Tiwi People Case Study

1684 Words 7 Pages
The culture group that I found intriguing was the Tiwi people. They inhabit the Melville and Bathurst islands, which spans out to roughly three thousand square miles. I grew up on a farm with about six thousand acres of land used for cattle and planting crops. I always perceived my area of land to be quite extensive, but after learning about the Tiwi’s plot of land I realized how small my farm actually is. The two islands are described as being heavily forested. This allows for lush greenery to be ever present as scenery for the Tiwi people. This was not the case where I grew up. As for my scenery, dry grass and the occasional tree is all that is included. There is no concrete evidence of when the Tiwi came into contact with outsiders, …show more content…
Today, they live in houses with two- to four-bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, electricity, and plumbing. I can directly relate to this type of settlement because currently I am living in a three-bedroom house that includes a bathroom, electricity, plumbing, and a kitchen. However, the traditional Tiwi settlements did not follow this type of architectural pattern. Generally, the Tiwi set up camp around a fire. The type of shelter that they used to protect themselves varied with each season. When they enter into the rainy season, sheets of bark are stripped from trees and wooden poles are used to support them. In the dry season all they need is shade, therefore leaning leafy branches are sufficient for their shelter. I believe we all make some sort of adaption according to season. A typical modern day adaptation for Americans would be to turn on the heater during winter and run the air conditioning during the summer. Another aspect that surprised me was that every Tiwi woman and man owns land, and as a result has a land owning name. These names indicate which landowning group they belong to, which they call countries. The land one attains is the land owned by one’s father. My dad just purchased a plot of land that he has mentioned will be passed down to his children. The only difference between my inheritance rules and theirs is that in order for the Tiwi descendents to be granted the land, their …show more content…
The Tiwi people are organized in bands. Their bands consist of an average of one hundred members. The bands travel separately and might not see each other for weeks at a time. They are an autonomie. Usually, there is one household that makes all of the decisions for the whole group, such as deciding where to set up camp and when to move on. I think that this is true for most social groups today. It may only be a social circle of five to ten people, but typically one person is the one who makes the majority of the decisions for the group as a whole. As the captain of my high school volleyball team, I was in the position of making choices for the team, therefore that is a relatable role to me. They are different from us in the fact that their descent comes from their mother’s matrilineal descent group only. Although they take their mother’s clan for a descent line, their father’s clan is used as a pool of individuals whom one can choose to marry. Candidly, I find this bizarre because in our society one typically aims to stay away from family members when deciding on someone to marry. Personally, I will be choosing someone that is nowhere near my family lineage. Therefore, in theory, the Tiwi are kin to everyone. Tiwi marriages play a substantial role in their social, political, and economic system. It is required that every woman is married. As a matter of fact, before birth a female baby is already

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