Foraging is the oldest way of life by human being. It regards to how life was so many years back. In those days, people stayed in small gatherings called bands. The mode of living was nomadic with a subsistence system, such that production was only for sole consumption in order to survive. Kinship was given a priority because it ensured unity amongst them in that, wealth belonged to the community. This article attempts to address the culture of the foraging societies, and identify three specific examples of how kinship system of the chosen culture impacts the way this culture behaves in terms of thinking, acting and living. It will finally compare this with another society to see whether kinship affect these same behaviors.
The first example falls under conflict. This was hard to find in foraging societies unlike in today’s societies. The society had no leadership, nothing like compiled laws to govern the society, no system to curb impunity or even controlling it. The major reason that contributed to reduced conflicts is due to the small groups. Kinship acted as the central system of operation. In addition, no one owned anything and the culture of sharing what there is was the order of the day. In other words, people lived like one big family. People in this case, knew each other perfectly. They understood each other’s traits in terms of being hardworking, stingy or being indolent. This helped in accommodating each other reducing collision among them.
The second example is the social organization. The foraging communities had a universal ancestor. The relationship between people checked on how they regarded each other. In terms of kinship, the nuclear setting of a family was given a priority in foraging community. This was mostly triggered by their adaptations to various conditions. Many families staying in a region were referred to as bands. A band was only required to carry a specific capacity of families. If a band was not very big, it enhanced sharing of what there was in the society.
The third example falls under descent, which was closely connected, to kinship. This described how a child was connected to the parent. This was regarded as passing of membership where a child was adopted directly as a member of the society. In some communities, descent was a way of linking people together into such roles as marriage or solving of conflicts. Descent comes into ways namely; unilineal and bilateral. The former is closely associated to either of the parents. It therefore connects people who are related due to parenthood. In a bilateral setting, both man and woman is very important. Individuals hold that, they are relatives to people from either side whether from the father or the mother. The Americans embrace bilateral kinship way of living.
Comparing the above culture with another one from a different community, so many differences are evident. To begin with, the foraging societies did not have conflicts due to their small groups, which ensured they lived as members of the same family. In many American societies, this is not possible. Conflicts are the talk of the day. Unlike in foraging societies where property was jointly owned by the community, this is no longer observed. It is every body for himself. This in return has brought so many conflicts.
Another comparison is that of families living together like one family. This is no longer practiced in many societies. Although families are close to each other, the styles of living are different. The mode of sharing cannot be compared with that of foraging society. People in those old days used to share literally everything but in today’s community, it is not practiced. There is little to share if any. Finally, the bilateral kinship is the only thing being practiced; unilineal is hard to find in any community.
To conclude, I must admit that the foraging communities cannot be compared with today’s given that so many things have changed. It is hard to find good neighborliness like what was there in those days.