Define and discuss why bloodwealth, acephalous societies, and age set matter.

krcavnar | Student

Within anthropology an acephalous society is one in which there is no “head”.  The term acephalous comes from the Greek word meaning “headless”.  These societies are generally small, bands or tribes that make decisions through consensus rather than an appointed head ruler.  These groups have been traditional hunter-gatherer societies, nomadic tribes, and other traditional societies. 

An age set is a social group which may arise in acephalous societies.  An age set is a social group based upon similar age. This term is most commonly used to refer to tribal societies where the age groups have a collective identity and as its members age the set stays together.  The younger set is subservient to the senior age set, as the older set dies off then new ones are formed. 

Outside formal, modern markets many transfers of wealth take place through practices such as social allotment and apportionment.  The forms of transfer take place as inheritance, dowry, bridewealth, bloodwealth.  Bloodwealth or diya in Arabic is a term used to refer to payment in compensation for a death of another person.  It is not important whether the death is the subject of murder, war or accident.  Suppose someone from B tribe/clan kills someone from A tribe/clan.  Once B pays blood wealth, normally in the form of livestock, all is forgiven.