Ancestral Lines Chapter Summary

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In chapter two of Ancestral Lines, John Barker justifies that the most fundamental principal for Maisin life is reciprocity. The principal of exchanging gifts forms the foundation for sustaining moral teachings, social relationships and the economy. The Maisin center their lives on basic tasks that use natural resources around them to produce food and items that are needed for everyday survival. As Barker states “Gardens form the heart of the local economy”. Gardens are not only a key to the Maisin’s economy but they are also important locations for moral and social development. Garden’s are viewed as spiritual centers in the eyes of the Maisin. They are blessed to show respect towards their ancestors who formerly worked on the land. A frequent…show more content…
Maisin use reciprocity to demonstrate “marawa-wawe” also know as mutual trust towards one another. Barker makes is very clear that reciprocity is not as simple as exchanging items from one person to another, it embeds moral teaching such as giving to those who are in need but be cautious not to give too much. The Maisin social world experienced a shift in reciprocity when money was introduced into their society. The introduction of money encouraged independence and moved away from an economy where you need to rely on others. Reciprocity shapes the way Maisin use money ensuring that they demonstrate the value “marawa-wawe” towards their families and social society. This chapter relates to many points covered in the course Introduction to Anthropology. The Maisin people practice horticulture, which was one of the five economic systems discussed in class. In the economic system of horticulture, it was noted that men and women participate in gender specific roles. This can be directly linked to the Maisin people, as women are responsible carrying produce, weeding gardens and gathering wild food. Where as men are primarily responsible for hunting, fishing and constructing tools from

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