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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines two problems on pre-Hispanic Caribbean kinship and social organization through the application of independent archaeological data. First, it discusses the limitations for direct historic analogy with early Spanish descriptions of behaviors related to social organization, postmarital residence, and succession. The article describes the problems in applying ethnohistoric reconstructions of matrilineal social organization to the pre-Hispanic societies of the region. Second, it looks at explanations for stratification that underestimate the importance of the political–economical dynamics of kinship and social organization through which status hierarchies emerged.

Keywords: prehispanic Caribbean kinship, social organization, political–economic dynamics, postmarital residence, Caribbean stratification

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