AFRICAN CLAN vs INDO-ARYAN CLAN by diop
Posted By: seshatasefekht In Response To: Re: Nomadic Peoples in Africa vs europe iceage (seshatasefekht)
Date: Saturday, 25 September 2004, at 12:21 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Nomadic Peoples in Africa vs europe iceage (seshatasefekht)
CLANIC AND TRIBAL ORGANIZATION
Clanic organization, in that it is founded on the taboo of incest, marks the beginning of civilization: the human being is no longer a simply biological animal. His sexual relations are henceforth dependent on very strict social regulations.
The clan is also and above all a social organization whose purpose is to meet economic needs and to challenge nature. It is founded on a deliberate choice of a unilateral type of kinship (patrilineal or matrilineal, according to the economic context), of a private or collective type of ownership, of a mode of inheritance, etc.
Therefore, at the moment of clanic formation, humanity already knew the respective roles of both spouses in the physical conception of the child; it had a clear notion of physical kinship, ownership of goods and inheritance, and the possible relationships between individuals.
Clanic organization only socialized these notions, for its convenience, by giving them a particular structure and content that might correspond to the demands of this phase of human evolution.
Hypotheses about the forms of human existence prior to the clan need not be dealt with here: promiscuity, primitive communism, etc.
Nevertheless it is our opinion that clan and tribe were born simultaneously, because, since clanic exogamy stems from the taboo of incest, clanic organization, in order to be viable, requires the existence of neighboring clans (organized into villages or not) which, by dint of contracting exogamic marriages, end up becoming a monolingual tribe, a nationality: thus there exists a dialectical link between clan and tribe. The clan is merely a blood-related, extended family exclusively founded on either matrilineal or patrilineal kinship. It was to avoid consanguineous marriages that clanic endogamy was prohibited and that clanic exogamy was established as a rule. The nuclear family (man, woman, children) thus preceded the clan, which sought only to regulate its development to the greatest advantage of the group.
The clan, whether patrilineal or matrilineal, has always been a male creation, to the exclusion of women. The same is true for all later forms of political and social human organizations: tribal confederations, monarchies, and republics.
The man was the one who, in nomadic state, in the Eurasian steppes, chose to organize the social cell on the basis of the patrilineal clan, supposedly the best possible form of adaptation to the physical environment. Likewise, in the African agricultural sedentary milieu, it was again the male who decided to found the matrilineal clan.
In order better to project the irreducibility of these two forms of adaptation to different environments, we will now, in brief review, compare their specific traits point by point:
created by man
subsistence based on agriculture, essentially
religion: ancestor worship
funeral rites: burial of the dead
the husband brings the dowry
matrilineal filiation and succession
kinship through men: impossible
the wife keeps her totem, meaning her
domestic god, therefore her natural
family name, her legal identity, after
the husband has no rights over his wife and
the children have no social kinship
with their father and therefore do
not inherit from him. They inherit
from their maternal uncle, who has
who has the right of life and death over
them: the uncle is the social father
the wife may divorce her husband. The
natural family always remains the
social security milieu in case of
necessity: the bond can never be broken
the land is an indivisible collective
property: the notion of private property
is marginal, but it is far from being
the sense of community is highly
developed. Solitude is prohibited: all
women must be married; polygamy
becomes a social necessity due to the
fact that there are fewer men
all children born are raised
matriarchal society: optimistic
cosmogony; no notion of original sin
Evil is introduced by men: Seth murders
Osiris, as opposed to Isis, female inventor
created by man
clan exogamy(rape of the sabine womem)
subsistence based on raising cattle,
religion: ancestor worship
funeral rites: cremation of the dead,
whose ashes can thus be transported in
urns: fire cult
the wife brings the dowry
patrilineal filiation and succession
kinship through women: impossible
the wife abjures her domestic gods before
the altar of her husband’s gods, therefore
loses her family name, her legal identity
the husband has the right of life and death
over his wife and children: he may sell
the children inherit from their father:
avuncular inheritance is unknown
until the reforms of solon (590bc),
the children of two sisters had no
the wife is the property of the husband;
she may be sold like an object or killed;
she cannot divorce; her own family no
longer exists for her, socially speaking
land is private property, made divine
by the local religion of the ancestors:
individualism is the supreme virtue:
even after the clan becomes sedimentary;
joint ownership is sacrilege: families may
not come in contact with each even in afterlife
daughters are buried alive.
Excess babies, even though normal,
are thrown away as garbage, even after
the clan becomes sedentary.
Eugenism, the myth of Ganymede,
patriarchal society: pessimistic
cosmogony; with notion of original sin:
Prometheus; eve’s sin
evil is introduced by women: eve and
the forbidden fruit are used to tempt adam
warrior morality: warriors fallen on the
battlefield alone enter the Germanic
all the social revolution that have intervened since the age of polished stone Neolithic), no matter how radical, have not succeeded in completely wiping out the original clanic structures, which still remain embedded in our respective societies and are recognizable by numerous characteristics.
A modern European language like French reflects, in its deep structure, the nomadic Indo- European institutions unfavorable to women: there is no proper word in French to express the murder of mother or sister; the terms relative to the murder of father or brother respectively are used: parricide = murder of one’s father, or one’ mother by extension; fratricide = murder of one’s brother, one’s sister by extension.
Chapter 5, CIVILIZATION OR BARBARISM by Cheikh Anta Diop
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