Skip to Main Content


Comparison between ancient Egyptian and Papua New Guinea Families

CriteriaEgyptian Family Papua New Guinea Family
ImagesEgyptian Family  Papua New Guinea Family
Family Role in society - The nuclear family was the fundamental social unit of Egypt, in many ways people today share similar values and life ways
- Even the gods were divided to nuclear families, every god had a consort and children. Cities had their sacred triads consisting of a god father, mother and child
- Family ties were extremely important, and lineage was traced through both the mother's and father's lines
- Family property and inheritance was regulated by strict codes
- The extended family is the basis of support for most people
- Traditionally, married men lived in separate houses from their wives. All men and women in a tribe shared two community huts, children lived in the women hut.
- Most land is vested in kin groups and allocated according to need. Individual land ownership is not common
Fathers - The father was responsible for the economic well-being of the family
- Monogamy was the general custom of the family structure in Egypt, with the exception of the Pharaoh, who married many times to ensure a heir to the throne.
- Both men and women may work outside the home, to provide for food.
- Men hunted together in groups, to provide food for the entire village
Wives - Individual Role - The mother supervised the household and cared for the upbringing of her own children, she had little role in the community life
- Women performed their household tasks mainly inside their homes, occasionally leaving ther houses
- Group work - Women worked together for the welfare of the community, they prepared food for the whole tribe together and participated together in the care for the extended family children
- Women worked outside and cared for the domestic pigs and gardens, belonging to the tribe
children - children were closely attached to their genetic parents for lifetime
- Respect for one's parents was a cornerstone of morality, the most fundamental duty of the eldest son was to care for his parents in their last days and to ensure that they received a proper burial.
- children were instructed by society to repay the devotion of their parents and care for them in their old age.
- Loose connection with genetic parent - A child often refers to having more than one mother and father and numerous siblings who, in other societies, would be called aunts, uncles, and cousins
- Parents who are infertile or who lost a child are often compensated with an infant child by their relatives

Top of Page

By Ayman Fadl - Copyright © 2001-2014