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Weak States and Chiefdom Confederacies D. Blair Gibson Department of Anthropology El Camino College Weak States and Chiefdom Confederacies D. Blair Gibson Department of Anthropology El Camino College USA

Scalar Characteristics of State-level Societies Population: Tens of thousands to millions. Administrative levels: 3 Scalar Characteristics of State-level Societies Population: Tens of thousands to millions. Administrative levels: 3 Settlement tiers: 4 External boundaries and internal districts

Characteristics of Early States: Social Structure King. Royal family – is a caste or Characteristics of Early States: Social Structure King. Royal family – is a caste or possesses castelike characteristics (marriage restrictions). Aristocracy. Commoners.

Ramifications of Royal Power State finance: taxation – full-time tax collectors. Royal court. Ritual Ramifications of Royal Power State finance: taxation – full-time tax collectors. Royal court. Ritual homicide (Eli Sagan).

Early State: Social Institutions Trend towards: Full-time appointed administrators. Professionalization of the military. Ecclesiastical Early State: Social Institutions Trend towards: Full-time appointed administrators. Professionalization of the military. Ecclesiastical cult institutions (Wallace 1966).

Weak State Models: Segmentary State (Southall 1956; Fox 1977) Weak State Models: Segmentary State (Southall 1956; Fox 1977)

In the Alur “segmentary state”… Society is composed of lineages each headed by a In the Alur “segmentary state”… Society is composed of lineages each headed by a chieftain. One lineage, the Atyak, dominates the others and its leader is the “king. ” The “royal family” spins off sons of the paramount chieftain to lead neighboring acephalous peoples. “Chieflets” Chieftains are politically autonomous.

Problems with the Segmentary State vis-á-vis the Alur “King” has influence, not power. Non-Alur Problems with the Segmentary State vis-á-vis the Alur “King” has influence, not power. Non-Alur accept Alur domination voluntarily. No military specialists. No administrators beyond chiefs. No taxation.

 Capital punishment is absent. Caste distinctions are absent. Capital punishment is absent. Caste distinctions are absent.

The Theater State (Geertz 1973, 1980) The Theater State (Geertz 1973, 1980)

On Bali prior to 1906…. The Island was divided up among 10 negara polities. On Bali prior to 1906…. The Island was divided up among 10 negara polities. The house of the negara at Klungkung was ritually superordinate, but lacked any power. The negara at Tabanan was 300 sq. mi in extent and had a population of 80, 00090, 000

Each Negara possessed…. . Senior and junior leaders. Multiple aristocratic houses – Tabanan had Each Negara possessed…. . Senior and junior leaders. Multiple aristocratic houses – Tabanan had 100. Each noble house was politically, jurally, and economically autonomous. Noble houses collected water taxes through functionaries. Ecclesiastical cult institutions

It is difficult to regard Negara as states as They lacked a professional military. It is difficult to regard Negara as states as They lacked a professional military. Monarchs lacked high level administrative staff. Monarchs had no power to intervene in the local economy. No power to dispossess. Local peasants were politically autonomous.

The Mandala or Galactic Polity (Tambiah 1976, 1977) The Mandala or Galactic Polity (Tambiah 1976, 1977)

 Galactic polity model proposed to characterize the organization of the 13 th century Galactic polity model proposed to characterize the organization of the 13 th century Sukhothai kingdom. Capital at Sukhothai and central territory is ruled by the monarch. Subsidiary capitals ruled by sons surround the central territory (like a Buddhist mandala). Subsidiary capital of Si Sachanalai was 90 km to the north. Kamphaeng Phet was 58 km to the southwest.

 Territories of capitals may have averaged 2, 000 sq. km. (750 sq. mi. Territories of capitals may have averaged 2, 000 sq. km. (750 sq. mi. ). Size of territories, arrangement of territories, and regal-ritual capitals is not incompatible with a complex chiefdom or chiefdom confederacy.

Patron-Client State (Sanders 1981) Kingdom was 16, 138 sq. mi. in extent and had Patron-Client State (Sanders 1981) Kingdom was 16, 138 sq. mi. in extent and had a population of 3, 000.

 Sanders likens Classical Maya polities to historic kingdom of Buganda capital Lubiri was Sanders likens Classical Maya polities to historic kingdom of Buganda capital Lubiri was a large compound. Lubiri in 1875

The Kabaka Owns all the land. Collects taxes and imposes a labor tax. Appoints The Kabaka Owns all the land. Collects taxes and imposes a labor tax. Appoints all administrators. Royal family has caste-like features. Undertakes war with levies and appointed generals.

Medieval Irish Complex Chiefdoms The 8 th century AD Irish composite chiefdom of Corcu Medieval Irish Complex Chiefdoms The 8 th century AD Irish composite chiefdom of Corcu Mo. Druad 900 sq. km.

Chiefdom Confederacies 1562 sq. km (603 sq. mi. ). Chiefdom confederacy of the Dál Chiefdom Confederacies 1562 sq. km (603 sq. mi. ). Chiefdom confederacy of the Dál Cais 10 th century AD

Kingdom of Muirchertach Uí Bhriain 10, 360 sq. km. in extent. (4, 000 sq. Kingdom of Muirchertach Uí Bhriain 10, 360 sq. km. in extent. (4, 000 sq. mi. )

Muichertach’s polity can be considered a state because… He moved his capital from his Muichertach’s polity can be considered a state because… He moved his capital from his home territory to Luimneach (Limerick). He was detached from his conical clan. He dispossessed the Éoganacht Caisel. He appointed high status administrators, called mórmaor “great stewards. ” Strong resemblance to a “patron-client” state.

Discussion Increasingly, arguments have been put forward in diverse localities of the world for Discussion Increasingly, arguments have been put forward in diverse localities of the world for early states preceded by chiefdom confederacies. E. g. Oaxaca (Blanton 1983), Korea, Japan, Egypt, and Greece. From "Theory of a chiefdom and state formation in Japan" Ken’ichi Sasaki

 Most important qualitative change is the acquisition of greater power by the emergent Most important qualitative change is the acquisition of greater power by the emergent king, resulting in tangible changes in the organization, administrative structure, and institutions of the state (as previously enumerated). States emerging from chiefdom confederacies will have… Regal-ritual centers. Territorially contiguous tributary polities. Embedded local administrators. And be riven by factional conflict due to royal polygyny.

Conclusions Polities alleged to have been states such as the segmentary state of the Conclusions Polities alleged to have been states such as the segmentary state of the Alur and theater states of Bali were not states. They were complex chiefdoms. The “galactic state” of Sukhothai may have been a state on account of its size, but in organization it resembled a complex chiefdom.

For the archaeologist/historian Abrupt exponential increases in scale may be the most reliable indicator For the archaeologist/historian Abrupt exponential increases in scale may be the most reliable indicator of a transformation into a state e. g. the Monte Alban polity was treble the size of its constituent chiefdoms. Transformation of ceremonial centers into ritualregal centers with full-time royal occupation. Establishing the ritual-regal center in a new, geographically central location (e. g. Luimneach and Monte Alban. )

 This is a conflict-alliance model of social evolution , or “managed violence”. Thank This is a conflict-alliance model of social evolution , or “managed violence”. Thank You!