NAURU: SOCIAL STRATIFICATION OF NAURU

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SOCIAL STRATIFICATION OF NAURU

Classes and Castes. Nauruans pride themselves on being a democratic society and denounce the two classes that formerly marked their society. The temonibe and amenengame classes consisted of the senior matrilineage as opposed to those in the junior matrilineages. These two classes were distinguished from the itsio, or slave class, which included those who arrived on Nauru from outside and had no land holdings. Heads of lineages were drawn from the temonibe class. A chiefly system instituted in 1927 was replaced in 1951 by the Nauru Local Government Council which consists of elected members.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Symbols of stratification are more latent than overt. Elites with large off-shore bank accounts are known by reputation, as it is not acceptable to flaunt wealth on the island. Trucks or motorbikes and large houses are the extent of manifestations of wealth.