ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural
July 20, 2011
The Btsisi are considered a horticultural society. Horticultural societies were those that produced food. Unlike the Foraging society who collected wild grains and animals as their first stage of food production, “horticulturalists differ from foragers in their dependence on domesticated plants for most of their food energy. Horticulturalists may still collect wild foods and hunt even as they cultivate, but by and large their sustenance depends on domesticated plants.” (Nowak & Laird, 2010).
“Btsisi' traditionally practice village exogamy; in other words, the bride and groom come from different villages” (Nowak & Laird, 2010).They do not practice polygamy or the marrying of kin. “Btsisi' say that upon marriage a newly married couple should first live matrilocally and then patrilocally” (Nowak & Laird, 2010).This is to provide the parents of the bride and groom some self assurance that the marriage to their newly son or daughter in-law was acceptable. “Once established as a couple, when they are ready to build a house, they usually reside uxorilocally on land belonging to the bride's family” (Nowak & Laird, 2010).
The Btsisi practiced balanced reciprocity more so than general reciprocity. Balanced Reciprocity is the exchanging of food or any other item with the notion of that same sense of giving in return for a higher or equivalent value. Anything that that is offered that may be considered less could result in the termination of the relationship.
In horticultural societies, the sexual division of labor within the Btsisi culture evolved out of the foraging mode of living. “Women's knowledge of plants, of where they grew, of what kinds of soil they liked, what kind of drainage, how much sun or shade, and so on, was greater than men's knowledge, since women were more regularly involved in gathering plants. Men, on the other hand, had greater knowledge of...