Clearer distinctions naturally appear where there is confrontation with more politically specialized groups or with recent migrants of a radically different culture that is not yet integrated. The Kung bands recently studied by Marshall 1960 averaged twenty-five members, although earlier reports mentioned fifty to one hundred members. So, these societies are not disorganized or without structures, as the former term "primitives" implied.
Elders grew up in a time of political unrest and they must teach the lessons they learned to a younger generation that has never experienced an alternative style of government or an uprising against the official state institution.
There are no political authorities; killing and the acquisition of heads for supernatural power and prestige are highly valued, violence being restricted only by the inherent conflict of ramifying bilateral kinship obligations.
Consequently, they adopted a flexible democratic political system which, though based on the lineage structure, was characterized by autonomous federations of lineages or villages organized through lineage heads, age grades and title societies.
The Kwakiutl Boas 1897; Codere 1950 depend more on fishing than on hunting and are exceptional in the richness of their natural resources and the relative density of population.
There are frequently several distinct sources of leadership—typically, some arising from the structure of groups and interlocking categories, based on personal achievement within ascribed limits of eligibility, and some arising from more purely personal factors of a supernatural character, related to divination and personal experiences of revelation often developing outside the highest status levels.
The band is the war-making group and the largest group with any continuity and solidarity. But, as with the Fanti of Ghana, this right was seldom exercised unless a decision was to be taken which affected the individual in an important way.
Indigenous African Institutions. They are fluctuating groups of cognatic kin, displaying deep solidarity in joint exploitation of a harsh environment. The named matriclans are common not only to the Tonga but also to similar neighboring peoples, each associated with an animal and linked together by joking relationships.
The assumption of less governance leading to more freedom, however, I find problematic: Legitimacy is distributive or pluralistic in that it belongs to several groups and categories, which are interlocked and functionally differentiated within the same social system yet not hierarchically ordered, and which are integrated yet not coordinated by any over-all political authority. Leadership at its most elemental naturally depends on being judged better than the led, but even here ascribed aspects of the leader himself or of his family and descent group are frequently taken into account.
AfricansaAnd Their History. Although some of these peoples today consist of some million members, indigenous peoples usually are smaller groups that count no more than some hundred thousand members.
Hamlets are ephemeral and within them fighting is rare. Although complementary opposition is an important and neglected phenomenon, possibly recognized under other names, it does not itself define the state.
This means that every Ghanaian over the age of twenty-one has experienced revolution in his or her life time. Distinctions that make unique names acceptable, recognized, meaningful, and necessary are part of the process of imperative over-all political coordination and specialization, out of which state structures arise from stateless situations that are logically incompatible with them.
But nothing could be farther than the truth on both counts. The frequency of governmental change over the past half-century also creates another interesting circumstance for the people of Ghana.