Gender Roles In 'The Trobrianders Of Papua New Guinea'?

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The main idea of “The Trobrianders of Papua New Guinea” is to provide the reader with an understanding of gender roles and the accumulation of gender specific wealth, as well as, how that wealth is used to further social and political agendas within society. It is important to note that the Trobrianders are a matrilineal society. This has a major effect on how wealth is accumulated and distributed and also serves to reinforce family ties. The Trobriand society functions as a chiefdom, though unlike other chiefdoms, their chiefs only have absolute authority within their own hamlets. They are capable of spreading their power by marrying into a matrilineage of other villages or by showing that they are strong leaders but if this doesn’t happen then the majority of the power falls to hamlet leaders. Therefore, a chief has to earn the right to influence people outside of their own hamlet. One of the most important ways that chiefs, as well as, common people are able to influence others is with a display of wealth; mainly yams. The growing and distribution of yams by fathers and brothers to be presented to their married daughters and sisters is one of the most common forms of wealth. Yams are most often used as a form of currency, distributed as payment following a death and are given to a woman's relatives upon her marriage. While the yams are a non-gender specific form of wealth, the majority of the work to grow them is done by the men and has an effect on a

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