Iroquois Kinship

1 January 2018

For example, you may love your best friend and treat them with respect but would you respect your best friend more than you respect your own mother? This provides us with an insight of what a kinship system is, and in this paper I’m going to discuss the kinship system of the Iroquois Indians in comparison to my own kinship system. The Iroquois Indians is a horticultural society located in the Northeast region of the North America. They live in long houses because they have very large extended families. Iroquois are a nun-lineal descent group. This means that they trace their lineage or ancestry through only one sex. Knows ; Laird, 2010) Unlike most societies, the Iroquois trace their descent through the woman, which makes them a matrilineal society.

In their society there are rules in regard to marriage. Iroquois are required to marry outside of their lineage as well as outside of their clans.

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They are not allowed to marry family members who are too closely related such as sibling or parents or even parallel cousins. However, they are allowed to marry cross-cousins and in act, the marriage of cross-cousins is encouraged to maintain wealth as well as family alliances.When Iroquois people marry, post marriage the husband moves in with the wife and her family. Divorce is also fairly simple in Iroquois society, if a woman no longer wants to be with her husband all she has to do is leave his belongings on the steps as he comes home. Upon the man finding them, he realizes he is no longer wanted and returns home to his own village.

The examples that provided on Iroquois lineage, marriage, and divorce play a significant role in the way the people of this society behave. From these examples it is quite apparent that the women of Iroquois societies are highly valued.Women in Iroquois societies are equally or are more likely considered to be more important than the men. This is because the women are the primary food providers. Women are the ones who plant, weed and harvest the crops (Knows ; Laird, 2010) . This belief Of breadwinner is found in both horticultural and foraging societies. Both societies believe the more amount of food a person can contribute the more valuable they are to the community.

My own kinship system is in many ways different from that of the Iroquois.One way that it is similar is that I have a very large extended family and we are very close. We also have rules of marriage, in regards to not marrying anyone related to us. However, unlike the Iroquois we do not marry cross- cousins; we consider that to be incest. We differentiate from the Iroquois because our lineage is traced through bilateral descent. This means that our descent is traced through both parents rather than just one. When two people decide to marry in our society, they would normally both move out of their parents homes and get an apartment or house together.

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Iroquois Kinship. (2018, Jan 20). Retrieved March 26, 2019, from
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