Obviously there are many holes to fill in my brief explanation of the beginnings of Man organizing into family, then into tribe, and eventually into civilization. There is also plenty more history and development in civilization from the time I stopped to today’s current civilization. I would like to now examine the role of the social structure in Tribe A and how that may have affected the roles of society in civilization.
A tribe is made up of mothers, fathers, brothers, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, sinners, uncles, aunts, orphans, and neighbors. In Tribe A, there needs to be a way to sort the people into specific jobs they must do. The obvious and first thing that comes to mind is by sex. Because women bear children and men do not, it is obvious that the women in the tribe take on the role of feeding and caring for the children. Infant children are dependent on somebody to take care of them for a few years. During the child bearing months, women do not have the mobility they would if they were not pregnant. They can provide milk for the infant as needed. The infant must be kept warm at all times.
While the woman is caring for the young, it is most agreeable that the father takes care of the woman. Since Tribe A hasn’t discovered agriculture yet, he must hunt and gather food. He is responsible for making his own spears for fishing and hunting. He can gather edible goods. He could use a satchel or basket of some kind to gather vegetation to bring back to the mother and somebody must make that.
Women who aren’t pregnant and have already had children are good candidates for helping the pregnant woman at home. They can support the child bearing women by teaching the older children their role in society. Another likely candidate for the teacher of children would be the older men who may not have the mobility to hunt and gather anymore. The women must also be able to prepare food since most is not ready-to-eat.
The hunter and gatherer men could fish and gather by themselves, but they know that they would be more successful as a group. As the women support themselves because of prior knowledge in child bearing and child raising, the older men can teach younger men how to hunt, fish, and gather. To catch a wild pig, it takes more than one man. Furthermore, it is difficult work to skin any animal and takes knowledge of what is edible and what is poisonous. Older men also know what vegetation is edible and what is not. Since men are more likely to get injured while hunting game, more experienced men are logical choices to be healers.
As the men of Tribe A organize, they need a leader who will delegate the task of catching a pig. They must sort the smart from the dumb, the strong from the weak, the honest one from the unsavory fellow. They must be able to kill the pig in a perfect spot and then keep it from running too far AND carry that thing back to the camp. The obvious choice would be the more experienced one, but that isn’t always the case. If the more experienced one is not as smart or as strong as the other men of tribe A, the one with the most smarts and enough strength will end up leading the hunt. If the hunt is successful, the men will trust the leader. The more and more successful hunts and the more comfortable Tribe A is with the amount of food they get, the more they will like and trust the leader.
Back at base camp, the women have a different structure. Although the older women show the child bearing women how to live, the child bearing women know instinctively what is best for their child. If there is disagreement between a woman’s instinct and what they are told by their tribal elder (or as we call them now, mother-in-laws), there is drama. For the men, if there is disagreement between how the leader is performing, another may challenge that authority and takes his place. If he is successful, then he becomes the new leader. Women, however, do not have that luxury because their children are their children and nobody can take over raising their child. The men depend on the team and their leader to get the job done, but its a lot more complicated for women raising children. Emotional attachment to children from the women is maternal instinct.
To give a sneak peak at what is yet to come in the examination of gender roles, we can observe that today these roles are far less black and white. For the hunter gatherers of Tribe A, its obvious that sexual orientation can define the roles a person plays in their society. In today’s civilization, a woman doesn’t always have the support of their elder woman to take care of the children. Men do not have the support of their pack to hunt. The man and woman must somehow provide for their family. If the man does not have a job that can provide adequate shelter and food, the woman must also take a job. Now the man and the woman share equal responsibility in providing food, shelter, and education for their children.
In the beginning Man was alone, naked, God gave him a woman. Then gave him all this shit in a beautiful garden only to take it away after a talking snake encouraged him to break the rules. Apparently God gave the woman pain at childbirth and shame in being naked…
Adam and Eve had Able and Cain until one of them killed the other. So did Cain mate with Eve, and was that my grandmother and grandfather? I call shenanigans…
Here is what really happened:
At some point a man and a woman had children. Then they had a family. In order to eat, somebody had to find vegetables and someone had to fish or hunt for food. While men did these things, women took care of the young and raised them so we could have more people to take care of these jobs.
Eventually the family met with another family and delegated the jobs of survival. They made shelter, tools for hunting and fishing, storage for water, and things to store food. They may have also made a place for disposing of waste, burying the dead, and other taboo subjects.
As more and more families began to join into tribes, tribes became larger. Sometimes there was drama between families because somebody would not do their fare share of the work. Maybe somebody stole food from somebody else. Maybe there were idiots who didn’t do things the right way. They would be cast off and they may have joined another tribe or created a rival tribe in which now a tribe A was now enemies with tribe B.
At some point in those early days, man became friends with dogs. They became good companions in hunting. For only a small amount of food, a Dog’s agility could feed the family. My instincts also tell me that Cats became domesticated because they could hunt small mammals and bring them back to their owners (as they still do today).
Tribe A also discovered that by planting the seeds of their fruits, they could raise their own crops. Tribe A had to settle down in a spot so they may grow food on their own. Since they had animal friends like cats and dogs, they knew that if they kept goats and sheep, they could raise them in a spot, too. So tribe A now became a community.
As the community grew more and more, they needed to establish rules. There were consequences for stealing, being lazy, and not helping the greater good. Somebody had to enforce rules and somebody had to judge these people to make sure that they weren’t being accused unfairly.
Now that the community was big, there were people who specialized in growing crops, farming sheep, preserving food (i.e. making milk into cheese), making tools for the farmers and hunters, making weapons for the defenders of civilization, making pots to store and move water, and breeding dogs. There became a need for healers when somebody was sick or injured. Being a judge or an enforcer of law became a full time job. People who made weapons had no time to hunt or plow their field or herd their sheep. So one day a tool maker said that he would trade a plow for some lettuce and some milk. The shepherd traded milk to the cheese maker and he would turn the milk into cheese.
Another thing we also forgot is that sometimes the rain didn’t come and the crops died and the community suffered famine and drought. People would die from not having enough food or water. Some smart guy came along and said that our ancestors who have been deceased and are looking out for us from the dead might need to hear from us. So we prayed and rain came again. That smart guy became the priest. The priest, the healer, and the judge came together and decided that they were “divine” since they had the power to bring rain, bring back the living, and protect people’s things from thieves. The priest also studied the stars telling the farmers when to plant their seeds and when to expect rain. The healer could tell women when to expect their baby to be born.
Eventually bartering became really complicated, so the judge, the priest, and the healer got together with the bronze smith and created a currency. The fish monger, butcher, the cheese maker, the produce guy, and the spice man got together and determined how much everything was worth.