A tribe is viewed, historically or developmentally, as a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states. Many anthropologists used the term tribal society to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups (see clan and kinship).
Some theorists hold that tribes represent a stage in social evolution intermediate between bands and states. Other theorists argue that tribes developed after, and must be understood in terms of their relationship to, states.
'Tribe' is a contested term due to its roots in colonial anthropological foundations and the connotations that these hierarchical definitions have. It is common practice to use alternative terms like 'ethnic group', or nation.
Famous quotes containing the word tribe:
“Poor and content is rich, and rich enough,
But riches fineless is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
Good God, the souls of all my tribe defend
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“Savages cling to a local god of one tribe or town. The broad ethics of Jesus were quickly narrowed to village theologies, which preach an election or favoritism.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Never in misfortune nor in prosperity may I share my dwelling with the tribe of women.”
—Aeschylus (525456 B.C.)