Sambia And Hutterite Societal Threats

Threats are everywhere. Every community in the world faces some sort of threats from time to time. These threats can be large or small, can come from inside or outside of the colony, and can have devastating effects on the group as a whole or as individuals. Quite often, parallels can be drawn between societies that have nothing to everything in common. This is found when comparing two dramatically different groups in the Sambia and the Hutterites.
When first comparing the Hutterites and Sambia, one notices the glaring differences. The Sambia are a tribe living in the jungles of New Guinea. The Hutterites are a group that lives communally on large farm areas. The Sambia live what looks to most an uncivilized and savage way of life. The Hutterites live in established communities with many modern conveniences. The Sambia is a black tribe, while Hutterites are white. After these obvious differences, it is hard to imagine that there would be anything in common between the two groups. Looking deeper into the groups, it is easy to find several instances where they have very similar societal threats.
Both the Sambia and Hutterite groups face threats from inside their communities. These internal threats can be very minor to something that might tear the group apart. One example of an internal threat comes from the sex differences that exist in each group. Both the Sambia and Hutterites have specific male and female gender roles. The Sambia men are the warriors, leaders and hunters. The women cook, raise children and gather certain crops. In the Hutterite community, the men are farmers, both group and spiritual leaders, and top of the hierarchical ladder. The women have the household duties of cleaning, cooking, child rearing and clothes making. There is no deviation from these distinct gender roles. In both societies, women are seen as being beneath the men and having to follow the orders of men.
In both of these groups, the women marry in from an outside group. The women come into the home of the husband, with all of his family and friends surrounding them. She does not know anyone there, and must start anew. This and the distinct gender roles lead to male and female subcultures. The Sambia women do not understand the men\'s rituals, make fun of them and do not share in the joy they receive from the process. Hutterite women do not really fit in for a period of time after marriage. They tend to be antagonistic toward the male gender roles.
Although both groups have defined gender roles and male dominance, they manage to survive. Both sexes know that although they might not like or want to participate in their specific gender duties they must. Each group could not function if only one gender did their jobs. In order for the groups to propagate and perpetuate on they all must do their parts.

Another example of an internal threat is that of defection. Both the Sambia and the Hutterites are faced with the possibility that members will want to leave the group for the outside world. Now that the Sambia are making more contact with outsiders, younger men are apt to leave the group for school or live in the city. Once out of the group, these men start to question the necessity of the initiation rites and could be much less likely to return for further ceremonies. The group realizes that if the young man does not return they will lose a potential warrior.
The threat is equally as important in the Hutterite community. There is always the possibility that after the "foolish years"; young adults will choose to leave the community. Once exposed to what the rest of the world has to offer, returning to such a stringent way of life is very difficult. A Hutterite community needs all of its members, as each person plays a valuable part in its continued success. If too many members leave the colony the threat of the demise of the colony exists.
These groups respond to the potential defectors/defectors in the same general manor. The Sambia men do not initiate defectors by force, dragging them into the ceremonies like they do small boys. The