Sample Essay On Anthropology Political Organization And Religion

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Food, Therapy, Health, Food Production, Leadership, Community, Production, Band

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/09/25

Question 1

Political organization- Describe food production, distribution of resources, and leadership in following types of the societies: Band Societies, Tribal Societies, and State Societies

Band societies

Food production in band societies is achieved from nature through hunting and gathering. The hunting and gathering are heavily dependent on the environmental conditions hence the band societies may relocate from place to place based on the abundance of forage (Price and Burton 36). Distribution of resources typically follows an egalitarian approach. Importance of this approach was crucial to their survival and sharing and giving without any expectation was a dominant social and economic characteristic (Hedican 208). Leadership in the band societies is informal. There are no specialized roles for leaders. However, older members are respected for their experience, judgment and knowledge of hunting (Ferraro and Andreatta 319).

Tribal Societies

According to Ferraro and Andreatta (319), food production in tribal societies is done through food collecting. This society involves both horticulturalists and pastoralists hence food production is higher thus can support larger populations. Distribution of resources is done using an egalitarian approach. There is no centralized leadership, but there is the presence of local leaders (Ferraro and Andreatta 319).
In food production, state societies have better systems of food production that allow them to have higher quantities of food supplies and can be able to preserve them through different methods of storage (Balee 53). Distribution of resources is based on race, class, age and gender. There is a centralized leadership.

Question 2

Religion - What are shamans and how do they attempt to heal the illnesses of members of their communities?
Shamans are commonly referred to as the community healers. According to Hartigan (140), shamans apply the use of ritual actions and ritual words to chase out illnesses in sick individuals. The belief is that a force of evil such as a witch or a demon causes the sickness.cdhasing away the eveil spirit requires the use of words. It is believed that the illnesses can spread. Thus, in the process of healing, the patient is normally allocated a sacred place where the shaman, the patient, the community conduct initial rites since the healing is regarded as a community experience. Consequently, there is cleansing of the community to ensure that the risk of the illnesses does not spread to the whole community. Once the shaman begins the healing process, the aim is normally to heal and not to cure (Hartigan 14). The members of the community usually have much influence in the shaman's healing process. In the whole process of healing an individual, the shamans heal a social ill (Tierney 170).

Question 3

Describe how rituals are used in cultures in order to be exposed to "the supernatural." Describe how people use religion to find meaning and order in their lives.
In order to interact with the world of the supernatural, different cultures apply various rituals such as prayer, magic, and sacrifice. According to Kozak (360), contact with the supernatural can be through song or public rituals. In case people are exposed to the supernatural accidentally, it is believed to be an evil sign. Sacrifices indicate a sign of respect and reverence for the supernatural.
Religion provides hope for a better life after this one, and this has been critical in providing purpose in the lives of men and women. Furthermore, people are always looking for something to justify their actions. Consequently, this indicates that actions of individuals can be right or wrong.

Works Cited

Balee, William. Advances in Historical Ecology Historical Ecology Series. New York: Columbia UP, 2013. Print.
Hedican, Edward J. Social Anthropology: Canadian Perspectives on Culture and Society. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press Inc, 2012. Print.
Hartigan, Karelisa. Performance and Cure: Drama and Healing in Ancient Greece and Contemporary America. , 2009. Internet resource.
Ferraro, Gary, and Susan Andreatta. Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective. Stamford: Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.
Kozak, David L. Inside Dazzling Mountains: Southwest Native Verbal Arts. Lincoln: UNP - Nebraska Paperback, 2013. Internet resource
Tierney, Emiko. Illness and Healing among the Sakhalin Ainu: A Symbolic Interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2014. Print.
Price, T D, and James H. Burton. An Introduction to Archaeological Chemistry. New York: Springer, 2011. Print.

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