Numerous researches by anthropologists reveal that particular types of legal and political systems in the society are born out of the intense influence of societal circumstances. The structures that were created from these systems are manifold; they include bands, tribes, states…
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There is a variance of simplicity and complexity in different chiefdoms occasioned by reasons such as scale of development, financial capability and the orientation to a person or groups. An example of a chiefdom with a simple scale of development is one with low population rate that is led by a single level of hierarchy. This kind of a chiefdom is usually group-oriented while its source of finance being staple finance. On the other hand, a complex chiefdom has a high population rate under a minimum of two levels of hierarchy (Scupin, 2012).
According to the societal structure of chiefdoms, they mainly comprise of clans, lineages, and other important groups. The ranking is principally in strata and it depends on the relationship to a chiefly family unit. In the stratification of clans, the hereditary status of a person and their relationship with other people in a clan stratifies their status (Scupin, 2012). The marriages in these clans are usually infused in endogamy within a specific stratum and they are based on patriarchy. This implies that senior men often are in dominance in chiefdoms. Importantly, there is an upper and a lower stratum, where the upper one is usually polygynous and most respected. Moreover, chiefdoms maintain primogeniture, implying that the firstborn children of the chiefs inherit the leadership upon the chief’s death (Scupin, 2012).
In the matter of tribes, chiefdom is attained by predominantly by checking into a person’s achievements. This implies that a chief in a particular tribe is chosen on the merit of primogeniture but after analyzing his achievements.
Chiefdoms remain the most complex of political systems occasioned by the different groups in an individual community. However, in clans, a chief is chosen basing on a person’s relationship to a chiefly family; whereas in a tribe, a chief is chosen based on their personal achievements. The constant factor for the attainment of the chief
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