First, to discuss the political organization of the Malagan society. Malagana is not a chiefdom, but it is not a tribe so it is referred to as a village. The population is not large enough to be a chiefdom and not small enough to be a tribe. Malagana is regulated by a state, which would be Madagascar, similarly to a chiefdom. The Madagascan government tolerates Malagana because the entire country is dependent on its profits. If the Madagascan government were to intervene with the way Malagan’s structure their society, the profit would disappear as a form of resistance and have a devastating impact on the countries’ economic state. The authority within Malagana belongs to the council, which is similar to an office; a “permanent political position.” (Kottak 389) The society is purely egalitarian, meaning the only status distinctions are based on age, gender, talent and achievement. (Kottak 255) But leaders are chosen through ascribed status, meaning they have little or no choice regarding their social status. (Kottak 327) The council must be composed of elderly women with specialized skills that are crucial to the economic well-being of the tribe such as tool-making, and ceramic and pottery making, and profound wisdom due to life experience. When ...
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... to all things and is responsible for everything from the fate of people’s lives to the wind in the trees.
In conclusion, the Malagan political structure is quite distinctive. Most modern political organizations are male dominated, but Malagana is ruled by women. Although, Malagana is regulated by a higher authority, it is a formal structure. The family organization resembles an extended family household, but each adult female member has their own home in which they live with their nuclear family. The women are heads of the households just like the rest of the authority figures in Malagana. The Malagan’s worship Mother and have worshiping ceremonies multiple times a year for her. Finally, the Malagan’s engage in one sport which is also the only nonreligious event; spear fishing. Spear fishing competitions resemble the rite of passage for the male members of society.
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