Marubo - Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. Marubo society is organized on an egalitarian basis according to sex, age, and kinship.

Political Organization. Each domestic group occupying an isolated Marubo hut seems also to be a local group and an autonomous political unit. Generally, the eldest man is the leader of the domestic group. Some of these leaders, who are generous and amiable hosts, promote great feasts, inviting everybody and clearing the paths from the other local groups for their members to attend. They thus create an atmosphere of peace, obtain great prestige, and are recognized by the honorable title of kakáya. There is some difficulty in recognizing the political unit where the indigenous huts are very close to each other, or where they have been replaced by clusters of small huts built on stilts, even when the spatial convergence has not been induced by outsiders. The domestic group inside a traditional hut always maintains itself as a ritual unit, however, with its own collective meals, feasts, and wooden drum.

Conflict. Violence among the Marubo was more frequent and bloody in the past than it is today. Conflicts generally arise between sections united by marriage or which dispute the same women. As regards outsiders, after the raids of the 1960s, relations between the Marubo and the Mayoruna remain difficult. In 1976 some Marubo killed a White man who had taken two of their women as wives, disturbing previous marriage arrangements.

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