Social organization. Clan and local group - Ethnology

Social organization. Clan and local group

In foreign literature, descriptions of Aboriginal social associations of Australia are dominated by such terms as the "local group" (& quot; horde & quot;), & quot; clan & quot; or their derivatives, for example, "local hereditary group", "social clan", "territorial clan". Until recently, in local literature, this division was matched by the terms & quot; community & quot; and & quot; genus & quot ;. A classical formula can be considered the definition of A. Radcliffe-Brown, according to which a local group or horde is a stable group of people who own a certain territory with a preemptive right to use natural resources. The core of the local group is formed by a patrilineal clan consisting of men and women born in a local group. Thus, by virtue of the law of exogamy, the local group consists of men, their children and unmarried sisters, who belong to it by birth, and their wives, who came by marriage from other local groups and belong to other patrilineal clans.

Subsequently, a number of researchers, drawing on the results of field work in areas where the aborigines still maintained their traditional way of life, came to the conclusion that the social organization in Australia was not based on a local group or horde, but the principle of "one group is one origin ", but on a non-permanent composition of people whose members belong to different patrilineal clans, without a constant connection with a certain territory. Such a group of co-nomadic people was invited to call the "commune", or "community".

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The compromise concept of two types of community in different parts of Australia has become widespread in Russian literature: a local-tribal community consisting of representatives of one localized genus and a generic heterogeneous community consisting of representatives of several non-localized genera. However, the concept of localization does not mean literally a joint settlement, it rather means a connection with the terrain by origin, in particular, referring to the place of birth. In this sense, the patrilineal clan is the form (structure) of the local group, and the local group is the content. The form is unchanged, the content is constantly changing depending on a variety of conditions. Different types of co-settlement, i.e. The communities in which the aboriginal life goes through arise not only when moving from one area to another in accordance with differences in the geographic environment, but also when changing seasons within the same area. For example, the disintegration of a local group into smaller units, uniting two or three families, or even separate family groups in seasons unfavorable for hunting and gathering.

As an illustration, you can refer to the & quot; Communities & quot; Aboriginal people from Northern Australia, united by the ethnonym "Hydingali". Each of the four associations had a special name and territory, including the sections of the "landowning units" entering it. When natural resources on a site belonging to one of such units, all the "community" was depleted. went to the site of another unit. According to the classical model, the exchange of permits for access to territorial resources was not of a multilateral but of a bilateral nature, and was to be constantly renewed. The basis of such agreements was related and ritual ties, which in this case are almost the same, since the connection between the patrilineal clan as a landowning group and its territory is ultimately realized only in the ritual sphere. In spatial terms, the structure of the clan is formed not by a continuous territory with clearly delineated boundaries, but by the totality of several areas that gravitate toward a single sacral center that has a mythological and totemic significance.

The stability of the clan organization was ensured by the classification systems of kinship, the specificity of which among Australians is in the through account of kinship encompassing the whole society. The functioning of the classifier system coincides with the creation of some relatively closed community centered on the ego (& quot; speaker & quot;). Every person with whom a given individual comes into contact is regarded as a carrier of a certain degree of kinship. Terminologies of kinship, being sign systems, act as models of behavior, contributing to the solution of problems in the substantive spheres of everyday life (the regulation of marriage agreements through prescriptions or prohibitions, the exchange of values, the order of inheritance and carrying out sacred rituals).

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It is believed that the classification systems of kinship arise in order to save terminology by "stretching" family to the size of the whole society, and in Australian, fix the relationship is not between individuals, but between local groups.

Another feature is that classification systems in many aspects are more logical to consider as an integral part of the whole complex of mythological representations and ritual practices. Undoubtedly, the everyday notion of biological kinship is not alien to the aborigines of Australia, but the idea of ​​the reincarnation of the ancestor plays the role of a real tool for building relations between people. These are mythical heroes, the sacred essence of which lies in local centers - "places of conception" on the territory of the local group. All members of the patrilineal clan are considered hereditary representatives of the given area precisely because the & quot; occur & quot; from such centers, embodying one or another myth character.

Visibility of classification systems of kinship as sign systems is achieved due to the limited number of local groups with which a representative of this group comes into contact throughout life. According to observations of field researchers, in traditional conditions, a native Australian was met and personally known by an Australian person by about 500 people, which corresponds to approximately 10-15 local groups, which are perceived by the names of kinship, when only general properties of various individuals are taken into account, for example, the origin from one terrain.

This simplification is achieved through two fundamental principles.

The first principle is the equivalence of siblings (descendants of some parents) of the male, which reflects the unity of the local affiliation that permeates all tiers of kinship (generation). This technique can be applied not only horizontally, but also vertically - people of different generations are connected by the same term both in a straight line and in a lateral line. The explanation for this may be as follows: "My father, his brothers and sisters, and the children of his brothers all belong to one" country ", one local division of the tribe, whereas my mother and her brother, as well as his children, belong to other country". This difference is reflected in the use of special terms in relation to them, namely: "father" and "father's sister" for one group, "mother" and "mother's brother" for the other. "

The second principle is the identification of relations of kinship and property. Why are the children of the father's sister or the children of the mother's brother considered to be more distant relatives than the children of the father's brothers, if the genealogical distance between them is exactly the same? The answer lies in the fact that cross-cousins ​​are born in another local group. Consequently, they are remote in real geographic space from orthocouzens belonging by birth to the local group of the Ego.

The form of the existence of classification systems of kinship is that they are recreated every time again. In reality, the introduction of a stranger into the general scheme of kinship occurs on the basis of fairly simple operations, not connected in any way with the elucidation of genealogical details. If none of those present traces any kindred relations with a stranger from a foreign country, the relative age, totem membership, membership of a particular local group or social unit is taken into account. If all these attempts fail, the stranger is treated as a "brother" who presented him an individual. Thus, helping the researcher to design genealogy, Australian aborigines do not really think genealogically.

In such a state of kinship, in order to simplify calculations related to the selection of "correct" quotas, marriage partners, there is a special system of nominal marriage classes, within which the positions of kinship are grouped into abstract generations, with intermittent generations ("grandfathers" and "grandsons") being denoted by one term.

There are two subspecies of the system of marriage classes. It is a system of four sections and a system of eight subsections. Usually, the number of titles is equivalent to the number of marriage units, in some cases, with four marital units, the aborigines use eight terms, denoting in special terms all alternating generations, not just intermittent ones. Conversely, with eight marriage units, aborigines can be limited to only four terms. Interactions between marriage classes are cyclical. Below is an example of a system of four marriage sections.

On the example of the functioning of the four-section system of the marriage classes of the district of Bruma and La Grange, it can be noted that if a man from the Banaga section takes a woman from the section Burong ("the daughter of a mother's brother"), his children will be Baldieri, etc. This is the ideal option for marriage. But under certain circumstances, in particular, with a shortage of women of the required category, a Banaga man can marry a Baldieri woman, then his children will not be Baldieri, but Burong (otherwise the Ego children will be in the same group as his wife). However, such a rearrangement requires another adjustment. When marrying a Baldieri woman, the Banaga man is considered Garimba, i.e. a member of the section of his mother.

Under the notion of marriage classes, the so-called "half", which is an Australian version of a dual organization, is often used. However, the division into ritual halves that actually perform certain functions in the sphere of marital relations is based directly on the principles of local (spatial) organization of society. The division into half is in a different plane, so to speak, perpendicular to the one in which the system of marital sections and subsections lies, reflecting the principles of the intergenerational organization of society (along the time axis).

In determining what the Aboriginal tribe of Australia is, modern researchers are increasingly inclined to use the concept of a set of local groups, united by a common name. Some foreign Australologists indicate the inability to give an unambiguous definition of this concept, taking the tribe as a conventional unit, which is a convenient way of ordering empirical material. In the domestic literature, the evolutionary concept of the "protoethnos", interpreting "tribes" was adopted. Aboriginal Australia as forming ethnic groups. According to the concept mentioned, the original tribe, unlike the classical one, is purely ethnic, and not social (potestial) community.

An alternative to the concept of a tribe may be the concept of ethnic continuity as a system of mutually superimposing relations superimposed on each other. The etymology of the local name can have a random character (in the form of indications of the features of the language, landscape, toponymy, etc.). But, as shown by experimental data, provided that the circle (territory) circumscribed by this name is sufficient, within this circle the number of "endogamous" marriages will prevail.

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