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Research paper topic: Tahitians And The Nootka - 1265 words
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Tahitians And The Nootka To Compare these two groups, the Tahitians and the Nootka one must consider that there are considerable similarities but there are certain differences which allow them to be set apart. The Tahitians set themselves apart as evolved and fit the model for intensive farmers, since they are blessed with the rich soil and adequate rain fall. The Nootka too, are somewhat in the scope but they are still categorized as hunter-gatherers. This can be explained in many different ways, the Tahitians climate allows for them to wear less clothing, as it is quite tropical. The Nootka have to go through a chilly North America climate though there is still warm air from Japan.
The Nootka land provides them with big game and this can give them warmth in colder days. This account for some of their hunter instinct. The Tahitians are more focused on cultivating their land which, as opposed to that the Nootka. They both cultivate their land to accommodate their needs and fish intensively as a mean of subsistence. Their similarities run way deeper than just these habits based upon the ecological model of culture it will simplify the and also the differences.
The most obvious difference is in the language and population density of them two. The Tahitians numbered about 100,000 whereas the Nootka are only around 6000 or a little more. As far as nutrition goes the diet is similar in fish, the Tahitians though are excellent farmers and can cultivate the land very well. The Nootka because of their ecological surroundings are able to hunt game as well as fishing and their unmatched ability to store food makes them a successful hunter gatherer society. Technologically, the two share similarities in that they both are good woodwork. They use wood tools do to the lack of metal.
Their tools are complex but limited. Stone, shells, bones and wood make up the materials used for tools, the other materials available are the grass, the branches of the coconut trees for example. Their tools include harpoons and series of hooks and line for fishing. For construction stone drills, wedges and adzes, however the Nootka have hunting weaponry such as bow and arrow, spears and traps for hunting game. They both posses the skill of carpentry, they build houses and make boats and also paper with great skill and workmanship.
The Tahitians provide separate housing for the chief and their homes are made by the top carpenters whereas the housing scheme of the Nootka. The Nootka families reside together and the chief occupies a rear corner. The household of the Nootka is the fundamental social and political unit of the society. The Nootka have different housing settlements for winter and summer. In the summer they are closer to the sea where in the winter the housing is closely packed and is in a sheltered cave.
The Tahitians do not have the change of climate problem so they are more or less spread out around the land. When it come to cooking and eating the Tahitians men cook for themselves and the women for themselves. The Nootka women usually cook for the family but for elaborate feasts the men do the cooking. Boiling of fish and the cooking of meat except for sell fish, which are eaten raw are some of the similarities of them two. The Tahitians use an earth oven, the Nootka usually bail their fish over an open fire.
They both cover the food in leaves to cook it farther. The Nootka use a lot of oil as subsistence for their cooking. The Tahitians eat two meals a day one at anytime in the morning and a heavy dinner at night, which is very ceremonious. For clothing, the Tahitians wear very little, for men a loincloth and a skirt for women made of tape cloth. On special occasions feather cloth are used as well a body art.
The Nootka have a similar clothing system, for pleasant weather they may even go naked but for winter they may even use a cone-shaped hat. For special occasion they may wear cloth that are very elaborate as well as animal skin. The Tahitians take a lot of pride in bathing and perfuming the body and keeping the house clean. There have been years of dirty housing on the Nootka habitations. Social groups within the two are similar, the subdivision of rank are a graduation from top to bottom. Tahitians rank in terms of economic, political and religion power.
Two of the basic groups of people are, the family of the chief the Arili then the Ra 'atira and finally the rest are. The Nootka rank by a mean of primogeniture which mean that the father is the head, succeeded by the first son and his son becomes the head after him, the other sons if any my never get a chance of becoming the head. The Tahitians have a tradition of giving their child away as way of means of re-distributing population. They have also practiced infanticide but this is rare. The similarities in the social structure come in where the great discrimination is based on sex differences and generation difference. There is no distinguishing between a cousin, son, or a daughter, that is there no such relations there kids and adults and old folks are termed ancestors.
Pattern of etiquette and general social conduct tied to the rank system and religion is very intricate for the Tahitians. The society have been characterized as divided into feudal like social class, for example slave and free man are the primary division of class. For fighting purposes they both had had encounters from groups from neighboring societies, the Nootka take war very seriously and rituals are strictly followed. The Tahitians keep their enemies as slave and hostages. Cannibalism is not practiced but the sacrifices of captives are done in religious rituals. The weaponry is basically the same but the way of going to battle is more planed and rehearsed for the Nootka.
Taboos are a feature of both cultures. The Tahitians do not allow higher rank member to eat with lower rank members. The Nootka do not allow the women to eat anything but dried fish. The Tahitian boys are cut on the penis and feast is given to them. The Nootka boys are kept busy learning trades of their elders hunting and fishing until time to be married.
There are religious rituals for both societies. The Nootka belief system is one based on super natural (magic) as supposed to religion. There is no worship and it would be an error to call the spirit gods. The medicine men (shaman) are often of humble origin and are though to have great powers and intelligence. The Nootka fear the dead and believe in spirit contamination and black magic.
This is seemed as a crime against society but the Shaman usually has a cure for any injustice of that sort. These two very complex society shares many striking differences but the similarities are so visible that the differences seem to disappear. The technological awareness and ability to create for necessity is at least magnificent they live in peace with themselves thought they will fight for whatever they think is right. Their substance of technology offers mainly due to the difference with the climate and availability of diversified nutritional based. The similarity in the social organization proves that the only main difference is their characterization.
The Nootka as hunter-gatherers and the Tahitians as intensive farmers lies in the ability of big game as a diversified food source Anthropology.
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