By Cai Hua
The Na of China, farmers within the Himalayan area, reside with out the establishment of marriage. Na brothers and sisters reside jointly their whole lives, sharing loved ones duties and elevating the women's young children. as the Na, like every cultures, restrict incest, they perform a process of occasionally furtive, occasionally conspicuous evening encounters on the woman's domestic. The woman's partners--she usually has greater than one--bear no monetary accountability for her or her childrens, and "fathers," until they resemble their youngsters, stay unidentifiable.This lucid ethnographic learn indicates how a society can functionality with out husbands or fathers. It sheds mild on marriage and kinship, in addition to on the location of girls, the required stipulations for the purchase of identification, and the impression of a communist nation on a society that it considers backward.
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Extra resources for A society without fathers or husbands: the Na of China
If marriage is the result of the diffusion of another culture, rather than something that was generated from within, did this society once exist without marriage altogether? In other words, if cohabitation is a traditional practice, should it be considered a type of marriage? Given that incest is prohibited in this society, and that most of the lianees do not exchange women or men, where and how does reciprocity take place? Finally, how can a society be established only on consanguineal matrili9nees and not on families?
Under the Han dynasty, the region of Yongning was depen dent on the Yuexi jun (the prefecture of Yuexi): 1 1 o From 618 to 1 2 79, during the Tang and Song dynasties, it was joined with the kingdoms of Nanzhao and Dali. o In 1 2 79, the Yuan established Yongning zhou (sub-prefecture of Yongning) , managed by Lijiang lu (the prefecture of Li jiang). o Under the Ming dynasty, in 1 3 8 2 , it was placed under the au thority of Beishen zhou (the prefecture of Beishen). In 1 384, it was passed over to the command of HeqingjunminJu (the mil itary and administrative prefecture of Heqing) .
The transmission of status for the children born from cohabi tation, even if the cohabitants also practiced the modality of the visit, was always parallel. It passed down from mothers to daugh ters and from maternal uncles to nephews. Under this rule, a commoner woman could bring commoner daughters into the world and non-commoner sons (serfs); a serf woman could bear serf daughters and non-serf sons (commoners). This is an unusual phenomenon ! I use the word parallel here literally, since this application of status transmission has nothing to do with the Na rule of descent.
A society without fathers or husbands: the Na of China by Cai Hua
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