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Class 12 Anthropology Chapter 4 Social Anthropology and Ethnography
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Social Anthropology and Ethnography
Chapter – 4
Very short type questions
1. Which is the smallest unit of human society?
Answer: Family is the smallest unit of human society.
2. In which tribal group ‘Buliang’ is an important social institution?
Answer: The Buliang of Apatani tribe is an important social institution.
3. Name one matrilineal tribe of N.E. India.
Answer: One matrilineal tribe of N.E. India is the khasi.
4. Name one important agricultural festival of the Garos.
Answer: One important agricultural festival of the Garos is Wangala.
5. What is the primary source of livelihood of the Garos?
Answer: The primary source of livelihood of the Garos is nature.
Short type questions
6. What is matriarchal society? Give the name of matriarchal society of N.E. India.
Answer: Matriarchal society is a family, society, community, or state governed by women. The womens do not leave their families of origin after their marriage. The men after marriage leaves their natal home and comes to live with their wives. For example, the Nayars of South India follow this type of Matrilocal Joint Family system.
The name of matriarchal society of N.E. India is khasis.
7. What are the characteristics of joint family? Give examples.
Answer: The characteristics of joint family are:-
i) Large size.
ii) Common kitchen.
iii) Joint property.
iv) Common worship.
v) Common organisation.
vi) Blood relationship.
The examples of joint family are- older man and his wife, his sons and unmarried daughters, his son’s wives and children.
8. Distinguish between family of orientation and family of procreation.
Answer: The differences between family of orientation and family of procreation are- a family in which one is born is called the family of origin or orientation, whereas a family which one sets up after one’s marriage is called as the family of procreation.
9. What is Buliang institution among the Apatanis?
Answer: The Apatani traditional Village Council known as Buliang, consists of clan representatives, there is the head -man, who is assisted by several persons. The akha buliang acts as the consultant, the Yapa buliang tries to resolve disputes arising in the village, another group of members called as miha or ajang buliang assist the older buliangs in their work by acting as messengers is Buliang institution among the Apatanis.
10. Write about the Morung organisation of the Ao Nagas.
Answer: In traditional Ao society there was the presence of the dormitory system. The boys dormitories were known as Morung. In Ao language the morung house in known by the name of arichu. The morung was one of the main pillars of traditional Ao society. As an Institution the morning is most developed among Ao Nagas. The Morung is a huge structure which is generally over 50 ft. long and 30 ft. high. It is constructed on the entrance of a village. It is richly carved with animal and other motifs. The morung also known as the bachelor’s hall is the social centre in an Ao village. The morung acts as powerful institution of Ao youths in the Ao society. It was very structured and functional in nature. In this Institution the Ao male members used to stay and learn different arts and crafts. They stay at night in the dormitory.q
11. “Family is a universal social unit”_ Explain.
Answer: “Family is a universal social unit” because it is the foundation of society. The family provides the individual with primary socialisation, which helps the individual to become accept into society. It helps in the transmission of culture from one generation to another. It is the basic production and consumption unit. It is a key social institution in all societies, which makes it a cultural universal. Similarly, values and norms surrounding marriage are found all over the world in every culture, so marriage and family are both cultural universals.
12. What do you mean by extended family and composite family?
Answer: Extended family: A family which extends beyond the nuclear family to include grandparents and other relatives is called extended family. In Extended family, the nucleus is extended with some closely related kins. It is also sometimes referred to as joint family. Joint Family is a collection of more than one primary family, and is based on close blood ties and common residence. In this type of family more than two generation of families live under the same roof.
Composite family: Composite family include more than one family or several isolated individuals living together, or any other combination of isolated individuals and families.These households are described as Composite ones because the types of relation between the people. It is composed of two or more nuclear families which can be divided into polygamous family and the extended family. The polygamous family includes three varients based on marriage polyandry, polygymy and polyandrous.
13. What are functions of primary family?
Answer: The functions of primary family are: i) a family is characterised by some form of institutionalised mating, i.e., some type of marriage.
ii) descent in the family is reckoned by having a nomenclature.
iii) the family is limited in size. It is one of the smallest social organisation in the society.
iv) it is the nucleus of other social organisations. In small scale societies it acts as the basis on which the whole social structure is built.
v) the family is considered as an economic unit.
vi) family is associated with a common habitations for all its members.
vii) the family is universal, it is found in all societies all over the world.
viii) the family is always bound together by emotional factors like love and affection.
ix) all the members of a family is also bound together by a sense of responsibility towards one another.
x) the family is a socialising unit, where a child gets the earliest and the most fundamental lessons in socialisation.
xi) It is guarded by social taboos and legal regulations which rigidly prescribe it’s form.
xii) lt is of both permanent and a temporary nature. While the institution of family is both universal and permanent, the family as an association is the most temporary and the most transitional of all the important organisations in the society.
14. Distinguish between:
i) Patrilocal and Matrilocal residence.
Answer: The differences between Patrilocal and Matrilocal residence are:
Patrilocal residence: a) In this type of residence, the wife after marriage resides with her husband in her husbands house.
b) This is seen among the Karbi, Mising, Bodos tribes of Assam.
Matrilocal residence: a) In this type of residence, the husband after marriage resides with his wife in his wives house.
b) This is seen among the Garos and Khasi tribes of Meghalaya.
ii) Polygynous and Matrilocal residence.
Answer: The differences between Polygynous and Matrilocal residence are:
a) In this type of family, a man marries more than one women.
b) This type of family is found among the Gond, Baiga, and is a common feature all over tribal India.
a) In this type of family, a women marries more than one men.
b) This type of family is found among the Kota, the Kurumba and the Toda of the Nilgiri.
iii) Matrilineal and patrilineal.
Answer: The differences between matrilineal and patrilineal are:
Matrilineal: a) In Matrilineal, the line of descent passes through the female but the females rarely exercise authority in their kingroup.
b) In Matrilineal system, the lines of descent and authority do not converge.
Patriliney: a) In Patrilineal descent, the descent affiliation is transmitted through males and it is the males who exercises authority in the kin group.
b) Consequently, in the patrilineal system, the lines of descent and authority converge.
iv) Patrilocal and Neolocal residence.
Answer: The differences between Patrilocal and Neolocal residence are:
Patrilocal residence: i) In this type of residence, wife after marriage resides with her husband in her husbands house.
ii) This is the most common form of residence after marriage.
Neolocal residence: i) In this type of residence a couple do not reside with either the boys or the girls family.
ii) Neolocal residence at present is very much common in different communities.
Essay type questions
15. What is family? Discuss the main functions.
Answer: Family is a social group made up of parents and their children. It is the primary social institution, essential to the individual and society.The family is defined as “the institution to which we owe our humanity”.
The main functions of family are:
i) the biological need of human beings like mating are socially recognized and approved through the institution of marriage and family.
ii) the care and rearing of children is an essential feature of family.
iii) in every society the family functions as the smallest and organised unit for both production and consumption.
iv) the care and nursing of the aged and infirm is also an almost universal function of the family.
v) another important function of the family is the protection of its members interest against outsiders. It acts as support system during times of need.
vi) the family usually instead of individuals, is vested with special rights and privileges. Thus it often functions as the unit for land ownership, or for the exercise of particular rights and privileges.
16. Write a note on the social organisation of the Apatanis.
Answer: The social organisation of the Apatanis _ The Apatani inhabit Ziro and Hapoli situated in the lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. According to Haimendorf , the Apatani call themselves as Tani. They believe that their community has descended from the mythical father Abo Tani. According to Haimendorf, the Apatani society has two major endogamous divisions called as Mite and Mura which he later substituted as Guth and Guchi. The divisions are further divided into several exogamous clans. Although the Mite enjoy a higher social status then the Mura, both the groups are interdependence on each other socio-economically . The Apatani society is divided vertically into villages called as lemba, ward centred on nago which is the ritual centre for two or more clan, clans called as halu, sub clans known as tulu and kin clusters called as uru.
The Apatani practice Mile and Mura endogamy and clan exogamy as marriage rules. Marriages through mutual consent is more in prevalence in the society.’Love marriage’ has been described as nyimu mia salaka mi milo lasune which means literally as ‘female and male fall in love and become husband and wife’. Negotiated marriages involves elaborate rituals and expenses and is preferred by the wealthier Apatanis. Negotiated marriages are known as mida, and Apatani distinguish between the dachi mida of ordinary people and the datu mida of the wealthier families. There are cases of polygyny but monogamy is the rule. Cross cousin marriage is not followed, but a boy can marry a girl of his mother’s clan provided no consanguineous link can be traced within the past four generations. A man is permitted to marry his wife’s elder or younger sister and also his brother’s widow.
17. Write what you know about the Age – grade system of the Ao Nagas.
Answer: The Ao Nagas are one of the major tribe of Nagaland. They inhabit the Mokokchung district of present day Nagaland. The Ao call themselves as Aor which means as ‘those who came’ crossing over the Dikhu river. They are also called as Chunglir or the people of Chungliyimti by the Sema Nagas.
The Ao Nagas can be divided into three major socio- linguistic groups called as Chongli, Mongsen and Changki.These are further divided into smaller groups.
According to traditional belief among the Ao, six men issued forth from a rock at Lungtok and became the progenitors of six patri- lineal exogamous sibs called as kidsongs. The kidong is considered an important indicator of many social activities in the Ao society.
Members of a kidong trace their descent from a male ancestor. They are bound together like a family.
The kinship ties among Aos is very strong. They put great emphasis on clan affliction. Hence they consider that an Ao a child is not only born into a household but also into a clan. Inheritance is in the male line. All the sons inherit equally. A daughter cannot inherit property, movable or immovable, though she can be given a gift. If a woman receives immovable property like land from her father during his lifetime, it may remain with her till her death, after which the property goes back to her father’s heirs.
The term Kiyemba is commonly used by the Ao to denote marriage. The Ao practice clan exogamy. The traditional system of choosing mate is through mutual consent, although the boy consults the girl’s parents later. Monogamy is the rule. Cross cousin marriage is permitted. Such type of marriage are called as ana-Kigem. Remarriage is permitted. Marriage with younger brother’s widow is permitted while marriage with an elder brother’s widow is not permitted. Marriage with wife’s elder or younger sister is permitted.
18. What is joint family? What are its types? Discuss with examples.
Answer: Big family that has three or more generations living together, such as grandparents, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts and cousins together in one house, is said to be a joint family. The joint family is based on blood relations and extends over three or more generations. In India the joint family has both vertical and horizontal extensions. The traditional joint family system among the Hindus in India is patrilineal in nature and descent, inheritance and residence after marriage is based on this principle is based on common residence, single kitchen and a common code of conduct for all it’s members. The two most important characteristics of the joint family is the indivisibility and common sharing of property. The property belongs to the family and all members share the benefits of this common property. The eldest male of the family is the head and is known by the name of ‘Karta’. He wields authority and enjoys the respect and confidence of the family.
The types of joint family are:
i) Filial joint family ( Parents and their married sons with their offspring).
ii) Fraternal joint family ( two married brothers and their children).
iii) Filial and fraternal ( combined) joint family.
19. Define family. What are its different types?
Answer: Family is a social group made up of parents and their children. It is the primary social institution, essential to the individual and society. Family as an institution is found in every, societies in the world, although its nature and structure may vary from one society to another. The family is defined as “the institution to which we owe our humanity”.
Its different types are:
i) Nuclear family: A family consisting of two mates of opposite sex and their offspring is called a nuclear family. It is also called as a conjugal family. It is known by several names like immediate family, primary family, basic family, elementary family and single family. It is the simplest among all types of families.
The nuclear family acts as the nucleus of all other types of family. This type of family is found among the different tribes of northeast India, namely among the Ao Naga, Rengma Nagas, Zeme Nagas.
ii) Extended family: In Extended family, the nucleus is extended with some closely related kins. It is also sometimes referred to as joint family, Joint Family is a collection of more than one primary family, and is based on close blood ties and common residence. In this type of family more than two generation of families live under the same roof.
iii) Reconstituted family: A reconstituted family is when two families join together after one or both partners have divorced their previous partners. This family option can sometimes be referred to as the blended family or step family.
20. Write down the names of the states of North- East with examples of one tribal community of each state.
Answer: The names of the states of North- East are:
i) Arunachal Pradesh_ Adis.
ii) Assam_ Bodo.
iii) Manipur_ Anal.
iv) Meghalaya_ Garo.
v) Mizoram_ Poi.
vi) Nagaland_ Angami.
vii) Sikkim_ Kiratis.
viii) Tripura_ Mog.
21. What is descent? Discuss the fundamental rules of descent?
Answer: Descent is the origin or background of a person in terms of family or nationality.
The fundamental rules of descent is the principle which links one generation to another is a systematic manner. In different societies, certain links are stressed whereas other links are ignored. Succession and inheritance is related to the rules of descent.
22. What is unilateral decent? What are its types? Discuss with examples.
Answer: An unilateral decent is a system of descent or inheritance in which descent is traced through the male line only or through the female line only.
Its types are:
i) Patrilineal, which follows the father’s line only.
ii) Matrilineal, which follows the mother’s side only.
iii) Ambilineal, which follows either the father’s only or side only, depending on the situation.
23. Discuss types of family with reference to residence.
Answer: The types of family with reference to residence are:
i) Matrilocal residence: In this type of residence, the husband after marriage resides with his wife in his wives house. These is seen among the Garos and Khasi tribes of Meghalaya.
ii) Neolocal residence: In this type of residence a couple do not reside with either the boys or the girls family. They make a new residence where they reside. Neo local residence at present is very much common in different communities.
iii) Patrilocal residence: In this type of residence, the wife after marriage resides with her husband in her husband’s house. This is the most common form of residence after marriage. The Karbi, Mising, Bodos tribes of Assam are a few examples.
iv) Avunculocal residence: In this type of residence, a couple after marriage at the residence of the wife’s uncle, the mother’s brother.
v) Bi-local residence: In some cases the newly wed can choose to reside either with the husband’s family or the wife’s family. This type of residence is called as bi-local residence.
vi) Matri-Patrilocal residence: In some societies, the husband resides with the wife in her house for sometimes. After sometimes he returns to his parental house with his wife. This type of residence is found among the Chenchus of India.
24. What are patrilineal and matrilineal descent? Discuss with examples.
Answer: Patrilineal descent: In Patrilineal descent, the descent affiliation is transmitted through males and it is the makes who exercises authority in the kin group. Consequently,in the patrilineal system, the lines of descent and authority converge. The patrilineal organisation is the most frequent type of descent system. It is common among the modern as well as the aboriginal communities. Among the majority of the tribal communities of North East India, patrilineal descent is the rule. E.g. Something Patrilineal is related to your relationship with your father, to your family’s line of male descendants – for example, your father, his father, his father’s father, and so on.
Matrilineal descent: In Matrilineal descent, the line of descent passes through the female but the females rarely exercise authority in their kingroup . In matrilineal system, the lines of descent and authority do not converge. The Khasi and Garo tribes of Meghalaya follow the matrilineal descent. This system is also found among the Nayyars of South India.
E.g. Someone being half italian because their mother is Italian. Trading descent only through female lines. Kerala traditionally has matrilineal inheritance.
25. Discuss the agricultural practices of Mishings.
Answer: Agriculture is the main occupation of the Mishing people. Agriculture land is suitable for Ahu cultivation. The Misings relish Ahu rice and they cultivate this grain in their paddy fields. They also cultivate mustard seeds, black pulse and vegetables. There is a division of labour in agriculture activities women do the transportation and weeding. Ploughing the soil and carrying the paddy bundles are usually done by the male folk. Threshing is generally done by women on foot and sometimes by men with buffaloes. Today, besides the use of the plough and bullock, other modern implements, fertilisers and tractors are also used for the purpose of agriculture.
The Misings perform some religious rites associated with agriculture. At the advent of the monsoon and before the sowing of seeds, they perform Ali- Aye- Ligang. Ceremonial sowing of paddy starts on this days. In the middle of cultivation, in the mouth of October, they perform the Sorog puja so that the ancestor spirits may protect the plants from pests or other natural calamities. After harvesting of the crops, they offer Dobur puja. The Misings also believe that Kuber or Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and agriculture and hence the first bundle of paddy is used in her name. Before they partake the new rice, they first give a ceremonial offering to the ancestral spirits.
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