1st Edition

The Web of Kinship Among the Tallensi The Second Part of an Analysis of the Social Structure of a Trans-Volta Tribe

By Meyer Fortes Copyright 1949
    390 Pages
    by Routledge

    390 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Originally published in 1949, this book takes the analysis of Tale social structure further. It shows how the patriarchal principle regulates domestic life and thus moulds individual development among the Tallensi. The analysis of the inter-connexion of Legal, econoic and personal relationships sheds new light on the general problems of social organization in patriarchal societies, both in Africa and elsewhere.

    1. Introductory

    2. Kinship and the Lineage System

    3. The Homestead and the Joint Family

    4. Husband and Wife in the Structure of the Family

    5. Parents and Children in the Framework of the Lineage

    6. The Moral Basis of the Relationship of Parent and Child

    7. The Genetic Development of Parent- Child Relationships

    8. Tensions in the Parent-Child Relationship

    9. Grandparents and Grandchildren

    10. Siblings in the Social Structure

    11. The Web of Extra-Clan Kinship


    Meyer Fortes was a South African-born anthropologist, best known for his work among the Tallensi and Ashanti in Ghana. Originally trained in psychology, Fortes employed the notion of the "person" into his structural-functional analyses of kinship, the family, and ancestor worship setting a standard for studies on African social organization. His famous book, Oedipus and Job in West African Religion (1959), fused his two interests and set a standard for comparative ethnology. He also wrote extensively on issues of the first born, kingship, and divination.