When these societies do not possess distinctions of rank, they are described as egalitarian. Acephalous society Revolvy Some societies have a rigid and strict caste system with embedded slavery, whereas others are more diffuse and complex. Baga chief Koba in The Village Assembly There is no leader and the maintenance of justice as well as of cultural and territorial integrity are effected through the extended family organizations and slciety invocation of kinship behavior, not only in domestic but wider spheres. Member feedback about Canon Barabaig people topic Barabaig woman The Barabaig are a nomadic tribe of the Datooga people based in the northern volcanic highlands near Mount Hanang in Manyara Region, Tanzania, speaking the eponymous dialect of the Datooga language. Acephaloous colonialists had the most difficulty in dealing with this distinction in stateless societies.
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They see the absence of the state as a recipe for chaos. These societies pushed the concept of liberty to its most radical extreme and would fiercely fight any hint of tyranny. It also underlies the current chaos in Somalia. Autocracy was always a theoretical possibility in government, a fact which concerned many ethnic societies. To guard against this, many elected not to have chiefs or any centralized authority at all. Other stateless societies went a step further by institutionalizing a social habit of impugning or deriding centralized political authority through its oral narratives.
Yelpaala noted that, through mythic, metaphorical and mimetic structures, leadership roles such as kings and chiefs in some stateless societies were cast in negative paradigms, while the ideal leadership was accented. To reinforce this cultural aversion to leadership roles, Igbo society also imposed such onerous obligations and religious restrictions on titleholders that their power was effectively neutralized or kept in line with notions of ideal leadership.
The Dagaaba oral narratives are similarly replete with mythic and metaphorical images of kingship. Yelpaala concluded: It is therefore obvious from the way societies like the Tiv, the central Igbo, and the Dagaaba were organized that they were well aware of the political structure of the centralized systems, but tried to eliminate them as much as possible. For instance, they recognized the tremendous advantage of centralized power during war and used a limited form of it only then.
Leaders were given the power to command and carry out operations, but during peacetime, they became, like Cincinnatus, common people and ceased to exercise that power p. There is evidence to support the thesis that ecological factors and livelihood also played a role in the choice of political systems; especially among pastoralists. The nature of their livelihood made centralized systems of government unfeasible. To govern themselves, they formulated viable social systems with their own values, skills and wealth and successfully maintained their societies.
Organizational Structure In stateless societies, two principles from their descent system permitted them to govern their affairs with minimum of administrative burden and tedium: The first might be referred to as the structural regulation of internal affairs. A quarrel between members of two sublineages is an exclusive matter of the immediate parent lineage, and a dispute between two members of the same minimal lineage is of concern to that unit only.
This principle tends to limit the arena of concern to the smallest relevant unit. However, despite the efficiency with which this limits relations, it tends to work against large-scale leadership. The second principle from the descent system which influences organization in segmentary stateless societies is related to the political functions of the groups and might be referred to as the rule of political practicality.
Political units must be viable in ways that lineages need not; as a result, considerations of size and contiguity, which are irrelevant to descent as such, are important to a political organization. For example, a political unit must defend itself, which implies a minimum size, and it must have internal cohesion, which implies both a maximum size and a local arena of such size that interaction is possible. Political units, thus, are perceived as though they were units of the lineage system, even though the organization does not coincide with the lineage system Vaughan, ; p.
Accordingly, the maintenance of justice as well as of cultural and territorial integrity were effected through the extended family organizations and the invocation of kinship behavior, not only in domestic but wider spheres. This was characteristic of the hunting and pastoral peoples such as the! Kung, the Pygmies and the Fulani. But precautions were taken. A system of checks and balances was instituted in which two or more power centers were balanced against each other and applied in all levels of the community so that no single center predominated.
Both types generally used kinship idiom and the norms of kinship behavior in their system of law and order. In general there were no officeholders; only representatives of groups. Such societies reached compromises in conflict resolution rather than making judgments and applying sanctions. Thus, in many acephalous societies, there was a clear separation between power defined as the ability to influence events in a desired manner and direction and authority meaning the acknowledged or recognized right to exercise power.
One did not necessarily flow from the other. Political Organization In stateless societies, there are only two units of government: 1. Council of Elders, 2.
The Village Assembly There is no leader and the maintenance of justice as well as of cultural and territorial integrity are effected through the extended family organizations and the invocation of kinship behavior, not only in domestic but wider spheres. A system of checks and balances is instituted in which two or more power centers are balanced against each other and applied in all levels of the community so that no single center predominates. The colonialists had the most difficulty in dealing with this distinction in stateless societies.
But they lacked authority since they were not part of the kinship group and were treated as external representatives of an alien government. Within the ethnic group they had little legitimacy or authority and what little they had was considered tyrannous by the people under them. The Somalis pushed the concept of freedom to its most radical limit. They take orders from no one but their country has been in chaos since They have not had any effective government since they ousted the late dictator, General Said Barre.
To Westerners, the chaos in that country reflects the turbulence in their own traditional society and their inability to establish a democratic order.
But nothing could be farther than the truth on both counts. Traditional Somali society is peaceful. It is governed by customary laws, known as xeer, that come very close to natural law. Such societies are described as near-kritarchies. Near-kritarchies such as Somali society have one fundamental weakness, however. They are defenseless against a powerful external aggressor. As a result, the Somali found themselves cut up in five ways under colonial rule.
The same can be said about the Hmong and the Kurds. For more on the Somali, see van Notten and Lewis Williams concluded: It was therefore in the societies without chiefs or kings where African democracy was born and where the concept that the people are sovereign was as natural as breathing.
And this is why in traditional Africa, the rights of the individual never came before the rights of the community…These selfgoverning people did not have a Utopian society in any idealistic sense. Theirs was a practical society in every way.
Their laws were natural laws, and order and justice prevailed because the society could not otherwise survive. Theirs was, in fact, a government of the people; theirs was, in fact, not a theory, but a government by the people; and it was, in fact, a government for the people. The colonialists had the most difficulty in dealing with stateless societies. Within the ethnic group they had little authority and what little they had was considered tyrannous by the people under them. In the following section, we examine the political organization of some selected stateless societies.
They belong to the NigerCongo dialect but subdivided into two subfamily groups: the BenueCongo subfamily and the Kwa subfamily Olaniyan, ; p. The Igbo subscribe to a set of beliefs which conflicts with centralization of authority. The Igbo were individualistic and egalitarian, every man considering himself as good as everyone else and demanding a voice in his local affairs.
Since everyone had a right to rise in society Igbo culture emphasized competition, competition between families, between lineages and between clans Webster and Boahen, Consequently, they adopted a flexible democratic political system which, though based on the lineage structure, was characterized by autonomous federations of lineages or villages organized through lineage heads, age grades and title societies.
The policymaking body was composed of representatives of lineages within the autonomous political groups. The Igbo village was divided into wards. The wards were grouped around a large village market which operated every four or eight days depending upon its size and importance.
Each ward was made up of sections and each section of a number of extended families whose compounds were close together. Among the EfikIbibio, the bond of lineage and the village did not lie strictly in kinship or blood as among the Igbo and the Annang, because the lineage and the village members were of diverse ancestry who had moved into the site from different settlements.
Unity lay, however, in the political autonomy, obligations of mutual aid and the territorial isolation of the lineage or village Olaniyan, Other persons were co-opted into the council. They were usually wealthy personages and some title holders, particularly the ozo title holders. The council was presided over by the senior okpara, the head of the family whose ancestor either founded the village settlement or first acquired the ozo title.
The council was the controlling authority in the village. It performed all the functions which a chief and his council of elders performed in a chiefdom. But other groups, such as ritual functionaries and age-grades, helped with the maintenance of law and order. With regard to government of the village group as a whole, the controlling authority was the general body of the heads of families in each of the villages forming the group.
This body was presided over by the senior okpara of the village in the village group which was the first to be founded in the locality. At the village level, every adult Igbo male had the right to sit in on the council meetings.
But, as with the Fanti of Ghana, this right was seldom exercised unless a decision was to be taken which affected the individual in an important way. In routine matters the elders ruled by decree and proclamation but where decisions likely to produce disputes were to be taken, the Amaala could order the town crier to announce a village assembly in the market place or in a ward square.
At the assembly, the elders laid the issues before the people. Every man had a right to speak, the people applauding popular proposals and shouting down unpopular ones. Decisions had to be unanimous…If the Amaala acted arbitrarily and refused to call the assembly, people could demand it by completely ignoring them and bringing town life to a halt a village strike! By ignoring and refusing to speak to an unpopular elder, social pressure often compelled the elder to bend to the popular will.
This view is supported by Harris : The village assembly characterized Igbo democracy. It was there that the elders presented issues to the people, everyone had a right to speak freedom of expression , and decisions had to be unanimous. The village assembly therefore was a body in which the young and old, the rich and poor could be heard. Decisionmaking could often be timeconsuming, but the slow procedure guaranteed greater individual participation p.
After a close study of the various power bases decisionmaking in the Igbo political system, Olaniyan discovered five general features: The traditional archetype whereby decisions are reached by consensus among the lineage representatives among whom age, wealth or privilege have no overriding influence. A slight modification of the above is found among the Awka Igbo where members of title societies and lineage elders constitute the political decisionmaking group. In all these categories the essence of government remained the same.
They herd their cattle for hundreds of miles in search of water and grazing land. Thus, they come in constant contact with other ethnic groups in their migrations. Consequently, they adopted a political system that adapted to the vicissitudes of their occupation. Such must necessarily be fluid, to guarantee their own economic welfare by maintaining links not only with alien groups of similar order whom they encountered in their pastoral life but also by rendering allegiance to states in whose territory they pastured.
The basic political unit of the Wodaabe of West Bornu consisted of the males of a small agnatic descent group and their families.
Kazill This topic is particularly interesting to those studying the acephqlous of cooperation, as these behaviors seem to be in contradiction with predictions made by many models of cooperation. The Upper Xiajiadian culture simplified Chinese: Baga chief Koba in The assumption of less governance leading to more freedom, however, I find problematic: How can we, however, combine both the fruits of indigenous local democracy with the benefits of a central state? A slight modification of the above is found among the Awka Igbo where members of title societies and lineage elders constitute the political decisionmaking group. Indigenous societies do have specific cultural characteristics, but their common features cannot be reduced to a single criterion. Acephalous society Revolvy Social stratification is a kind of social differentiation whereby a society groups people into socioeconomic strata, based upon their occupation and income, wealth and social status, or derived power social and political. A significant proportion of the Fula — a third, or an estimated 12 to 13 million — are pastoralists, making them the ethnic group with the largest nomadic pastoral community in the world. It is governed by customary laws, known as xeer, that come very close to natural law.
ACEPHALOUS SOCIETY PDF
Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word acephalous society. Wikipedia 0. Such groups are also known as non-stratified societies. Typically these societies are small-scale, organized into bands or tribes that make decisions through consensus decision making rather than appointing permanent chiefs or kings. Most foraging or hunter-gatherer societies are acephalous. When these societies do not possess distinctions of rank, they are described as egalitarian.
Mezijinn acephalous Member feedback about Neal Asher: The Fulani are pastoral people who live mainly in northern Nigeria and many parts of West Africa, along the fringes of the Sahara. It is written to Anne, his daughter with Georgie Hyde Lees, whom Yeats married after his last marriage proposal to Maud Gonne was rejected in Accordingly, the maintenance of justice as well as of cultural and territorial integrity were effected through the extended family organizations and the invocation of kinship behavior, not only in domestic but wider spheres. It was there that the elders presented issues to the people, everyone had a right to speak freedom of expressionand decisions had to be unanimous. Smallpox survivors Revolvy Brain revolvybrain. Moreover, akin to his mentor, he embraced reconciliatory strategies and pan-ethn To Westerners, the chaos in that country reflects the turbulence in their own traditional society and their inability to establish a democratic order. Both types generally used kinship idiom and the norms of kinship behavior in their system of law and order. George Amory Bethune, O.