There are several differences between chiefdom and tribal societies. First, the tribal societies have shamans as religious leaders while chiefdom has both the priest and shaman as their religious leaders…
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Secondly, in both societies, religious beliefs are believed to determine their ideological patterns. In addition, tribal society segmentation also has a role to play in ideological pattern determination. Thirdly, division of labour is not developed in tribal societies compared to chiefdoms. This could be because the chiefdom has a larger population, and because they use advanced agricultural techniques than the tribal society. Fourth, the social stratification method is based on prestige and power possessed in tribal and chiefdom societies respectively. Fifth, tribal societies do not have an authoritative political organization while the chiefdom does. They only have pan-tribal associations made up of elders who serve to unite the community. The chief is the authority in the chiefdom, and depending on its size the chiefdom can be run by an overall chief and other smaller chiefs responsible for different regions. The sixth comparison is based on kinship; tribal segments and ranking or societal status is used in tribal and chiefdom societies respectively. Lastly, with regard to gender in both societies the males dominate over the females. A Comparison of the Tribal and Chiefdom Societies in Relation to Technology and Economy Generally, societies put in place social control mechanisms to maintain order. Tribal and chiefdom societies differ in the degree and levels of political integration, how much they concentrate authority into political roles and how they differentiate political institutions from kinship, religious and economic structures. Furthermore, societies are differentiated on the basis of their level of economy, technology and communication. Based on these factors societies can be divided into four different types; the band, tribal, chiefdom and state societies. These four types of societies are hunters and gatherers, simple agriculturalists, advanced agriculturalists and industrialists respectively (Peoples and Bailey, 2011). This paper focuses on comparing tribal and chiefdom societies. This comparison relates to their technology and economy: division of labour, social stratification, political organization, kinship, gender relations, religious organizations and ideology. Though tribal society's main classification is horticulturalists or unsophisticated agriculturalists, some engage in pastoralist activities, hunting or gathering. Horticulture is like a simpler form of agriculture where people plant, weed, harvest and store food. The system does not apply complex technologies like crop rotation, soil fertilization or plowing nor do they apply the factors of production i.e. land, labour, capital and machinery. In fact, they prefer to use basic hand tools like hoes and digging sticks which demand a lot of energy in their use. The land tilled is small, thus they can afford to use such basic tools and basic irrigation techniques, which can be done by the family members. Tribal societies engaging in pastoralist activities own animals. This is a common practice for societies that live in non-cultivatable land, for example, deserts, arid and grasslands. It is a common belief that when farming societies expand, some have to move out to such areas that do not support farming thus they have to adopt domestication of animals. Hunting and gathering societies also result from adaptation to the environment by a group of people. These groups are found in areas that are sufficiently productive, and there is an abundance of food enabling them to cater for a large population of people. Chiefdom society, on the other hand, is intermediate of tribal and state societies. They consist of greater populations and use advanced technologies than tribal societies (Landstreet, 2006). Discussion The
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