Gift-giving served to reinforce social status and reciprocity between the
dominant groups. It was not restricted to an exchange between kshatriyas
and brahmanas. At the rajasuya sacrifice, for example, initially, gifts are
brought by other chiefs as prestations to the yajamana.
Transition from Lineage System to State
Arrested Growth of the State The lineage system as it developed in the
western Ganga valley resulted in a situation which might be called an arrested
growth of the state. The state was not bypassed, but the lineage system did
not develop into a state in this area during this period. Certain trends inclined
towards the emergence of a state, but others continued as obstacles.
• There was an awareness of territory and an identity with territory. The
chief was required to integrate territory with resources and with
economic production and distribution, a role which gave attention to
• Access to larger resources became possible with intensified
agriculture and a demographic rise leading to the extension of
agriculture. But the increase in resources was not sufficient to finance
a state system.
• The concentration of powers in the hands of the raja raised his status
and effective control, but at the same time, lesser chiefs were not his
appointees and were chiefs in their own right. There was minimal
delegation of authority.
• There were multiple prestations to support elaborate rituals
maintaining the status of both the raja and the sacred authority, but
there was no systematic method of collecting an income to finance the
institutions of a state, much of the wealth being consumed in the
Causes for Continuity of the Lineage System The continuity of the
lineage system was possible for various reasons.
• Where land was easily available, the lineage system could reproduce
itself through fission, rather than undergo a change of form to
accommodate the need for further resources or meet the pressure of