Anthropology Paper on “When Brothers Share a Wife”

Anthropology Paper on “When Brothers Share a Wife”

Cultural Anthropologic theories

Various anthropological theories are prominent in the article “When Brothers Share a Wife”. They include evolutionism, which deals with transformation of cultural practices, diffusionism and historical particularism. For instance, how the Tibetans find fraternal polyandry very important. Since anthropology is a discipline that tries to explore the reasons as to why human beings engage in various activities and tries to point out an understanding for the same, it becomes fundamental to look into. Economically, the community engages in farming, animal husbandry and trade for a living. Brothers would opt to marry one woman for several reasons. Firstly, arable land was rare. In order to avoid land fragmentation, the act of brothers marrying one wife was considered a solution. Secondly, the conditions of Tibet were harsh enough to call for collective responsibilities from the brothers. The eldest brother had full access to sexual contact to the woman than the younger brothers.

Diffusionism, a theory of anthropology, states that human culture and practices are passed down to the next generations with gradual advancements. From the article, the community of Dorje seem to have had good reasons for adopting this kind of life where brothers find it easy to share one woman. Tibet is located in high altitudes with most parts covered with snow. Following this reason, separation of brothers, by setting up their own homes and families would lead to suffering since land would be shared among the brothers and farm produce go down. They display a sense of togetherness and a spirit of teamwork. This becomes important for the wellbeing of the community in terms of food security and peace among members.

Historical particularism, on the other hand, points to the unique practices of this community ranging from the setting, economic, political and marriage patterns. The animals provided essential products such as meat, skins, milk and butter.  They used these products as commodities during batter trade with other communities who supplied them with other goods. This is a practice that is fundamentally designed increased the pool from where the women and children were to choose from. In terms of leadership, the eldest brother had s stronger say. Marriage involved providing for the wife, engaging in sex and providing security for the family. In the fraternal polyandry set up, brothers had varying level of access to sex.

How “When Brothers Share a Wife” Improves the Understanding of Anthropology?

Cultural anthropology involves a close look at human behavior in context of laws, customs, morals, art, and knowledge. The article has a setting that happens to have existed before the birth of civilization. The community has a unique culture. The traditional setting presents a remote environment that is able to offer food for the people through crop cultivation and animal husbandry. The understanding of anthropology can be based on culture, which varies from one community to another, evident in the article, “When Brothers Share a Wife”. The characters are able to represent culture in an original way. Fraternal polyandry has been justified as the main solution to problems such as shortage of arable land and existence of peace among the community members

Customs of a community are important in determining the anthropology of that particular group. Their way of life is respected by all and considered important. The fact that fraternal polyandry was practiced meant a that, Tibet was one place that had individuals who looked beyond marriage. They were more concerned with the safety of women and children, food security and trade with other communities so that they could diversify their range of preferences. Through this procedure, every member of the community was able to conceptualize the experience of the having one woman marry two or more brothers. It was fully justified by the reasons behind the continued existence of this particular form of marriage. Therefore, this practice highlight that cultural anthropology is more involving.


How “When Brothers Share a Wife” Presents A challenging idea?

Culture is one broad discipline that constitutes religious ways of a people, ways of settling disputes, the morals that hold together the social fabrics of that particular group. Cultural anthropology, therefore, endeavors to help man understand his own way of life. This focuses on the various activities of man that touch on economic, social and political spheres of a community. For this reason, humans are able to learn the rules of socialization with regard to civilization that comes hand in hand with technological advancements and improvement of primitive practices. From the article, Dorje and other Tibetans have considered fraternal polyandry to be the main driver of activities and socialization among the members of the community members. Crop cultivation and animal husbandry are considered as the major economic activities upon which every life was dependent.

The birth of civilization has however left the conservation of this practice in jeoprady. Despite the fact that Tibetans have every reason to continue with fraternal polyandry, the trade tourists are coming with different forms of marrige patterns which have greately influneced some members of the community. In this respect, the cultural practice is at stake and is likely to vanish  with the next generation. In my opinion, the community in the article have given a true and simple example of the aspects of culture that hold together the existence and development of human understanding on anthropology as whole. Cultural practices, however, are prone to change as they are influenced by technology.