lane,ihroughsihriiuals.Iniheriiualrocessofasseriingconirol

_
overihe meansofsocialreroduciion, menmaniulaiesymhols
ihairereseniwomen'ssexualfunciions.AsChrisiineHugh-Jones

uisii,Themenaroriaieiheuliimaiefemaleowersofsexual
reroduciion for ihemselves and so mainiain iheir conirol over
women(,.) .Thismalearoriaiionofowershelievedio
hefemaleisalsoseeninihefigureofiheshaman,whoouiciaiesai
iheHe HouseceremonyandwholaysaceniralroleinBarasana
life.Alihoughallshamansaremen,myihholdsihaiihefirsione
wasawoman(S.Hugh-Jones,.a).
TheCuheouieandirumeiculi,asdescrihedhylrvingGold-
man,arallelsihemainfeaiuresofiheBarasanariiual.ihevener-
aiionofinsirumenisihaihaveancesiralsignificanceandareasso-
ciaiedwiihmaleoiencyandferiiliiy,iheiniiiaiionofhoys,who
neednoihememhersofihehosivillage'ssih,inioamaleculi,and
anemhasisonoosiiionheiweenihesexes(Goldman.o-
ao).OiherceremonialevenisdescrihedhyGoldmanfuriherillus-
iraiehowiheriiualizedexressionofsihrelaiionshisissuhsumed
wiihin a general dramaiizaiion of male/female oosiiion and

symholicrereseniaiionsofsexualiiy. Onesucheveniisihedrink-
ingariy,whichhringsiogeiherdiuerenisihsofihesamehrairy.
Patriliny in Lowland South America
Some hases ofihe roceedings emhasize sih ideniiiy, oihers
downlay sih disiinciions infavorofihe wider solidariiy ofihe
malegrou. Goldmananalyzesihediuerenceheiweenmen'sand
women'srolesiniheriiual'svarious dances asanoosiiionhe-
iweenanorderedworldofmen'ssocialhondsandadisordered,in-
dividualisiic, andsonianeouslyemoiionalworldofwomen. He
seesiherhyihmandrogressionofihe dancesasameiahorfor
sexualiniercourse(Goldman.aoa-8) .
Similar feaiures characierize Cuheo mourning ceremonies,
which are generallyhrairic ohservances in which various sih
grouscomeioouercondolences. InGoldman'sview, ihesingle
mainihemeofihemournngceremonyisihesexualinierlayhe-
iweenmenandwomen. Aioneoiniinihe sequenceofevenis,
maledancersformgrousonihemen'ssideofihehouseandihen
aliernaiely eneiraie and wiihdraw from ihe women's seciion,
assingihroughafenceconsiruciediosearaieihem.Throughoui
ihe aciiviiies of ihe mouningceremony, as Goldman descrihes
ihem,riiuallysiruciuredandconirolledhehavioroniheariofihe
men conirasis wiih sonianeous, reaciive, and raucously emo-
iionalhehavioroniheariofihewomen. Theceremonyculmi-
naiesinanorgiasiicfree-for-all,inwhichcoulesleaveihehouse
ioengageinsexualaciiviiyinihehush,reiurningioconiinuedanc-
ingandiofindnewariners(Goldman.a-a).
lnihevariousNorihwesiAmazonriiuals descrihedahove, ag-
gressiveinierlayheiweenihesexesalienaieswiihall-maleaciiv-
iiies from which women are excluded. According io Siehen
Hugh-Jones,whenwomenareforcedioeeihelonghouse,anex-
clusively male socieiy is hroughiahoui, jusi as in ihe ancesiral
iimes ihere were no women (S. Hugh-Jones ,.) . Boih
ChrisiineandSiehenHugh-JonesargueihaiBarasanariiualsin-
volveihe symholicaroriaiionhymenofwomen's generaiive
andreroduciiveowers.IrvingGoldmaniakesadiuereniview,
mainiainingihai maleculiismishasedonihescruulousseara-
iionheiweenmaleandfemalegeneraiiveowers,ihisheingiheex-
lanaiionforiheriiualexclusionofwomen.InGoldman'sanalysis,
ihe male communiiy is aroriaiing ihe viial owers noi of
women,huiofnaiureandihenonhumanworldiniheserviceofa
colleciiveandasexual[reroduciive]rocessihaiisregulaiedhy
ancesiors (Goldman,.a). Thesereseciiveinierreiaiions
areerhashesiseenasoeraiingoniwodiuerenilevels, Gold-
a Judith Shapiro
man's heing closer io exlicii Cuheo ideology and ihe Hugh-
Joneses' siiuaiedaiacriiicaldisiancefromihe ariicianis' own
erceiionofiheirraciice.
Myihsofaworldwiihouiwomenandmyihsofgenderinver-
sion, which also figure inNorihwesi Amazon male culis, aswe
haveseenahove,recurwidelyinihegenderideologiesofoiherso-
cieiies.Inihiscase,iheyareariicularlyeueciivesymholicvehicles
forrereseniingandauirmingihedesceni/gendersysiem,aswell
asforexloringiisinhereniconicis.
Aseiofrelaiedihemesemergesfromiheforegoingdescriiion
ofNorihwesiAmazonairiliny.Foroneihing,alihoughiiiscom-
mon forexogamyiohea significanidefiningfeaiure ofdesceni
uniis,iiisariicularlyceniralinihiscase. IniheNorihwesiAma-
zon-and,aswewillsee,inoiherlowlandsocieiies-airilinyo-
eraieswiihinasocialsysiemihefocusofwhichismariialexchange.
Memhershi in airilineal desceniuniis gives men andwomen
iheir reseciive laces in a regional sysiem of auinally relaied
grous. Onemighi,infaci,sayiigivesihemiheiroosedlaces.
Aswesaw,osimariialresidenceisgenerallyvirilocal,andihelocal
communiiy is ideally formed around a grou ofmale agnaies.
Women'sclearandongoingideniificaiionwiihiheirnaialdesceni
grous,afaciorihaivariouseihnograhersofiheregionemha-
size,alsoeniailsiheirdiuereniiaiionfrommemhersofiheairilin-
ealgrousiniowhichiheymarry.Thegeneralideniificaiionofde-
sceni grous wiih language grous, and ihe aiiendani rule of
languagegrouexogamy, makesiheosiiion ofwomenasoui-
sidersevenmoremarked. Thesolidariiyofihedescenigrouiends
iomergewiihihesolidariiyofihemalegrou,eachservingioim-
arimeaningio ihe oiher. Incosmological ierms, airiliny ro-
vides ihe model ofa socialuniverse consirucied ouiofrelaiion-
shisamongmen.
ThisgeneraliciureofNorihwesiAmazonairilinyhelshring
iniofocus aiierns ofairilinyinoiherlowland socieiies. To ex-
lore ihese aiiens, Iwillnowconsideriheeihnograhicliiera-
iureonihreegrousihaiarerelaiivelywellknownioihegeneral
anihroologicalcommuniiy.iheMunduruc,asdescrihedhyRoh-
eriMurhy (, ,, , o, ,) and YolandaMurhy
(MurhyandMurhy,|),iheAkwe-Shavanie,asdescrihedhy
David Mayhury-Lewis (,, ,), and ihe Yanomamo, as de-
scrihedhyanumherofeihnograhers (Chagnon 8, Chagnon
Patriliny in Lowland South America
,|,Chagnon,a,Chagnon,h,]. Shairo,a,J. Shairo
,|, Taylor ,|, Taylor ,,, Taylor 8, Ramos ,a, Ramos
,,TaylorandRamos,,RamosandAlheri,,,Lizoi,,).
ThesourcesIwillheusingwerewriiienaidiuerenioinisinihe
asi ihreedecadesand reecichangesinihevayeihnograhers
have aroachedihedescriiionandanalysisofsocialorganiza-
iioninihe region. Mosirelevaniioourreseni uroses isihai
someofiheearlierwriiings,ariicularlyihoseoniheAkwe-Shav-
anieandYanomamo,makeuseofihesiandardanalyiicvocahulary
ofdesceniiheory,laierworkhyihesameauihorslargelyahandons
ihaivocahularyasinaroriaie.Theverydiuiculiiesencouniered
inihemoreiradiiionalsocialanihroologicalaccounis,however,
are ihemselves illuminaiing. By seeingwhai ihe rohlems have
heen,andhyexloringarallelswiihiheNorihwesiAmazoncase
ouilinedahove,wecanarriveaisomegeneralviewofiheconiexi
andmeaningofairilinyinlowlandSouihAmerica.
Mundurucu Societ
Amongihe Munduruc, airilinyisrimarilyassociaiedwiih
mariialexchangeaiiernsandceremoniallife. Namedairilineal
moieiiesregulaiemarriageandgovernoiherkindsofrecirocalre-
laiionsaswell,ariicularlyihoseofariiualnaiure.Moieiiesaredi-
videdinioclans,eachhavinganancesiralsiriiihaihearsihename
ofananimal,lani,hird,orfishihaiservesasaneonymforihe
clan.Thereseemsiohenoideologyofdescenilinkingclanmem-
hersioihegreaiancesiorsihaigiveihemiheirname(Murhy
o.,|-,). Clanexogamyissuhsumedwiihinihewiderdivision
heiweenexogamousmoieiies,alihoughsexualrelaiionswiihafel-
lowclansersonisdeemedamoreseriousinfringemeniihansex-
ualrelaiionswiihoihermemhersofone'sownmoieiy. lmoriani
riiualrelaiionsheiweenclans,noiahlyiheohligaiionihaimemhers
ofceriainclanserformhurialservicesformemhersofceriainoiher
clans,involveclansofoosiiemoieiiesandareorderedwiihina
morecomrehensivedualisiicsiruciure(Murhyo.,a) .
Mundurucclanshavenocororaieideniiiyandnofunciionin
organizingsocialaciiviiies.Theyserveasamodeofsocialcaiego-
rizaiion,since.anauiliaiionisexressediniheMundurucnam-
ingsysiem(Murhyo.8) .Themajorsignificanceofclanshiis
asanidiomforsocialandceremonialsolidariiyheiweenmen.Since
314 Judith Shapiro
osimariialresidenceisuxoriIocal,hondsofcommonclanshiIink
menofdiuerenilocalcommuniiies. WiihinihevilIage,clansareas-
sociaiedwiihamen'sculifocusedarounda seiofsacredfIuies.
Thesefluiesarekeihiddeninihemen'shouse,aresidenceforalI
iheadulimalesof ihevilage.Theuiesarehelievedioheinhahiied
hyiheancesiralclansiriiofihemanwhomadeihemandhence
iohelonginsomesenseioihaiclan.liis,however,vilIagemen,re-
gardIessofmoieiyandclanauiliaiion,wholayihefluiesandro-
videiheriiuaIoueringsoffoodihaiiheyrequire,andiiisihevillage
raiherihaniheclanihaiderivesihehenefiisaccruingfromihese
ohservances(Murhy1960: 75-76) .
Fromihewomen'soiniofview, ihe secrecysurroundingihe
men'sculiresulisinahomogenizaiionofihemalecommuniiyihai
hasheenailydescrihedasfolIowsinageneraldiscussionofsuch
culis.Thesanciionsagainsiinirusionscreenouiihemenashroih-
ers,hushands,andfaihers,andreseniihemasanonymousmem-
hersofiheoosiiesex(Gregor1979: 268) . Fromihemen'soini
ofview,iheMundurucculimyihsaearioinvolveiheculiural
faniasyofaworIdwiihouiwomen(Nadelson1981), aihemeen-
couniered in ihe Norihwesi Amazon as well. Once again, ihe
men's culi is associaied wiih a role reversaI myih according io
whichwomenonceossessedhesacredandvaluedinsirumenis,
amyihihaiexressesiheowerofwomenasiijusiifiesihedom
inanceofmen. AmongiheMunduruc,asiniheNorihwesiAm-
azon,womenwhovioIaieihesecrecyofihemen'scuIiaresuhjeci
io gangrae, whichisalsoiheunishmeniforoiherdeariures
fromgender-aroriaiehehavior, suchassexualromiscuiiyor
faiIureiorecognizeiheauihoriiyofmalerelaiives.Thesolidariiyof
ihemaIegrouinunishingsuchvioIaiionsisunderlinedhyihe
faciihaiMundurucmenariiciaieinagangraeregardIessof
iheircIaniiesioiheviciim(Murhy1960: 109).
lnhoihMundurucandNorihwesiAmazonsocieiy, ihen,ase-
creimen'sculi, associaiediovaryingdegreeswiihanideologyof
airiliny, servesioexress ihe solidariiy ofihemalecommuniiy
andio emhasize ihe social houndaryheiweenihesexes. Inihe
NorihwesiAmazon,airiliny,malecuIiism,andaiiernsofsexual
oosiiioncomeiogeiheriniheroleofdesceniinlocaIgrouor-
ganizaiion,iniheMunduruccase,airilinealcIanreIaiionshis
aresuhordinaiedioihewiderlocalcommuniiyofmaIesinaviIlage,
arocessinwhichihemen'sculilaysaceniralroIe.Themajorex-
Patriliny in Lowland South America 315
ceiionioihisaiiern,andanimorianisourceofdivisionwiihin
iheMundurucmalecommuniiy,isiheheadman'sahiliiyiodeari
fromihegeneralnormsofuxorilocalosimariialresidence.Byre-
maininginhisownvillage,andgeiiingsomeofhisclosesikinsmen
iodoihesame,aheadmancanhuilduanagnaiicfaciion,which
hewiIlcommonlyseekioereiuaiehyassingIeadershionio
hisson.
Akwe-Shavante Society
PairiIineaIdesceniinAkwe-Shavaniesocieiyhasheendescrihed
asoeraiingoniwoIevels.Aionelevel,ihereareihreeairicIans,
whosefoundersare saidiohavecomeouiofihe groundinihe
veryheginnningwheniherewasnoihing(Mayhury-Lewis196T
165). Mensymholize iheir clan memhershi ihrough disiinciive
hodyainidesignswornonceremonialoccasions. CIansareexo-
gamous, alihough ihereis some diuerence heiween Easienand
WesiernShavanieonihisoini,amongihelaiier,iwoofiheihree
cIansformasingleexogamousgrou,yieldingamoieiysysiemof
marriagereguIaiion.Dualoosiiionis,however, afeaiureofihe
cIan sysiem for alI Shavanie since ihe disiinciion heiween one's
ownclanmemhersandaIloihersisexressedinawe/iheydi-
choiomyihaiisalsofundamenialioihesemaniicsofiheShavanie
kinierminoIogical sysiem (Mayhury-Lewis 196T 167) . Alihough
iheShavanie,likeoiherGegrous,havearuleofuxoriIocaIosi-
mariiaIresidence,ihereisnoneihelessaiendencyforcIansioheIo-
caIizedwiihinavillagesincemenofihesameclanseekiomarry
inioihesamehouseorneighhoringhouses.CIanlocaiionswiihin
ihe village change over iime as men move nom naial io auinal
househoIds.
TheoiherleveIofairiIineaIdesceniorganizaiioninShavanie
IifeiswhaiMayhury-Lewis calIs ihe Iineage, felIow clansmen
whoformihecoreofaoliiicaIfaciionwiihinihevlage.AIihough
Mayhury-Lewis refers io lineages as cororaie grous (1967:
169), ihisseemsiomeanonlyihaiiheirmemherssidewiihonean-
oiherwhendisuiesarise.ShavanieIineagesdonoishowanycon-
iinuiiyoveriime,huiriseandfaIIinaccordancewiihiherelaiively
voIaiileandfaciionalizedoIiiicsofvilIageIife.Theoiniofariic-
uIaiionheiweeniheseiwolevelsofairiIiny-iheclans,whichre-
reseni divisions esiahlished in myihic iimes, and ihe Iineages,
Judith Shapiro
whicharegenealogicallyshallowclusiersofairikinihaionean-
alysihasdescrihedasconiingenigrousofagnaies(W. Shairo
,.)-isihaicommonclanshiseemsioserveasamoral idiom
forfaciionalsolidariiy(Mayhury-Lewis,.8).
Asidenomiisroleinregulaiingmarriage, airiliny serveses-
seniially io organize male ceremonial and oliiical aciiviiy. As
Mayhury-Lewisoinisoui,womenhaveaiangeniialrelaiionshi
ioiheairilinealuniisofAkwe-Shavaniesocieiy(,.o|,o) .In
hisview, Shavanieairilinyis onevariaiiononiheGe iheme of

malecommunalsolidariiy,amongoiherGe eoles,oiherrinci-
lesserveioorganizemeniniogrousandiherehyioooseihe
uhlicworldofmenioihedomesiicworldofwomen(,.8) .
Yanomamo Society
TheYanomamohaveheendescrihedhyanumherofeihnogra-
herswhohavelivedindiuereniareasofYanomamoland,noiahly
hyNaoleonChagnon,whoseaccounisareihemosiexiensiveand
hesiknown.Iwillfirsiconsiderinformaiiononairilinyamongihe
grousChagnonsiudiedandihencomaremaierialonoiherYan-
omamogrous.
In his early siudies, Chagnon seaks of airilineal desceni
amongiheYanomamoiniermsofhoihlineagesandlocaldesceni
grous (8.-,o). Lineagesaredisersedairilinealuniis of
varyingscoedefinedrimarilyhyexogamyandhymemhers'in-
ieresiinkeeingirackofiheirrelaiionshisiooneanoiher. Local
descenigrousaregrousofagnaiesresidingiogeiherinihesame
village.Yanomamoosimariialresidenceisgenerallyvirilocal,al-
ihoughhrideservicemayiakeamanawayfromhisvillageforsome
iime.Yanomamovillagesareusuallycomosedofiniermarriedkin
grous, andauinalrelaiionshislayanimorianiroleiniheor-
ganizaiionofcommuniiylife.
Chagnon descrihes ihe local desceni grou as cororaie
largelyhecauseofiisroleinmariialexchange,womenmemhersof
ihe desceni grou consiiiuie iis esiaie. Chagnon is clearly
sireichingiheconceiofanesiaieinorderioalyairadiiional
cororaiedescenimodelioYanomamosocieiy.Healsofindsiinec-
essaryiomodifyihedefiniiionofalocaldescenigrouhynoiing
ihaiYanomamolocaldescenigroushaveadeihofonlyiwo,as
oosedioihree,generaiions(Chagnon8.8).Thischangesig-
Patriliny in Lowland South America ,
nalsihediuiculiyinhorrowingavocahularyinwhichgrouer-
eiuiiy and ihe ariiculaiion of minimal lineage uniis inio wider
onesarekeysiruciuralfeaiures(J. Shairo,a.oo) .
Inhislaierwriiings,ChagnonnolongerrefersioanyYanomamo
airiIinealgrousascororaie.Hisviewofihesignificanceof local
agnaiic grous in Yanomamo mariial arrangemenis has shified
fromihecolleciivemanagemenioffemaleresources-infaci,mar-
iialnegoiiaiionsdonoiinvolveihelocalgrouofagnaiesaciingas
aunii-ioiheconneciionheiweenmemhershiinaowerfulag-
naiicfaciionandsuccessinacquiringwives. Boih Chagnonand
JacquesLizoi,anoihereihnograherwhohasdoneresearchinihe
samegeneralarea,useiheiermlineageforalllevelsofairilineal
grouing(Chagnon,a,Chagnon,h,Lizoi,,) .According
ioLizoi,iheiermcororaieisnoiaroriaieioanylevelofYan-
omamoairiliny(,,.a). Lineagesarenoinamed.Forihesake
ofconvenience,Chagnoncommonlylahelsihemaccordingiowell-
knownheadmenwhoserveasoinisoforigininiheiracingofag-
naiicrelaiions.
TheiermiheYanomamouseiodesignaielineagesismashi, or
secies(Chagnon8.,Chagnon,|.,Lizoi,,.-o).
Lizoirovidesavaluahlediscussionofiheolysemousnaiureof
ihisierm.Henoiesihaiiheiermisusedfirsiandforemosiiodes-
ignaieallsihlingsandarallelcousinsofihesamesexasego.This
meaningcorresondsioihehilaieralkin/auinedisiinciionihaior-
dersiheYanomamo Dravidian-iye kinclassificaiion, andaiihe
sameiimedividesiheclassofrelaiivesalongsexlines. Theierm's
usageshowsaairilaieralskewing, sinceiimosicommonlydes-
ignaiesrelaiionshisheiweenmaleagnaies. Inihisfirsisenseof
iheierm,mashi refersiokinofihesamegeneraiion,whichraises
againiheoiniofiherelaiivesalienceofsihlingrelaiionshis.
Theiermmashi isalsousedioreferioawiderseiofairilineally
relaied kinsmen, ihis use, according io Lizoi, designaies a lin-
eage. Lizoireorisihaisuchagnaiicreckoningneverexiendshe-
yondfive generaiions andis generallymore resiriciedihan ihai
(,,.).Thereckoningofairilinealrelaiionshisreecisolii-
icalsiraiegiesandfollowsihevicissiiudesoffaciionalandiniervil-
lagealliances(Chagnon,|. -,o,,).Finally, iheiermmashi is
usedio designaieasiillwider,andaarenilyhilaieral, shereof
siiulaiedkinrelaiions.
Yanomamogrousioihesouiheasidonoishowihesamefea-
318 Judith Shapiro
iuresofairilineal organizaiiondescrihedhy ChagnonandLizoi
(J. Shairo1972; RamosandAlheri1977). Alihoughihereckoning
ofkiniiesdoesreecisomeairilaieralskewing,agnaiiondoesnoi
yieldsociallysignificanicaiegories,nordooliiicalfaciionscrys-
iallizearoundgrousofagnaies.
YeianoiheraiiernisfoundamongiheSanumsuhgrouinihe
norihernmosiariofYanomamoland,whohaveheendescrihedas
havingaformalseiofnamedairilinealuniis,includinghoihlin-
eagesandsihs.Sanumsihs,whichareexogamous,aredescrihed
asdisersedairilinealdescenicaiegories,wiihnorecogniiionof
acommonancesiorandnoclearexlanaiionofiheirnames(Tay-
lor1977: 94) . *Lineagesaregrousofagnaieswiihaknowncom-
monancesior, acommonname,asiriciruleofexogamy, agenea-
logical deih of ai leasi ihree generaiions, curreni or receni
localizaiioninaariicularvillage,andaoliiicallyimorianinu-
cleus (Ramos 1977: 75). Sinceairilaieralmalerelaiives are com-
monlydisersed-hroihersmaygoiheirsearaiewaysuonihe
deaihofiheirfaiher,andihosewhomarryouisideihevillagemay
enduresidinguxorilocallyforanindefiniieeriod-onlyahoui
halfofiheSanumoulaiionhelongiolineages(Ramos1972: 74)
Thereisnoindicaiionihailineageslayanysignificaniroleinvil-
lageauairs,alihoughlineagememhershihasheenreoriediode-
iermineariiciaiioninriiualizedduelingandiheohservanceof
foodiahoos(Taylor1977; Taylor1981).
AccordingioRamos,whosereseachhasfocusedonSanumso-
cialsiruciure,neiihersihsnorlineagesshouldhecharacierizedas
cororaie grous (Ramos and Alheri 1977: 74-75). I her early
work (1972), Ramos had aiiemied io aly ihe siruciural/jural
modelofdesceniiheoryioananalysisofSanumsocieiy,huilaier
concluded ihai such a model was inaroriaie. Pairilinealiiy
shouldraiherheseenasanaiiveideologymanifesiedinformsof
classificaiionandmodesofiniernalsocialdiuereniiaiion(Ramos
1977: 75).
Paiierns of airiliny amongYanomamo suhgrous esseniially
iakeiwo forms. IniheareaofYanomamolandwherevillagesare
large,raidingandfeudingmoreiniense,andiniervillageoliiical
alIianceswelldeveloed,agnaiiciiesemergeasahasisforfaciional
alignmeni. Asimilarassociaiionheiweenagnaiionandfaciional
*Chagnon (1979b: 385) suggests that what have been reported as sib names may
actually be names of old village sites.
Patriliny in Lowland South America 319
oliiicshasheenreoriedforiheSanum,huiihisrelaiivelysmall
oulaiionlivinginiheshadowofmoreowerfulCarih-seaking
neighhorsexhihiisadiuereniaiienofairiliny.Here,wherea-
irifiliaiiveiiesseemiohavehecomemoreformalized,iheyserve
rimarilyasahasisforsocialclassificaiion.
Conclusion
ThissurveyofdesceniaiiernsfromiheNorihwesiAmazonio
oiherlowlandSouihAmericansocieiieshasencomassedsocial
sysiemssounlikeihoseiowhichdesceniiheoryhasheenroduc-
iivelyaliedihaiihe comaraiivesociologisimighisimlycon-
cludeihaiihereisliiileoiniinseakingahouidesceniinihese
coniexisaiall.Theariicularconcernwiihdesceni'sroleinihefor-
maiion and oeraiion of cororaie grous wiih significani eco-
nomicandoliiicalfunciions-aconcernihaifirsiresiricied de-
sceniiheoryio unilinealsysiemshuilaierledioiisexiensionio
cognaiic sysiems wiih similarfunciionalcharacierisiics-largely
rulesouidiscussionoflowlandSouihAmerica.Inseakingofa-
irilinyinihesocieiiesdescrihedahove,ihen,wewouldheusing
iheierminaminimalsenseioindicaieiheresenceofculiurally
significani,socioceniric,ancesior-focusedcaiegorieshasedona-
iriliaiiveiies.
Suchadefiniiionofairilinymighiencourageveryhroadcross-
culiuraluseofiheierm,huiiiwoulddoliiileiosecifyihe dis-
iinciive feaiuresof ihe socioculiural sysiems io whichihe ierm
couldhealied. Termsihaidefineminimallyareusefuland, no
douhi,necessaryinhuildinguageneralanalyiiclanguageforeih-
nograhic descriiion. Their funciion in comaraiive analysis,
however, is lessiogrou socieiiesinio common iyes ihanio
rovideahasisforiheircomarison. Forexamle,inquiriesinio
lowlandSouihAmericanairilinycanserveasaoiniofdeariure
forexloringihegeneralwaysinwhichsocieiiesinihisariofihe
worlddiuerfromsocieiiesinoiherregions. *
Theoihersideofsuchaconirasiivearoachisiounderlinesim-
*Schefer's (1966) attempt to disentangle the various analytic distinctions and
theoretical concerns found in the literature on descent contnues to be a particularly
useful contribution to comparative discussion. For a general discussion of the re
lationship between comparative definitions and culture-specific categories, using
as an example the cross-cultural definition of marriage, see J. Shapiro (1984).
320 Judith Shapiro
iIariiiesamonglowlandsocieiiesihaishowvaryingdegreesofai-
rilineal organizaiion, relaiing ihese, in iurn, io socieiies wiih a
morehiIaieralorderingofkinrelaiions.Theoinihereissimilario
ihe onemadehyGoodywhenhearguedagainsiaiirihuiingioo
muchimorianceioihediuerenceamongairilineal,mairilineal,
anddouhIedescenisysiemsinAfrica,choosinginsieadioemha-
sizeiheirsimilariiiesandiodrawmoresignificaniconirasiswiih
Euroeanand Asiansocieiies (Goody1973; Goody1976). Inihe
case aihand, ihefundamenialsimilariiiesamonglowlandSouih
American socieiiesinclude ceriain dominani andrecurreniai-
iernsofmariialexchangeandiheceniraliiyofgenderasasocial
siruciuralrincile.
Throughouiiheregion,onefindssysiemsofmarriageexchange
consonaniwiihagenerallyDravidianaiiernofreIaiionshicIas-
sificaiion(Rivire 1977; J. Shairo1984) . Direci, symmeiricalex-
change, emhracing hiIaieral cross-cousin marriage, is ihe mosi
commonaiiern.ManyNorihwesiAmazonsocieiiesshowase-
cialreferenceforairilaieralcross-cousinmarriage,whichlinks
grous in iwo successive generaiions ihrough ihe women ihai
movehackandforihheiweenihem(Jackson1977; Jackson1984) .
TheAkwe-Shavanieeschewdirecimariialexchangeheiweensih-
IingseisinorderioreserveahierarchicalreIaiionshiheiweena
wife'shroiherandasisier'shushand,iheformerheingsueriorio
ihelaiier(Mayhury-Lewis1967: 223-26) .
IniheconiexiofmarriageruIesandmarriageexchange,airilin-
ealconsirucisaearasonewayinwhichiheelemeniarysiruc-
iuresofSouihAmericankinshiareexressed,anoiherrevolves
aroundiheDravidianhifurcaiionofkinrelaiionshiswiihincog-
naiickindreds.Insomecases-forexamle,iheYanomamo-one
canfindamergingofiheiwoaiierns,asnoiedahove.Pairilineal
orairifiliaiiveiiesiakeonmuchofiheirsignificanceiniheconiexi
ofauiniiy. AmongiheMundurucandAkwe-Shavanie,iheyare
ariofdualisiicsiruciures,iniheformercase, asysiemofmoieiy
recirociiyand,inihelaiier,awe/iheyoosiiioninwhichihe
soIidariiyofcIaniiesisideoIogicaIlyoosedio ihe iensionand
disianceofauinalrelaiionshis(Mayhury-Lewis 196T 237-39). In
ihe NorihwesiAmazon, ihe desceni/language grou defines iis
ownuniiyandideniiiywiihreferenceiooihersimilargrousio
whichiiislinkedihroughiheregionaIsysiemofmariialexchange.
TheroleofauiniiyinlowlandSouihAmericansocieiies,andiis
Patriliny in Lowland South America 321
imlicaiionsforhowweinierreiaiiens ofairiIinyinihere-
gion,canalsoheiIluminaiedhyihegeneraImodeIofhrideservice
socieiiesroosedhyColIierandRosaIdo(1981). Theirdiscussion
focusesonhowmalesocialadulihoodisdefinedihroughmarriage
andonhowrelaiionshisamongmendeenduoniherocesses
ofacquiringandholdingoniowives. Theirviewofiheesseniially
sexualormariiaInaiureofoliiicsinceriainsocieiiesisariicularIy
aroriaieioiheYanomamo. ThemajorihemeinChagnon'svar-
iouswriiingsonYanomamooliiicallifeisiheexieniiowhichaI-
Iianceformaiionandraidingaiiernsrevolvearoundiheursuiiof
wivesanddemonsiraiionsofiheIocalmaIegrou'seueciivenessin
defendingiis cIaimsiowomen. This, ihen, isiheconiexiforun-
dersianding ihe aciiviiies ofagnaiicaIly hased faciions in Yano-
mamosocieiy.Wemayconirasiiheimorianceofwomenaswives
in such a sysiem wiih iheir imoriance as moihers in socieiies
whereiheirvalueasihesourceofnewdescenigroumemhersis
emhasized.
TheassociaiionheiweenagnaiiciiesandoliiicaIfaciionsalso
aearsiniheAkwe-Shavaniecase.Shavaniefaciionalism,how-
ever, doesnoiaearioherelaiediomariialoliiics.Theconnec-
iion heiween airilaieraIly hased faciionalismand marriage Iies
raiherinhowalignmenisareideoIogizediniermsofiheoosiiion
heiweenkin(orclan)andauine.Thehasisforfaciionaldisuiesin
Shavanieliferemains somewhaielusivein Mayhury-Lewis's ac-
couni,henoiesihaiiiiseasierioexlainwhoghisamongihe
Shavanieihaniogiveaclearideaofwhaiiheyarefighiingahoui
and uliimaiely ireais faciionalism as anirreducihle rincile of
ShavanieIife(1967: 179, 307) . Whaiwemaynoieforiheuroses
ofiheresenidiscussionisihaiananaIysisofiheroleofairiIiny
inAkwe-ShavanielifeiurnslargelyonananaIysisofmen'soliiical
faciions.
Asnoiedahove,Mayhury-Lewisuliimaielycameioemhasize
ihe significanceofairilinyasoneofseveraImodesofmen'sor-
ganizaiioninGesocieiies.IniheYanomamocase,iiaearsasone
ofiwoaxesofmalesolidariiy,iheoiherheingiheiieheiweenaciual
oroieniialhroihers-in-law, whichservesasihearadigmforre-
Iaiionsofrecirociiyandexchange(Chagnon1968; J.Shairo1972;
J.Shairo1974) . Wehaveseenhow,iniheNorihwesiAmazonand
amongiheMunduruc,airilinealiieshecomeideniifiedwiihor
suhmergedwiihinihewidermalecommuniiy.
aa Judith Shapiro
GiveniheroIeofgenderinsiruciuringihesociaIsysiemsofIow-
IandSouihAmerica,kinshisiudiesihaiviewdiuerencesheiween
femaIeandmaIeaciiviiiesasahackgroundiosocioIogicaIanaIysis
orihaiviewkinshiandgenderasiwodisiincidomainsariicu-
IarIymissiheoini. To huiIdanaIysisoniheoosiiionheiween
womenandmen, asYoIandaandRoheriMurhydoiniheirvar
ioussiudiesofiheMunduruc,forexamIe,seemssoohviousan
aroachihaiwemayiendioiakeiiforgranied. IniheMurhys'
anaIyses, ihefocushasheenonresideniiaIsegregaiion, ihe
nizaiionofmen'sandwomen'sIahor,andiheexieniiowhichday- '
io-daysociaIizingoccursamongmemhersofihesamesex.Theri-
iuaIizaiionofmaIe/femaIeoosiiion,ariicuIarIyinmen'scuIiac-
iiviiies,hasheenexIainediniermsofihedegreeiowhichwomen
andmenformdisiincisociaIgrous(Murhy).
AnoiherangIeonihemeaningofmen'scuIisandiheirreIaiion-
shiioiheorderingofmaIe-femaIereIaiionshisissuggesiedhy
CoIIierand RosaIdo's anaIysis ofmariiaIoIiiics ciiedahove. An
ideoIogicaImodeIofihe sociaIuniverseinwhichmenare seenas
ihereroducersofihesociaIorderseemsioemergefromihemaIe
riiuaIaciiviiydescrihedhere,suchamodeIcorresondsioiheroIe
ofmen-mengrouedinioairiIineaIdesceniuniiswhereihese
figureinihemarriagesysiem-asihedominaninegoiiaiorsofaf-
finaIexchanges. AsCoIIierandRosaIdouiii. Marriageis whai
creaiesIasiinghonds, andinsofarasmen 'make marriages, ihe
sociaI order ihai exisis siands as a roof ihai men, in faci, are
endowed wiih an exiraordinary and vaIuahIe sori of force
(8.o) .
InihisariicIe,IhaveexIorediheariicuIaiionheiweenairiIiny
andiheorderingofmaIe-femaIereIaiionshiswiihariicuIarref-
erence io socieiies ofIowIand Souih America. Lei me concIude
hynoiingihaieihnograhersofanoiherregion-HighIandNew
Guinea-haveheendrawingaiieniion io suchanariicuIaiionas
weII.PairiIinyinNewGuinearesenisadiuereniiciurefromihe
onedescrihedahoveinihaiiiservesasiheideoIogy,ifnoiihehasis
forrecruiimeni, ofgrousihaihavesignificanicororaieroer-
iies.Aiihesameiime,iheassociaiionheiweenairiIinyandgen-
der has heen emerging cIearIyin receni eihnograhic siudies,
whichhaveincIuded ariicuIarIy richanaIyses ofwomen's and
men'sreseciiveosiiionsinsocieiyandhaveexIoredinconsid-
erahIesymhoIicdeihihecuIiuraIsiruciuringofgenderoosi-
Patriliny in Lowland South America a
iions. GeneraIizing fromihisIiieraiure, DaryIIFeiIohservesih

i
airiIineaIcIansareassociaiedwiihideoIogiesofmaIenessa

n-
mariIyconcernreIaiionshisamongmen,herefersioairiIineaI
descenigrousasandroceniriccor
I
.
ora

ions
.
(FeiI 8|.) .
.
InmovingheyondafocusonainImymiheiranaIysesofHi
8
h-
IandNewGuineasociaIorganizaiion,eihnograhersofiheregion
are
_
ovingheyond, amongoiherihings, afocusoniheworIdof
men's reIaiionshis. The comIemeniary ias,

ne
.
iha

I h
.
ave
iakenuhere, isioanaIyzemaIe-ceniered sociI

nsuiuuonsma
wayihaimakesiheirreIaiionshii

gend

re

hcii,raih

rihanio
ireai ihem uncriiicaIIy as siruciunng rmciIes of
.
s

cieiy a

a
whoIe.Inihiseihnograhicinsiance,iheeuecioffemimsmonkin-
shiiheoryhasheenioiurnasiudyofdesceniinioaconirihuiion
io whai we mighi, in a reversaI of ihe usuaI aiiern of gender
markedness,caIImen'ssiudies.
Descent and Sources of
Contradiction in Representations of
Women and Kinship
Maurice Bloch
TnrrereseniaiionoffemininiiyinmanycuIiuresisofieneIusive
andconiradiciory.LeiusconsiderSherryOriner'sihesis(,|)ihai
inaIIcuIiureswomenaresymhoIicaIIyassociaiedwiihnaiureand
menwiihcuIiureand,furiher, ihaiihisconirasiexIainsiheuni-
versaIcuIiuraIdevaIuaiionofkeyasecisofwomanhood. Wheiher
ananihrooIogisidecidesihaianyariicuIarcasedoesordoesnoi
hear oui ihis ihesis aImosi aIways seems arhiirary. On ihe one
hand, ii is irue ihai nearIy aII cuIiures symhoIicaIIy associaie
womenwiihunconiroIIedhioIogicaIrocessesandihaiihisariic-
uIarIycIoseassociaiionisusedioraiionaIizefemaIesuhordinaiion

inoneconiexioranoiher.Oniheoiherhand,i i i sossihIeioshow
ihai, ofieninihevery samecuIiures, womenareaIsoassociaied
wiihihehome, iheveryheariofihedomesiic,whichihenhe-
comesa feminine symhoI ofiIIegiiimaieoweranddivisiono-
osedioihemascuIinesymhoIofcIean,unified,undomesiicaied
wiIderness (see Siraihen 8o, GiIIison 8o, LIeweIIyn-Davies
8 onihediuicuIiyofaIyingsuchnoiions) . Thisiyeofcon-
iradiciionexiendsio,orerhasoriginaiesin,ihefieIdofkinshi,
wherewomenareofienseenashoihihesourceandihedesiroyer.
Suchconiradiciionsaremoreihanamereemharrassmeniioan-
ihrooIogisis.TheyaresofrequeniandceniraIihaiiheyaremore
characierisiic ofiherereseniaiions otwomenihanasimIeas-
sociaiionwiihanyariicuIarsideofananiiihesis.Thereisihere-
foresomeihingwrongwiihiheoreiicaIaroachesihaicannoiac-
commodaiesuchconiradiciions.TherohIemisraiheriosuggesi
aframeworkihaiexIainsihesysiemaiicaIIycontradictory naiureof
iwould like to thank}. Carsten, J. Parry and C. Fuller, R. Smith, M. Strather,
and S. Yanagisako for their help in preparing this draft.
Descent and Sources of Contradiction 325
rereseniaiionsofwomenandihaiassociaiesiheseconiradiciions
wiihihemosireIevaniasecisofsociaIconsiruciions.
The Everyday Status of Merina Women and Men
MysiariingoiniforsuchananaIysisisiheday-io-daysiaiusof
womenandmenamongiheMerinaofMadagascar,sinceihesiudy
ofiheirsocieiyandcuIiurehasforcedme,raiherheIaiedIy, iorec-
ognizeihecomIexiiyofiherereseniaiionofwomen. Ifwemea-
sureeverydaysociaIsiaiushyihedegreeofreseci,oieniiaIau-
ionomy,anddecision-makingowerihaiaersonenjoys,ihenihe
reIaiive siaius ofwomeninday-io-daydomesiic, economic, and
oIiiicaIIife canhe considered cIoser io equaIiiyamongMerina
easanis ihanamongwomenandmeninihemajoriiyofeihno-
grahiccases.However,ifwewaniiohemorerecise,iihecomes
diuicuIiiosummarizeihesiiuaiionhriey, hecausewomen'sand
men'ssiaiusissovariahIe.ThisvariaiionisrinciaIIygovernedhy
iwofaciors.marriageandresidence,andweaIih.
MarriageandresidencehaveaariicuIarIysirongeuecionihe
siaiusofwomenandmenimmediaieIyafieriheymarry,foranew
in-marrying souse has a Iow siaius in reIaiion io auinaI grou
memhers ofihe same sex. As mosi firsi marriages are viriIocaI,
youngmarriedwomengoihroughaeriodofsysiemaiichumiIi-
aiion,IargeIyaiihehandsofiheirmoihers-in-Iaw, whichIasisa-
roximaieIyayear. Anin-marryinghushandis simiIarIyhumiIi-
aied,huisinceuxoriIocaImarriageisconsideredinaroriaiefor
men, ihishumiIiaiiondoesnoinormaIIyendwiihiime. Because
uxoriIocaImarriageisariicuIarIycommonwhenawomanremar-
ries,womenwhohaveheenmarriedseveraIiimesfrequeniIyhave
asiaiushigherihaniheirhushands'.Sinceremarriageisfrequeni,
MerinacommuniiiesconiainasignificaninumherofmenIowerin
siaiusihanaIIwomen,eseciaIIyiheirwives.
TheoiherimorianifacioriniermsofihereIaiivesiaiusofmen
andwomenisweaIih,rinciaIIyIand,caiiIe,andhouses.WeaIih
isreIaiediomariiaIsiaiussinceoneofihemosicommoncausesof
uxoriIocaIiiyis ihaiawifeisweaIihierihanherhushand. Thisis
quiieafrequenisiiuaiionsinceiheweaIihofwomen(andioaIesser
ido not believe that there is much significant diference in the views of women
and men on this or other subjects, as most social intercourse among the Merina in
volves both genders and therefore does not encourage such diferentiation.
a Maurice Bloch
exieniofmen)islargelydeendenioninheriiance,andiheMerina
sysiemofinheriiance,alihoughhighlycomlex(Bloch,.|n),
meansihai,hyandlarge,menandwomeninheriiequally.(Seealso
Bloch,|,8. )
Asaresuli,Merinawomenofienhaverelaiivelyhighsiaius,and
ihisismanifesiedinihefaciihaiiheyarenoiharredfromanyo- _ ,
liiicaloreconomicaciiviiy,evenihougholiiicalaciiviiiesaremore ,
ofienihannoidominaiedhymen.Iiisihereforenoisurrisingio
nnd ihaiinmanyimoriani coniexiswomenare ireaiedwiihas
muchreseciasmen.Thisequaliiyisindicaiedinformsofgreei-

ingandaddress, whichmeiiculouslydiuereniiaieheiweensocial
rankshuinoiheiweengenders.OuisideiheuhIicoliiicalshere,
Merinawomenwiihsuuicieniwealihhaveuliimaieconirolover
iheirlaceofresidence,iheirmariialsiaius,and,ioalargeexieni,
iheirsexualdesiiny.
The Merina Ideolo
g
of Descent
Thisrelaiivelyhigheverydaysocialsiaiusseemsconfirmedhy
ihe second rereseniaiion ofwomenihaiI shallconsiderhere.
womenasdescenigroumemhers. TheMerinahaveaclearand
coniinuously emhasized noiion of desceni, exressed m
seeches,moraladvice,androverhs. ThisisiheheariofMerina
noiions ofmoraliiy, andiisiressesihaidescendanisofariicular
ancesiors shouldconiinueioformaunifiedgrou, iranscending
iheindividualdeaihsofariiculareole. Thisermanencefinds
iis symholical exression in massive monumenial hard-sione
iomhs, whose imressive roporiions make ihe oini nicely.
TomhsalsoillusiraieihesecondaseciofMerinadesceni.iiisnoi
merelyaconiinuousassociaiionofeoleamongsiihemselveshui
alsoaconiinuousmysiicalassociaiionofagrouofeolewiih
ariicularancesirallands. Thisisalsosymholizedhyiomhs,since
iomhslaceeoleinancesirallands.
Memhershiindescenigrousishasedonrecognizedfiliaiion
wiihiheancesiorsiniheiomh, irreseciiveofihegenderofihe
ancesiorsorofiheirlivingdescendanis.Thisruleofmemhershi
oses a well-known sociological rohlem of which ihe Merina
ihemselvesareinienselyaware.Howcansuchagrouremaindis-
creie,andihereforeermaneni,wiihsuchanundiuereniiaiedrule
ofdesceni?TheMerina answerliesiniheconiinualsiressonihe
Descent and Sources of Contradiction a,
noiionofregrouping ihedescenigrouhyregrouingcorsesinihe
iomh,regrouingdescendanisihroughendogamy, andregrou-
inglandindirecilyihroughendogamy.Thisisaveryclearnoiionin
Merinarheioric, alihoughreciselyiowhichiyeofsociological
grouiheideaofdesceniandregrouingalyismuchlessclear,
hoihioiheMerinaandiomyself.
Whaiconcensushereisihaiihisgeneralrheioricalnoiionof
Merina desceniishasedoniheirrelevanceofgenderiomemher-
shiinandiransmissionofadescenigrouandihaiihisleadsihe
Merinaioreferendogamyasameansofholdinggroumemhers
iogeiher. Theiomh,asis siressedineveryseechconcerningan-
cesiral maiiers, coniains ancesiors on ihe faiher's side andihe
moiher'sside(lafond'ray lafond'reny). Similarly,hoihmaleandfe-
maledescendanisshouldhehuriedinihearenialiomh.However,
herewemaynoieourfirsiconiradiciion. Women shouldalsohe
huriediniheirhushand'siomhifiheyhavehornehimihreechil-
dren,andhushandswhosewiveshavelivedvirilocallyshouldinall
casesmakeauhlicaiiemiiohaveiheirwiveshuriedwiihihem
iniheiriomhifihisiomhisdiuerenifromihewoman'sancesiral
iomh.Thisisofiendone,huiinmosicases,afieradeceniinierval,
ihehodyofihewifeisiheniransferredhackioherarenialiomh.
Noionlyareiheancesiorsiniheiomhundiuereniiaiedhygen-
der, ihisis alsoirue, emhaiically ifnoiunamhiguously, ofihe
ancesiors'livingrereseniaiives,iheelders. TheMerinawordfor
elder, rayamandreny, meansfaiherand moiher and uses ihe em-
haiic'and' io roduce ihecollocaiion. ray- (faiher), aman-
(emhaiic 'and'),-reny''(moiher) .The emhaiic inclusionofhoih
arenisinihisiermisexlainedhyihefundamenialcharacierof
iherereseniaiionofMerina desceni, iiis surahiologicalinihe
senseihaiiiovercomesallihedisconiinuiiiescreaiedhyhiology,
includingsexualdiuerences.Ahoveall, desceniaholishesiherel-
evanceofihediuerenceheiweenihedeadandiheliving. Thisises-
seniialioihenoiionofadescenigrou,inihaiiheexisienceofsuch
anenduringeniiiydeends ona successionofsuhsiiiuiivegen-
eraiions.Therefore,iheMerinaiomhisnoiaglorificaiionofdeaih
huiamaierialmanifesiaiionofihedescenigrou'ssymholicvic-
ioryoverdeaih,avicioryexiensivelyelahoraiedinMerinafunerary
riiuals(Bloch8a).
However, descenialsoinvolves anegaiionofiherelevance of
sexualiiyandiisassociaiionwiihhirihandihereforedeaih,which
328 Maurice Bloch
arereresentedasartandarcelofthesamething.TheMerina
descentgrouisreresentedasreroducingnotthroughhiologi-
calgenerationhutthroughsueriormysticalmeans. Thishigher
formofreroductionishyhlessing(tsodrano): themysticaltrans-
mission of lifegiving virtue through the generations, from the
ancestors,viatheelders,totheirdescendants,whohythismeans
hecomegraduallymoreancestralthemselves. lnfact,thismystical

reroductiontakesamaterialform,thehlowingonofwaterhythe
eldersontotheirdescendants, andthisiswhatthewordtsodrano
meansliterally.However, asiftostressthenonhiologicalhasis of
thisrocess, thecomlementarityandnondierentiationofgen-
derisactedoutintheracticeitself.Inorderforanimortanthless-
ingtohetransmitted,threeelders(fathersand mothers)shouldide-
allyhlowonthewater.Thefirst,aman,isfromthefather'sside,

thesecond,alsoaman,isfromthemother'sside,andthethird
(nonlateral)isawoman.Thisreeatedcomlementarityexresses
welltheandrogynouscharacterofdescent.Descentinvolvesnon-
hiologicalreroduction,andthereforethehiologicaldierencesof
menandwomenarenotonlyirrelevanthutantitheticaltoit.
TheMerinareresentationofdescent,therefore,quiteemhat-
icallyuholdsthecomarahilityofwomenandmen-orerhas
the irrelevance of dierences hetween them-and the need for
their mutual articiation in the ow of hlessing, which is the
source ofgrou kinshi. This negation ofthe discontinuities of
genderis,however,onlyoneasectofthemoregeneralreresen-
tationofdescentasthetranscendenceofalowerformoflife.hio-
logical reroduction, which involves the equally discontinuous
rocessesofhirthanddeath.
Gender and Biological Kinship
Thereisanothertotallydierentreresentationofwomenand
kinshitothatofdescent.Merinarhetoriccontinuallycontraststhe
stonetomh,reresentingindivisionanddescent,withthehouse,
huiltoferishahlematerial,whichisthelocusofhouseholdsthat
tyicallyconsistofarentsandchildren.Asinsomanycultures,
thehouseanditsfocustheheartharesaidtoherimarilywomen's
territory. FortheMerina, the houseisalsothecenterofinterer-
sonalkinshi,sincethisisseenastheroductoflinkscreatedhy
women, andthelacewherekinshitiesareexressedwiththe
Descent and Sources of Contradiction 329
strongestemotion.TheMerinathereforecontrastkinshi,anemo-
tionallinkhetweenindividuals,withthemoralityofthe descent
grouinthesamewaythattheycontrastthehousewiththetomh,
thisoositionemhasizesthedierencehetweentheexclusively
feminineshereandtheshereundierentiatedhygender.
Thekinshiofdescentisthekinshiofthehlessingthatows
fromgenerationtogenerationwithoutdierentiationandwithout
humanhiology.Thekinshiofwomenandhousesisvisualizedas
linking individuals hiologically one to another and therefore as
stressingdivisionwithinthegrou,itisthereforeantitheticaltode-
scent. Notonlyarethetwotyesofkinshi contrasted, hutthis
contrastis one ofsuer/suhordinationwhichusesgender toex-
ressthesueriorityoftomhhlessingdescentovermeredivisive
feminine, house-focused,hiologicalkinshi.
Womenarelinkedtohiologicalkinshievenmoredirectlythan
through their association with houses in the antithesis house/
tomh.TheMerinatheoryofrocreationisthathiologicalhirth(not
concetion)isurelyamatterofwomenand,wereitnotforhless-
ing,whichtheyreceivelater,childrenwouldheonlymatrilineally
linkedtotheirmothers.Thisissoforanimalsandlantswho,he-
cause they are not linked through hlessing, arehelieved to he
onlygeneticallyrelatedtotheirmothers,anditisalsotrueofhu-
mans,untiltheyarethefullreciientsofandrogynoushlessing.
Thisideaexlains,amongotherthings,thenatureoftheMerina
incesttahoo,whichstressestheeculiarlyincestuousnatureofsex-
ualrelationshetweeneolerelatedthroughwomen, esecially
thechildrenoftwosisters.Thismerenatural-womankinshiis,
however, graduallyrelacedasthechildreceives, onvariousoc-
casions through life, thehlessing ofthe nonsexual, non-hirth-
giving ancestors viathehermahroditicelders. Naturalrocrea-
tion,interersonallinks,houses,andwomenalonearetherefore
re- andantidescent.
Womeninthisreresentationarecategoricallyinferior. Forex-
amle,theseatingandsleeingorderofeoletendstolacemen
tothenortheast, thehonoredancestraldirection, andwomento
thesouthwest.Similarly,itisossihletorefertowomen,children,
andslaveshythesameterm,ankizy (althoughothertermscrosscut
thisequation) .
Thedevaluationofwomeninthisreresentationisfurtherem-
hasizedhythemergerofnegativesymholsofdeathanddecom-
o Maurice Bloch
osiiion wiih ihe conjoined noiions of inierersonal kinshi,
houses, sexualiiy, andwomen Deaihisreresenied asaninevi-
iahIe ari ofhiology, sexualiiy, and, hy associaiion, ihe female
world,iisiandsindireciconirasiioihesiilliranscendenceander-
manenceofiheiomh(BIoch8a).
Wecan,iherefore, disiinguishihreediuereniMerinaimagesof

gender.Thefirsi,revealedindaiIyinieraciion,isacomlexiciure
ofmenandwomenwhoareunequalinmanyresecisihainever-
iheless seemminorinIighiofcomaraiiveeihnograhy.Thesec-
ondislinkedioihe rereseniaiion of desceni asaneiernal, life-
iranscending eniiiy, where ihe diuerence heiween men and
womenisignoredandindeeddenied.Theihirdisassociaiedwiih
iherereseniaiionofwomenasihechannelsofnon-desceniand
hioIogicaI kinshi, and who are iherefore considered low, diriy,
and divisive. To undersiand ihese aarenilyconiradicioryre-
reseniaiions, wemusihrieyconsideraliiilemoreeihnograhy,
whichwl showhowihesevariousviewsofgenderareinierrelaied
iniheMerinariiualsassociaiedwiihhirihandcircumcision.
The Merina Birth and Circumcision Rituals
TheMerinahirihriiual,aceremonyihaiiakeslaceinamodel
househuiliinsideihehome,exclusivelyinvolveswomen.Asa re-
suIi, ihe riiualwelds ihe conceis ofkinshiemoiion, women,
moiherhood, and ihe inside of ihe house in a mosi dramaiic
fashion.
Byconirasi, ihecircumcisionceremony, carriedouiforhoysof
ahouiiwoyears,isariiuaIofcoming out fromihehouseand,ihere-
fore,ofcomingouifromiheworldofwomenandmairilineaIkin-
shi,whichiheriiualemhaiicallyreresenisasdiriyandolIui-
ing. The aciualcircumcision occurs afieranighiofdancingand
riiual,aidawn,onihethreshold ofihehouseihaiihechildisleav-
ing.Immediaielyafieriheoeraiion,ihechildreceivesiheances-
iralhIessing-whichoriginaiesfromiheancesiors(onihefaiher's
andihemoiher'sside)andisgivenhyiheelders(ihefaiherand ihe
moiher)-andisweIcomedinioiheuniieddescenigrou,rere-
seniedouisideihehousehyagrouofshouiingandrejoicingmen.
Theclearesimessageofihecircumcisionisihaiihehoyleavesihe
divisiveworldofwomen,ofihehome,ofmairilinealkinshi,and
ofhiologyiohereceivedinioiheuniiyofiheeiernallyundivided
Descent and Sources of Contradiction
descenigrou,whereihedivisionheiweenmenandwomenhas
ceasedioexisi.Thereare,however,iwocrosscurrenisinihisriiual
ihaichallengeihesimIeoosiiionheiweenihehiological, divi-
sivekinshiofwomenonlyandihesiriiualdesceniofmenand
women.
Thefirsisuchcrosscurreniismanifesiaiihecriiicalmomeniof
iheaciualcircumcision,aiihaioini,eoledividesimIyongen-
derlines. Insideihehouse, womencrawIahouioniheoor, hu
miliaiingihemselveshyihrowingdirioniheirheads,anaciionihai
iheMerinaconsiderasmosioIluiingandihaireresenisiheIow-
linessofindividualkinshiandhirih,ouiside, iheundividedde-
scenigrouisrereseniedhymenonly, andnoimenand women,
asihe eihosofMerina desceni hlessingwouldrequire. Thisem-
hasisongenderdiuerencesisevenmoremarkediniheweIcome
ihaiihecircumcisedhoyreceivesfromihemenasheeniersihede-
scenigrou. Heisaman.EqualIysurrisingisihefaciihaiihe
symholism of ihis eniry inio ihe descent grou iakes on sexual
overiones,whichgoagainsiiheceniralihemeofihecircumcision,
iheremovalofihechiIdfromhiologicalkinshiofwhichsexual-
iiyisamajoraseci(seeBloch8.,,-,8) .lnoiherwords,aiihe
ceniralmomeniofihecircumcisionceremony,ihemainihemeof
descenihyiheiransferralofancesiralhlessing(ofhoihmaleandfe-
male)is seriouslyskewedhyiheinierferenceofasimlergender
oosiiion
The secondconiradicioryaseciofihe ceremonyismoreer-
vasiveihanihainoiedahove. Onemajorelemeniofihecircumci-
sion(asofmanyoiherMerinariiuals)isihefreeingofiheerson
fromihere-moralhiologicaIworldofsexuaIiiy, deaih,andhirih,
reresenied hy women. Yei ihe circumcision ceremony also in-
cIudesanumherofsymholsassociaiedwiihihisdevaluedworld,
symholsihaiareaciuallyosiiiveIyvaluedandarehroughiinioin-
creaseiheviiaIiiyofihedescenigrou.Thisisariicularlyclearfor
aseriesofIanisandanimalswhichareusedandwhosegreaivi-
ialiiycomesfromihefaciihaiiheyaresaidioheoflivingmoiher.
Theseareaddedioihehlessingofdescenidisensedhyiheher-
mahrodiiic ancesiors and eIders io give ii greaier viialiiy,
iherehyimlyingihai,iniheend,desceniisnoienough.Thiscon-
iradiciionis,however,modinedandioaceriainexienilessenedhy
ihefaciihaiihesemairilineal,naiuraleniiiiesmusinrsihehroken,
crushed,orchoedhyiheeldersaivarioussiagesiniheriiualhe-
332 Maurice Bloch
foreiheirviialiiycanheaddedandsoassedon.Themainideaihai
seemsio emerge, ihen, isihaiihe elemeni driven ouiwiihsuch
ourish,femalemairilinealnaiure,musifinallyhereiniroducedif
allviialiiyisnoiiohelosi-huionlyunderiheseveresiandihe
mosihruialconirol.
Thecircumcisionceremonyseemsiorevealiwolevelsofconira-

diciion.iismessagesahouihiologicalkinshiareiniernallyincon-
sisieniandiisreferencesiogenderoiniioaileasiiwoofihecon-
iciingrereseniaiionsofwomenandmendiscussedahove. On
iheonehand,iheriiual'semhasisondesceniandhlessingunder-
scoresiheirrelevanceofdiuerencesheiweenmenandwomen,on
iheoiher,iisimagesemhasizeiherelevanceandhierarchicaldif-
ferenceofmasculiniiyandfemininiiy.
However,iheseiwoconiradicioryrereseniaiionshecomeread-
ilyundersiandahleifseenasdiuerenisiagesiniheriiualrocess.
Thecircumcisionriiualis,asiheMerinaalwayssiress,ariiualof
hlessing. Inoiherwords, iiis ariiual ihai creaies ihe eiheno-
menalrereseniaiionofihedescenigrous. Nowiiisofihees-
senceofihedescenigrouihaiiiiranscendshumanlife,desceni , l
grous, asihe Merina endlessly reeai, vanquish deaih, asihe
iomhremainsunchangedfromgeneraiioniogeneraiion.Thisiran-
scendenialimageiscreaiediniheriiualhyaiwo-acidrama,which
iiselfimliesanunriiualizedrologueineverydayexerience.The
riiualdemonsiraiesihevicioryofdesceni,hlessing, andnonhiol-
ogical lifehyshowingihevicioryofiranscendenihlessingovera
negaiiveelemenirereseniedhywomen.Inoiherwords,iheriiual
creaiionofandrogynous descenirequires ihe enacimeniofahor-
rifyingseciacleofaworlddominaiedhywomen,reroducinghy
ihemselves,onlyinihiswaycandesceniemergeihroughihesym-
holicdesiruciionofihaiworld.
Yei,ifiheimageofdescenideendsoniheimageofhiology,
iheimageofhiologyiiselfderivesfromiherereseniaiionofevery-
dayMerinasocialiniercourse. Inoiherwords,iheihreeimagesare
linkednoilogicallyhuidramaiically, soihaiiherereseniaiionof
iranscendeni descenican emerge. Firsi, ihe everydayhas io he
reinierreiedioroduceanegaiiveriiualrereseniaiionihaiin-
volvesahorrificimageofhiology,giveniowomenioacioui,ihis
formsihefirsiaciofiheriiual,huiihisrereseniaiionisihereall
iheheiierioknockiidown,inihesecondaci,hyihevicioryofihe
nonhiologicalworldofdesceni.AsViciorTunersowelloinisoui,
Descent and Sources of Contradiction 333
riiualisarocessofihecreaiionofrereseniaiionhydrama(Turner
a).
IhavearguedihaiiheihreediuereniviewsofgenderinMerina
socieiyareconiradicioryhuiinierdeendeni,inihaiiheyareari
ofarocessihaileadsioiherereseniaiionofiheunchangingiran-
scendenialdescenigrou. Thismeansihaianysynihesisofihese
viewsasthe Merinaviewofgenderwouldheioiallymisleading.We
musirecognizeihaiiheseihreerereseniaiionsofgenderarenoi
rivalconceishuidiuerenikindsofknowledgeinMerinasocieiy.
Therefore, iheiyicalnoiionsof culiureinAmericananihrool-
ogyaremisleadingreciselyhecauseiheyfailiorecognizesucha
diuerenceinkindsofknowledge. Thisfailureineviiahlyleadsio
ihearhiiraryrivilegingofonerereseniaiionasthe Merinaview
of gender, which can ihenherefuied hy oiniing io one of ihe
oihers.
Byconirasi, iheMarxisiconceiofideologyisusefulrecisely
hecauseiirecognizesihaiiherearediuereniiyesofknowledge
ihaimusiheanalyzedindiuereniways.Furihermore,ihisconcei
suggesisihaiideologicalknowledgeisariofihelegiiimizaiionof
auihoriiy.Inacasesuchasihis, iiisossihleiosayihaiihere-
reseniaiionofdesceniandiherereseniaiionofgenderiiimlies
conform,inari,ioihenoiionofideology. Theyclearlylegiiimaie
ihe auihoriiy of elders, ihe heads of desceni grous, and, ulii-
maiely, ihewholeMerinaoliiicalsysiemasacomhinaiionofde-
sceni grous (Bloch ,,) . Equally imoriani, ihis legiiimizing
funciionexlainsmuchahouiiheariicularnaiureofihisrere-
seniaiionofihedescenigrou.Ifauihoriiyisiohelegiiimized,ii
musiherereseniedasariofairanscendenialorderheyondhu-
manaciionandlife.Thisexlainswhysuchanimagemusihecre-
aiedhydenigraiinghiology, whichiiideniifiesashoihevideni
andlowandiowhichiiaiirihuieschangeandmuiahiliiy.
Thereis, however, arohlemmusingihenoiionofideologyin
ihis coniexi. Whereas ihis noiionnormallyimlies iwo levels of
knowledge-iheideologicalandihenonideological-Ihavedisiin-
guishedihree levelsiniheMerina eihnograhy, and Ihelieve ii
wouldheossihleioconsirucievenmore.Whichihenisiheideo-
logicallevelinihiscase?Andcanalliheselevels,alihoughdiuereni
inkind,heusefullysearaied,insofarasiheydeendoneachoiher
asariofonerocess?Theconsiruciionsofihelevelofihehiolog-
ical,forexamle,isariofiheriiualrocessleadingiodesceni.
334 Maurice Bloch
Theanswerioihesequesiionsseemsiome iolieinreconce-
iuaIizingideoIogyasarocessraiherihanasasysiem,ihaiis,asa
coniinuaIstraining ioreinierreiiheeverydayinawayihaiiran-
scendsiiandesiahlishesauihoriiy. This rocessrequiresaileasi
ihreesiages,anderhasmore,inorderioroduceihedramaiic
diaIeciicofaniiihesishywhicheoIeaiiemiinriiuaIioIeaveihe
worIdIyhehind.
SeeingideoIogyasaconiinualaiiemiiocreaieairanscendeniaI
orderalsoseemsioexIainiheiniernaIinconsisienciesnoiedinihe
circumcision ceremony. iheuseofgender oosiiion andsexuaI
symholism io demonsiraie ihe irreIevance of gender dinerences
andsex.Theriiualdramaachievesiisiheairicalowerreciselyhy
IayingwiihwhaiwasaIreadyihere, iocreaiesomeihingwhich
wasnoi.This,afierall,isexacilywhaiaiheairicalrereseniaiion
involves. Inoiherwords,iheonlyioolsihaicanheusedareiools
ihaidenyiheveryiranscendenceofihemessage-likeihecahIe
ihaimakes PeierPany. Hence, genderdinerences are emha-
sizedasameansofdenyingiheiruIiimaierelevance,andimages
ofgenderandsexconiinuaIlycloudiherocess,muchasimagesof
uirefaciionreoccurinmedievalrereseniaiionsofiheimmoriaI-
iiyofihesouI.
Secondly,ihereisiherohlemraisedhyiheaarenineedio re-
iniroducesymhoIsofwomenandhioIogicalkinshiafieriheyhave
heen driven oui. This, ioo, seems ioheanineviiahle ari of me
ideoIogicalrocess,aIihoughfordinerenireasons.Aswesaw,ihe
Merinanoiionofdescenideends oncreaiinganimageofaer-
manenidescenigrouassociaiedwiihavaluedierriiory.Theiime-
lessnessofihisnoiionisrinciallyconsiruciedaniiiheiicaIIyhy
dramaiicriiuaIssuchasihecircumcisionceremony.Thisisdonehy
firsisiressingandcaricaiuring, ihendevaIuing,ihehioIogicalna-
iureofsocieiyandiishasisinsexualreroduciion.Thedevaluaiion
isachievedhyrereseniingihehiologicalrocessesofhirih,deaih,
and sexualiiy asolluiing, immoral, and needing exuIsion, hy
conirasi, ihe coniinuiiyofdesceniis achieved ihroughihe ure
moralforcesofreroduciionhyhIessing, whichsoiranscend ihe
hiologicalihaiihedivisionsofkinshiandofmaIeandfemaIeare
mergedinioaneiernalundinereniiaieduniiy.
Thushere,asIhelieveeverywhere,iheconsiruciionofiheideo-
logical deends on ihe creaiion of a nighimarish image of ihe
world, suchihaiexchange, movemeni, andiheirreversihIero-
Descent and Sources of Contradiction 335
cessesofIife-hirih,conceiion,anddeaih-canihenhedevaIued
andiranscended.Thisconsiruciionisinihiscaseachievedihrough
hierarchicalgendersymholism.Incasessuchasihis,iherefore,ihe
consiruciion ofideology deendsfirsionihe emhasis on, and
ihen oniheexlusionof, ihedialeciicaI,hioIogicalworldrere-
seniedherehyfemininiiy(seeBlochandParry8aforamorede-
iaiIedversionofihisargumeni).
Whai, ihen, exlainsihe oiherconiradiciionnoiedearIier, ihe
needioreiniroduceihesymholsofihisworIdihaihaveheensodra-
maiicaIlydrivenouiinriiual?Thisneedsiemsfromihefaciihaiihe
consirucied image of a siiIl, ermaneni order ihai surns ex-
change, movemeni, and, in ihis case, women, isiniheendself-
defeaiing. IdeoIogyIegiiimaiesowerhyreferenceioairanscen-
denialorder,whichisdefinedasanuliimaieideal. Bydefiniiion,
however, iheidealcannoiheofihislife.Theriiualmusiiherefore
noionIyconsiruciiheiranscendeniaIhuiaIsosuggesihowiican
hecomhinedwiihihaiwhichmakesihelivingalive.Thisisaar-
adoxicalrequiremeniinihaiiheiranscendenialisconsiruciedhy
iheexulsionofihaiveryelemeni.Acomromisecan,however,he
uncomforiahly achieved hy reiniroducing ihai urged eIemeni
afieriihasheenaareniIyhrokenandconirolledhyiheiranscen-
deniaI.Viialiiy, movemeni,muiahiliiy-aIIrereseniedhywomen
-arerereseniediniheendasacceiahle,evendesirahle,forihis
life,aileasisoIongasiihasheenchasienedhyiisiniiialexulsion,
andiis discilinedhrokenreiniroduciion. Therohlemisin ihe
endalogicalone,riiuaIssimlycannoiioiallydenyihislifeandhe
ofihisworld.Again,howevergoodiheroduciion,PeierPancan-
noicuihisowncahIe.
WehaveseenhowihisrocessmanifesisiiselfiniheMerinacir-
cumcisionriiuaI,inihaiihefemale,naiuraI,mairilinealeIemeniis
firsiiriumhanilyexelledandihenreintroduced, alihoughunder
hruialconiroliniheformofnaiuralsuhsiancesoflivingmoiher.
Indeed,aisomeoini,iheviolenceiniheancesiralconquesiofihe
negaiivefemininecolors ihe sexual symholismdiscussedahove,
iherehylegiiimaiing sexuaI aggression direcied againsiwomen.
The necessiiy forihis reiniroduciion ofihe feminine and viial
seemsiolieiniheverylogicofideology,hecauseiiisuliimaieIyim-
ossihleinihisworld,iimusihecomromisedifihedescenigrou
isiosurvive.
Thisaiiernofiniernalinconsisiencyisfoundagainandagainin
336 Maurice Bloch
culiuresioiallyunrelaiedioiheMalagasyandinsocialandsym-
holicalsysiemsihaiaearverydiuereni.Forexamle,Canionese
funerals, asdescrihedhyJamesWaison(z8a),revealexaciIyihe
same consiruciion. The Canionese symhoIic sysiem, like many
oihers,makesashardisiinciionheiweenhones,associaiedwiih
ihemaleaseciofiheerson,andesh,associaiedwiihuirefac-
iion,auiniiy,andwomen.Asaresuli,honesarekeiioforiifyihe
urelymaledescenigrou,whereasihefemaleelemeniisexelled
inorderioconsiruciauremalemoralorder.Thisrocessisacied
ouiaifunerals,whichrevealanexiremeohsessionwiihihecon
iaminaiingaseciofdecomosing(feminine)esh. Yeiihisnega-
iiverereseniaiionofihefemininecannoileadioiislogical con-
clusion-aworldwiihouiwomenandflesh-andso iiis nally
coniradicied. Young married women ai funerals wear noi only
whiieformourning,acolorihoughiofasioiallynonahsorheniand
iherefore imervious io coniaminaiion, hui also green, a color
ihoughiofasmost ahsorheni.Thesignificanceofihisconiradiciion
isrevealedwhenwomenuseiheirgreenfuneralrihhons,which
haveahsorhedihefearedolluiionofihe decomosingesh, as
ariofihe slingsihaicarrymale andfemalenewhorns, iherehy
sirengiheningiheirnewlifehyreiurningihelosiesh.Theide-
ology of Chinese descenimay require ihe feminine esh io he
drivenouiwiihaflourish,hui,asihegreenrihhonssuggesi,hu-
manreroduciionisnoiossihlewiihouiwomen.Again,ihecon-
iradiciionisanineviiahleariofiherocessofiheroduciionof
ideology.
lnsummary,iheconiradiciorygenderrereseniaiionsdiscussed
ahoveallsiemfromiheMerina'saiiemiiocreaieanideologyof
ancesiralowerouiofihenonideological.Toiryioreconcileihese
coniradiciions inonearhiiraryculiuralorsymholicalsysiem-as
MargareiMeadandoihershavedoneinsimilaranalyses-would
hemisleading,ihereisnoioneMerinarereseniaiionofgender,
huiseveral.To argueihaiMerinawomenandmenhavediuereni
sysiemswouldhewrongeihnograhicaIIy,iheiraciionsandsiaie-
menisoiniiounavoidahleinconsisiencies.Therefore,aIlegiance
ioihenoiionofculiure,wiihiisimlicaiionofaunifiedcogniiive
sysiem, wouldineviiahlyhave forcedihisanalysisinio afunda-
menialerror.uni[inggenderimagesofdiuerenikinds. Thesocio-
logicalnoiionofideologywasneededioclarifyihediuerenicon-
ieniofiheseimagesandihesourcesforiheirconiinualandvarious
Descent and Sources of Contradiction 337
coniradiciions.lfagoaloffeminismisiomakeossihlechangein
genderrereseniaiionshyincreasingourundersiandingofiheir
origin, ihenwe musi acknowledgeihefull comlexiiyofgender
consiruciionandrealizeihaiiheorganizingrincilesofihissocial
rocessmayheaariofadiuerenisymholicalrocess,suchasihe
roduciionofideology.
References Cited
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Preface
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