Semes and genes in africa

Current Anthropology Vol/Iss. 43(2) University of Chicago Press Published In Pages: 313-321
By Hewlett, Barry S., de Silvestri, Annalisa, Guglielmino, C. Rosalba


The distribution of cultural units ("semes") can be explained using a local adaptation model of transmission (317).


The local adaptation model explained four semes (the least of the three models), including small (vs. large) extended families, the democratic (vs. hereditary) election of a headman, class elites based upon control of scarce resources (vs. hereditary classes), and male circumcision in late childhood (vs. adolescence).


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Genetic distanceAssociationGenetics
Cultural DistanceAssociationHistory
Clustering indexUNKNOWNNONE
Geographic distanceAssociationLocation