A society without fathers or husbands: the Na of China by Cai Hua

By Cai Hua

The Na of China, farmers within the Himalayan quarter, reside with no the establishment of marriage. Na brothers and sisters dwell jointly their complete lives, sharing family obligations and elevating the women's kids. as the Na, like every cultures, restrict incest, they perform a process of occasionally furtive, occasionally conspicuous night encounters on the woman's domestic. The woman's partners--she usually has greater than one--bear no financial accountability for her or her young children, and "fathers," except they resemble their youngsters, stay unidentifiable.This lucid ethnographic learn indicates how a society can functionality with out husbands or fathers. It sheds mild on marriage and kinship, in addition to on the placement of ladies, the required stipulations for the purchase of id, and the effect of a communist kingdom on a society that it considers backward.

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Extra resources for A society without fathers or husbands: the Na of China

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The following question arises: why did the zhifu establish this parallel rule instead of a paternal rule, as existed for aristocratic men, or a maternal rule, as existed for aristocratic women ? I believe that this state of affairs was the result of a practical con­ cern. In the case of cohabitation between a female serf and a male commoner, if the paternal rule applied, there would no longer be any male serfs after one generation. In the opposite situation, that of cohabitation between a male serf and a female commoner, the consequences were far more serious.

In Loshu, the Sozha lianee owned two serfs. 54 S O C I A L S T R A T I F I C A T I O N U N T I L 1 9 5 6 Apart from the two bashi lienees, Chen and Shen, commoner and serf lienees owning we is a phenomenon exclusive to the twentieth century. In 1956, 2 80 households had serfs, and approximately ten serfs, without homes, worked in the zhifu's residence. These 280 households were of two types: those in which only the members of one sex were serfs and those in which members of both sexes were serfs.

To circumvent this rule, some households tried to put off the puberty ritual for their children. All linnees in which the members of one sex or both sexes were serfs maintained economic independence. Their masters could not take away their property, such as land, livestock, and grain. Some serfs who were close to the zhifu were given adminis­ trative positions, which were often quite lucrative. Some even became intimates of the zhifu and therefore enjoyed a much more elevated rank in society. Consequently, there were commoners who, coveting such a position, voluntarily became serfs in the zhifu's home.

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