The culture discussed in this essay is mainly characterized by different rites of passages which are aimed at helping a member of the group to move from one stage of life to another. The people who practice this culture live in a forest, and their tradition is pure in that it is not affected by any technological advancements. Members of the society in this culture are brought up in such a way that they have learned to depend on one another for survival. This means that all members of society work together to obtain food and build their shelters. The leadership system of this culture is characterized by the elderly in the community since they are viewed as the best individuals who possess the right knowledge to act as leaders. Most traditional cultures are characterized by the same leadership system (House). Involvement of the elderly in such a leadership allows the wisdom of the culture to be passed to the younger generation easily (House). Its therefore clear that leadership system is one of the ways through which the culture is passed from one generation to another.
Craft production is the primary activity of women in this culture. The task allows them to produce different products such as clothes and pots. Most of these products are used by the family of the woman responsible for the production. However, those who are quick in the production process are urged to share with other families specifically those who have members with physical disabilities. Despite living in the forest, members who practice this culture have managed to exercise Agriculture, an activity that provides them with different food products such as maize. This activity is however carried out on a small piece of land by every family. This means of living allows the heads of families to provide for their loved ones. Apart from agriculture and craft production, pastoralism is also practiced by some members of the society in the culture. A combination of the three activities allows the members who practice this culture to obtain food and shelter.
Members who practice this culture believe in polygamy. This means that men are allowed to marry more than one wife. The principal role of marriage in this culture is to allow families to have as many children as possible. A man who has many children is associated with power in the society since he is considered to possess an adequate source of labor for different purposes such as pastoralism and agriculture. Children are therefore seen as a symbol of both wealth and power, and this makes polygamy a common practice in the culture. Marriage is also used to provide a dowry to the parents of the woman since she is considered as an essential part of the family. For a man to possess a woman in the culture, he is required to offer dowry in the form of livestock and agricultural products. This provides the process of marriage a significant meaning, and its importance is understood by all members who practice the culture.
Marriage is also carried out in a traditional ceremony where the couple receives gifts from members of the society. These gifts are mainly in the form of products from craft production. Members of the families involved in the marriage are allowed to practice the act of gift exchange as a sign of togetherness. The act also represents the bond developed between the two families. Men are allowed to provide agricultural products as gifts. Children are also involved in the marriage ceremonies and signify its identity. Involvement of all members of the society makes the wedding ceremony an essential part of the culture. Bridewealth is used by the family of the woman to improve the living standards of her siblings. A woman is therefore appreciated in this culture due to their value especially when it comes to wedding ceremonies. Their ability to provide bridewealth makes them valuable to their families.
Various rituals are practiced within the culture specifically during religious activities. Religion is viewed as a way of appreciating good harvests and healthy livestock. Animals are commonly used in various religious rituals at different times of the year. Some of the rituals are performed when the leader of the culture develops the feeling that their gods are upset or dissatisfied with the behavior of members who practice the culture. In other words, these rituals are carried out to please the gods who are worshipped in the culture. Most cultures are characterized by unique religious rituals (Swidler, 275). These rituals are viewed as the connection between the living and the spirit world (Swidler, 280). Members of this culture believe that for them to connect with their ancestors in the spiritual world, they must practice rituals that involve offering animal sacrifices. Unlike some traditional cultures, human sacrifices are not offered in this culture since the life of a human being is highly valued.
So far, science is still a myth in this culture. Most of the activities practiced in it are not affected by discoveries of science. Most members of the society are innovative in their way. Though craft production can be viewed as an act of science, it can be argued that members who practice this culture are unaware of any scientific discoveries or applications that make life easy. Despite this fact, these individuals continue to survive in a harsh environment by working together. Believing in teamwork is the primary reason why this culture has managed to survive without the use of technology. The leadership system of this culture has also managed to minimize engagement in politics that may end up creating divisions within members of the society.
Members who practice this culture do not believe in supernatural powers such as witchcraft and magic. These individuals believe that only the ancestors can possess such power and their absence from the living world means that they are safe. These individuals believe that if such power falls into the wrong hands, it can have adverse effects on the peace that have been developed in the society. This culture, therefore, encourages those who practice it to have faith in the religious rituals practiced and abandon any beliefs in other supernatural powers that can be practiced by the living. Even those who are responsible for leading the religious rituals are believed to only possess the powers to communicate with their ancestors.
It can, therefore, be concluded that this is a simple culture that allows people to stay together in harmony. Peace is promoted by the leadership system within the culture, and the elderly are responsible for maintaining this peace. These individuals are also responsible for passing the culture to the younger generation due to their wisdom. The significance attached to different ceremonies such as wedding and religious rituals makes the culture unique compared to other traditional cultures.
House, Robert J., et al., eds. Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. Sage publications, 2004.
Swidler, Ann. "Culture in action: Symbols and strategies." American sociological review (1986): 273-286.
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