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The San Kinship System and Its Impact Upon San Culture

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The San Kinship System and Its Impact Upon San Culture
Terry Barnes
ANT 101
Prof. Cecil Hicks
November 29, 2011

The San Kinship System and the It’s Impact upon San Culture
The San Culture is interesting, and its kinship bbehaviors are varied. In this paper, I will first share information about the hunters and gathers know as the San or Bushman who live in the of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. Second, I will Identify and describe their kinship system, briefly describe their culture, and identify three specific examples of how the San’s Kinship System impacts the way they behave, think, act, and live. Lastly, I will compare and contrast a specific San Kinship behavior to American society, and give details that describe whether or not this same behavior has an impact on my life.
In Cultural Anthropology, by Nowark and Laid (2010), I learned about the unique aspects and structure of the San Kinship System. Kinship involves how people classify each other, the rules that affect people's behavior, and people's actual behavior. In the San kinship system, both family and kinship relationships are recognized and valued through the practice of marriage, sharing, and generalized reciprocity. Kinship also means time for socializing with kin and friends. Meals are prepared with the items from everyone’s hunting and gathering which allows everyone to share equally in what has been made available. Food is distributed until everyone is sufficiently supplied.
Generalized reciprocity is practiced which helps to reinforce social ties. Sharing is a way of bonding families and strengthening relationships amongst neighbors, parents, siblings, and spouses. Nowark and Laird (2010), stated, “Generalized reciprocity helps foragers in times of environmental unpredictability. Sharing is the foragers' safety net.” (ch. 3, sect. 3.3, Economy, Generalized Reciprocity,…...

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