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Or is the notion of unilineal descent useful in explaining the territorial configuration?), the author introduces her own perspective, which is deeply anchored in ethnography but does not resort to the vocabulary commonly used in anthropology.
These lineages both resembled and differed from West and Central African unilineal descent groups, maximizing forbidden kinship lines and scarce land rights in the Caribbean context.
In larger societies of hundreds of thousands, even millions of people, the problem of political affiliation--as outlined by Evans-Pritchard and Fortes--is solved by unilineal descent groups of varying range and magnitude.
The units in these systems, then, are unilineal descent groups.
The 'mature' Scheffler's principal point, drawing on Fortes, is that in order to know whether a group is a unilineal descent group, and not merely something that happens to resemble such a group, we must be absolutely clear about whether patrifiliation (or matrifiliation) is the necessary and sufficient condition for inclusion.
It enlightens very little, and it contradicts the empirical evidence of the classical African unilineal descent systems which have been analysed hundreds of times.
(1.) Meyer Fortes, "The Structure of Unilineal Descent Groups," American Anthropologist, I (3) 1953: 166.
They consider the implications of tribal solidarity based on unilineal descent as well as a weak division of labor that makes every male a de facto warrior.
Watson, and Maila Stivens focus on cognation and unilineal descent. King's comparative study, in which he argues "that there are significant differences in terms of kinship between the egalitarian and hierarchical societies of Borneo", will appeal to anyone interested in the Leachian problematic of the relationship of egalitarianism and stratification in Southeast Asia.
When the seniority which Kwara'ae and others give to the male line is misinterpreted as 'unilineal descent', this oversimplifies the pattern of land rights and relationships in a way which makes it easier to convert land 'leadership' or 'primary rights' into Western-style 'ownership' by suppressing 'secondary' claims.