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The San People’s Culture and Kinship Essay


The San people are a foraging group located in Africa. The culture of the San people is said to be mainly based on gender based working and unity at work. Women have the duty of cooking food and taking care of the children while it is the duty of the men to hunt for food and provide other useful items such as making farm tools (Haviland and Haviland, 2008). The San people are hard working people who relish togetherness and delight in each other’s company. For instance, during meal times, every member of the family must share a part of the meal. The San people also treasure relations very much and consider themselves related with each member of their families (Solway, 2003).

Close relations are of key importance to the San people since they toil together to obtain food for survival. In addition, the San culture considers women as very important to the society. This is because they provide food for the society. Thus, according to the kinship of the San people, women’s right also counts in major decision making of the society. Women are also married while very young in the San community. Thus, unlike in other communities where it is the bride that moves out to live with the husband, in the San community, it is the man that moves out to live the family of the bride in order to provide for the family’s needs. Although divorce is very common in the San community, marriage rituals are very much treasured by the San people. Therefore, family is a very important part of the San people in keeping social ties (Solway, 2003).

The kinship system of the San people affects their culture in different ways. For instance, hunting and gathering acts as a way of bringing the people together. Sharing of the food collected also brings in love and unity in the society. In addition, the kinship also affects the culture of the society through encouraging equality among the people, while reducing emotions of envy. Secondly, the kinship of the society also affects their marriage culture since men are supposed to work hard for their wives and for the families of their wives. Thus, men will treasure women very much. Thirdly, through hunting and gathering, the kinship also brings in unity among the people and builds teamwork. This is because men should hunt together, while women gather vegetables together thus, in the end creating one united community (Haviland and Haviland, 2008).

The kinship of the San people is very different from that of my own society. This is because, while the San people value a woman very much, in my own society, women are considered inferior to men. In my society, men make the major decisions of the society. On the other hand, in the San society, women are allowed to contribute to the decision making process of the society. Therefore, people have been led to think that men are the ones supposed to be leaders of the society. Kinship influences many behaviors in my life because it shapes my culture and affects my way of living. In addition, it also affects the way I live and act in different situations. For instance, in my society, the kinship does not encourage divorce and thus, a woman and a man have to struggle to make their marriage successful since they cannot opt for divorce. Therefore, kinship has a major impact on the life of an individual.

References

Haviland, W. A., & Haviland, W. A. (2008). Cultural anthropology: The human challenge. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Solway, J. (2003). Anthropologica 2003. Politics and practices in critical anthropology, 45(1), 216-217.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 29). The San People's Culture and Kinship. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-san-peoples-culture-and-kinship/

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"The San People's Culture and Kinship." IvyPanda, 29 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-san-peoples-culture-and-kinship/.

1. IvyPanda. "The San People's Culture and Kinship." September 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-san-peoples-culture-and-kinship/.


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IvyPanda. "The San People's Culture and Kinship." September 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-san-peoples-culture-and-kinship/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The San People's Culture and Kinship." September 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-san-peoples-culture-and-kinship/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The San People's Culture and Kinship'. 29 September.

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