Chiefdoms in the Islands and the Mainland: A Comparison

  • Francisco Moscoso


Upon their conquering path throughout the lands of the Americas, towards the end of the fifteenth and early part of the sixteenth centuries, the Europeans came face to face with countless peoples constituted in primitive kinship communities (bands, clans), tribes, chiefdoms and tributary states and empires. The simultaneous occurrence of this social spectrum may be explained by that general characteristic of historical movement: the process of unequal and combined development and multi- lineal succession of societies. When these general stages of society, briefly sketched above,1 are studied in their historical grounds (in other words, as concrete social formations) the generalities as well as the specificities of the development of society come to light. Social formations, at the level of the tangible and definite, also manifest the multiple circumstances of human activity, consciousness and expression


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 47.
    Julian H. Steward, ‘The Circum-Caribbean Tribes: An introduction’, HSAI, Vol. 4 (1948: 1–11)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco Moscoso

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations