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The author refers to Navajo ideas of parentage in order to show
The passage emphasizes that this Navajo joke, an expression of culture, is based firmly in Navajo culture.
Would the author attempt to explain this Navajo joke to outsiders (as the third paragraph does) if outsiders had no chance of understanding Navajo jokes?
The author has another reason to use this detail, one which is directly connected to the main idea of the passage. Look for it!
The passage tells us that the Navajo trace lineage through the female line, but this does not imply that their society believes men and women are equal. Also, there is nothing to indicate that the author approves or disapproves of Navajo social structure.
Although this joke depends on Navajo family structure, we cannot presume that all Navajo humor does so.
When the author refers to Navajo ideas of parentage, he or she tells us how it's done, but does not give us an explanation for this custom.
The author has another reason to use this detail, one which is more closely connected to the main idea of the passage. Look for it!