Re: Clan and Stead Populations

From: Peter Larsen <plarsen_at_R5sViL8xX9ja0zNKY4uFTJQDujuiBA75olpammfifj-Fl3vM17DPOaLhfNhSLrr_4h2a>
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 14:51:57 -0500

At 8:45 AM +1000 4/8/02, John Hughes wrote:
>Now its my turn to be confused. :) I'm not sure what your point is here
>Peter - the composition of the bloodlines and their mapping onto steads? Our
>ideas did not seem so different, and I adapted your list on the weekend when
>I composed a breakdown of the numbers - see the following post.

        It's more how the bloodlines map onto the steads -- we seemed to be developing a model where most steads are inhabited by multiple bloodlines, which seems incorrect from TR.

>How do bloodlines map onto the steads? In a very mixed fashion. Bloodlines
>social units, steads are spatial units. However, bloodlines are also stead
>work units, so there's going to be a concentration of bloodlines at
>particular steads. In some instances a bloodline will comprise "all" of a
>stead, but I personally think most steads will have more. By their nature,
>bloodlines split and fuse or die out over time, so even if steads are
>founded by a single bloodline, circumstances change over time.

        I suspect that most steads are controlled by a single bloodline, with a few people from other bloodlines and clans present. Within a stead, various family groupings struggle for control, and I suspect that most bloodlines are largely controlled from a single stead.

        Growth of a bloodline leads to establishment of more steads. Eventually, the structure becomes too unwieldy for the "central authority" of the bloodline to keep the group together and one or more steads establish themselves as separate bloodlines. Clan politics are also involved, of course, and they might lead to mixed bloodline steads, but I would imagine that the tensions would increase the chance of kinstrife.

>In those
>steads with multiple bloodlines, most will have a clear dominant bloodline
>in numbers and holdings, though I'd do one neatly split to generate some
>Does this (and the actual numbers I've generated) sound acceptable? I'm
>sorry if I haven't understood your point.

        The numbers seem OK, I'm still a bit dubious about mixed bloodline steads. Certainly the Icelandic model shows a single person pretty much in charge of a given settlement, and, while Heortlings aren't Vikings, I can't imagine that the Sartar structure is all that much different. If I have a little trouble seeing how Pat. and Mat. control, say 80 adults and children, it seems less likely that 2 families with some forty members each will cooperate evenly to keep the stead going.

        Now, if Swenstead has particularly good fishing (which it should), it might be that all the bloodlines send fishers to the stead for the "summer" seasons. So, perhaps Swenstead is 70 people in the winter and more like 85 in the summer, with the extra 20% or so made up of young men from the various bloodlines (and perhaps a visitor or two from other clans).

Peter Larsen            

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