Grand Valley Dani Peaceful Warriors - Essay Example

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The object of analysis for the purpose of this assignment is “Grand Valley Dani: Peaceful Warriors” by Karl G. Heider.  The paper tells that times have definitely changed the culture.  The women, often now, wear cloth skirts, and the men wear pants. …
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Grand Valley Dani Peaceful Warriors
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Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that the people of the Grand Dani are believed to have resided in this area of New Guinea for centuries, according to Karl Heider. The technology of these people is very limited and the only resources that were basically utilized in the 70’s era were stones and bamboo instruments. Also, their way of preservation deals almost entirely on horticulture for sustenance. Their culture and previous style of life have practically vanished away, due to Western missionaries’ encroachments and the degree of far-reaching variables in the environment due to World War II. The sociological structure of the Dani people differs greatly from American society. They are not totally united as a social network and do not necessarily have to rely on one another’s individual contributions to the clan in order to persevere. The main lifestyle objectives of the Dani women are kept separate from the men. While the men do more technical and constructive work, the women’s primary attentiveness is on tending to the children, gardening, tending and feeding the pigs, making salt, and weaving carrying baskets. The work among these people is almost always assigned to gender or in an age categorization. What unites them as a whole is the similarity that they have in regards to their values, beliefs, and rituals. Though it might be hard to believe, the men are the ones that normally weave the skirts that the women wear. Furthermore, they are the ones that also perform the myriad of ceremonies and rituals. The men also build the wood and grass houses and ready the fields by plowing, for the women to be able to plant the sweet potatoes (Heider 2004). One quite notable difference between the Dani people and American’s is the definite lack of specialized skills within their community.
The Dani’s primary food source is sweet potatoes, although they do have other fruits and vegetables as well. Their only meat source comes from the pigs that they raise (Heidi 1970). The Dani Valley consists of a huge network of fields which the Dani improvise on and develop into harvested areas for gardening purposes. This is a year round process and there is always a field in the procurement of being harvested (Heidi 2004). Their irrigation technique involves constructing ditches around the fields so that there will be a proper route for excess water to drain. These same ditches are utilized to allow needed water into the harvested fields in the dry season of the Dani Valley.
The social organization of the Dani is divided into two groups. The Wida or the Waija, which are the two designated social circles within the community. This simply means that each individual person is an aspectual part of their father’s moiety. They are required to marry outside the moiety that the reside in (Heider 1996). Though this works well for their people and their belief system, there are instances when complications arise among this type of social structure. For example, every Dani is born into the Wida moiety, no matter the specification, of which group, the father is bound too. The separation of social recognition does not occur until marriage, during the pigs feast (Heider 1996).
In regards to the political aspects of the Dani people, there are different allegiances. Extended family compounds become part of a large confederation, usually equaling 1000 individuals (Heider 2004). It is the confederations that co-exist in a stable and peaceful, multi unit society. Although they might present more stability in family life, the allegiances among them often change (Heider 1970). There are no written laws or any real legal constraints, unless verbalized. Also, they share the same unique culture and belief system despite what group they are affiliated with.
Their belief in marriage has a very distinct variation from an American perspective. They believe in Polygony, which is the custom of having more ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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