Definition of the Concept of Social Stratification

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Social Stratification is defined as the grouping of people that live in a community based off upon their income, occupation, wealth, social status, and power. On top of the “social pyramid” would have to be the chief and his family. Mohawk chiefs were always men, but women were the only ones to vote on who the chief would be. The chief was in charge of making all decisions about war as well as trade agreements (Quamel and Calvin, 2008). The social structure of the Iroquois is tied to their family structure. Iroquois society is matrilineal, which means that the family line is traced down from the female line. The Iroquois lived in longhouses, which could fit many members of the family, or what they would call clan. Some longhouses have been found that are longer than a modern football field (Iroquois Social Structure and Gender Roles, 2018). Each clan has a Clan Mother, the oldest woman in the clan. Her job is to look out for the well-being of her people. All of her female descendants would live in her longhouse along with their husbands.

The Clan Mothers are also responsible for choosing new chiefs, for naming children and for making sure that brides and grooms are not part of the same clan (Ibid). The first leader of the Mohawk tribe was Joseph Brant The Mohawk people had a government within their own tribe, but they were also governed by the Iroquois Great Council ( IGC ). In the IGC, there were only 9 people from the Mohawk Council that would go and represent the tribe. Though they were partially governed by the Iroquois, they were autonomous, which means that they have the right to have their own laws and government (Burger, 2018). The IGC consisted of the Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, and Cayuga tribes. Before the Iroquois Confederacy the Mohawks sometimes fought with the other Iroquois tribes, but once the alliance was formed they were loyal to each other (Languages of Native Americans, 2015). The goal of the Iroquois Confederacy was to create an Iroquoian empire by conquering other tribes.

Commitment to the Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy was visibly shown with attendance at the Grand Council attended by 50 Sachems (Ibid). “Sachems” were all of the leaders that represented each tribe. Because they had a big government with many different tribes and people in them, it was easy and logical to trade with the other group Council leaders. The Mohawks’ location as the Iroquois nation closest to Albany and Montreal and the fur traders there gave them considerable influence among the other tribes (Culture and History, 2018).

In conclusion, I believe that the Mohawk tribe should be remembered in society for their religious beliefs, how they ran their government and their social stratification, marriage and family life, the way they dressed and what they ate, and the language they created and how they communicated with other civilizations outside of their own. Their way of life has been successful because their customs and practices are still practiced today in their own tribe. They have been around for as long as we can remember and for a tribe that has many different and weird practices it must mean that they’re doing something right if their still around to this day.

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Definition of the Concept of Social Stratification. (2022, Oct 10). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/definition-of-the-concept-of-social-stratification/

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