Piro - Sociopolitical Organization



Social Organization. Awareness that their society was once matriarchal is usually enough to secure equality of authority for a woman. Age prestige is general.

Political Organization. Each village has a chief, whose role is one of leadership rather than authority, although he might lead the men in beating an offender for a serious crime. Murder is referred to White civil authorities. Prior to contact with Whites, the husband of an adulterous wife was expected to kill his rival, thus initiating a series of revenge killings. Now a man may beat his wife, and an adulterous man's wife may publicly pull her rival's hair.

Social Control. In the small, isolated Piro villages, where avoidance is impossible, unhappy relationships are intolerable. Grudges are rarely nursed. It is the custom to "forget" offenses or to move away from the village.

Conflict. The only suggestion of major conflict among the Piro is the former fissioning of some communities, along with mention of hostile separations in legends.


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