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Bilateral descent is a system of family lineage in which the relatives on the mother's side and father's side are equally important for emotional ties or for transfer of property or wealth. It is a family arrangement where descent and inheritance are passed equally through both parents.Families who use this system trace descent through both parents simultaneously and recognize multiple ancestors, but unlike with cognatic descent it is not used to form descent groups.
While bilateral descent is increasingly the norm in Western culture, traditionally it is only found among relatively few groups in West Africa, India, Australia, Indonesia, Melanesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Polynesia. Anthropologists believe that a tribal structure based on bilateral descent helps members live in extreme environments because it allows individuals to rely on two sets of families dispersed over a wide area.
Under bilateral descent, every tribe member belongs to two clans, one through the father (a patriclan) and another through the mother (a matriclan). For example, among the Himba, clans are led by the eldest male in the clan. Sons live with their father's clan and when daughters marry they go to live with the clan of their husband. However inheritance of wealth does not follow the patriclan but is determined by the matriclan i.e. a son does not inherit his father's cattle but his maternal uncle's instead. [ dead link ]
Javanese people, the largest ethnic group in Indonesia, also adopt a bilateral kinship system .
The Dimasa Kachari people of Northeast India has a system of dual family clan. The Urapmin people, a small tribe in Papua New Guinea, have a system of kinship classes known as tanum miit. The classes are inherited bilaterally from both parents. Since they also practice strict endogamy, most Urapmin belong to all of the major classes, creating great fluidity and doing little to differentiate individuals.
Inheritance is the practice of passing on private property, titles, debts, rights, and obligations upon the death of an individual. The rules of inheritance differ among societies and have changed over time.
Matrilineality is the tracing of kinship through the female line. It may also correlate with a social system in which each person is identified with their matriline – their mother's lineage – and which can involve the inheritance of property and/or titles. A matriline is a line of descent from a female ancestor to a descendant in which the individuals in all intervening generations are mothers – in other words, a "mother line". In a matrilineal descent system, an individual is considered to belong to the same descent group as their mother. This matrilineal descent pattern is in contrast to the more common pattern of patrilineal descent from which a family name is usually derived. The matriline of historical nobility was also called their enatic or uterine ancestry, corresponding to the patrilineal or "agnatic" ancestry.
The Himba are indigenous peoples with an estimated population of about 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene Region and on the other side of the Kunene River in southern Angola. There are also a few groups left of the OvaTwa, who are also OvaHimba, but are hunter-gatherers. However, the OvaHimba do not like to be associated with OvaTwa. Culturally distinguishable from the Herero people, the OvaHimba are a semi-nomadic, pastoralist people and speak OtjiHimba, a variety of Herero, which belongs to the Bantu family within Niger–Congo.
Exogamy is the social norm of marrying outside one's social group. The group defines the scope and extent of exogamy, and the rules and enforcement mechanisms that ensure its continuity. One form of exogamy is dual exogamy, in which two groups engage in continual wife exchange.
In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states that "the study of kinship is the study of what man does with these basic facts of life – mating, gestation, parenthood, socialization, siblingship etc." Human society is unique, he argues, in that we are "working with the same raw material as exists in the animal world, but [we] can conceptualize and categorize it to serve social ends." These social ends include the socialization of children and the formation of basic economic, political and religious groups.
The Korowai, also called the Kolufo, are the people who live in southeastern West Papua in the Indonesian province of Papua, close to the border with Papua New Guinea. They number about 3,000.
Endogamy is the practice of marrying within a specific social group, caste, or ethnic group, rejecting those from others as unsuitable for marriage or other close personal relationships.
Iroquois kinship is a kinship system named after the Haudenosaunee people that were previously known as Iroquois and whose kinship system was the first one described to use this particular type of system. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Iroquois system is one of the six major kinship systems.
Eskimo kinship or Inuit kinship is a category of kinship used to define family organization in anthropology. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Eskimo system was one of six major kinship systems.
Omaha kinship is the system of terms and relationships used to define family in Omaha tribal culture. Identified by Lewis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Omaha system is one of the six major kinship systems which he identified internationally.
In the tribal law of the Noongar, an indigenous Australian people, a kinship classification system determined descent and inheritance, and enforced restrictions on intermarriage between certain groups.
In the context of human society, a family is a group of people related either by consanguinity or affinity. The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Ideally, families would offer predictability, structure, and safety as members mature and participate in the community. In most societies, it is within families that children acquire socialization for life outside the family. Additionally, as the basic unit for meeting the basic needs of its members, it provides a sense of boundaries for performing tasks in a safe environment, ideally builds a person into a functional adult, transmits culture, and ensures continuity of humankind with precedents of knowledge.
The Oksapmin languages are a family of a score of related Trans–New Guinea languages spoken in a contiguous area of eastern Irian Jaya and western Papua New Guinea. The most numerous language is Ngalum, with some 20,000 speakers; the best known is probably Telefol.
The Urapmin people are an ethnic group numbering about 375 people in the Telefomin District of the West Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. One of the Min peoples who inhabit this area, the Urapmin share the common Min practices of hunter-gatherer subsistence, taro cultivation, and formerly, an elaborate secret cult available only to initiated men.
Tifal is an Ok language spoken in Papua New Guinea.
Hazairin was the Indonesia's Minister of Home Affairs from 30 July 1953 to 18 November 1954, serving in the First Ali Sastroamidjojo Cabinet.
Teiwa is a Papuan language spoken on the Pantar island in eastern Indonesia. The island is the second largest in the Alor archipelago, lying just west of the largest island Alor.
Serer maternal clans or Serer matriclans are the maternal clans of the Serer people of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania. The Serer are both patrilineal and matrilineal. Inheritance depends on the nature of the asset being inherited – i.e. whether it is a maternal asset which requires maternal inheritance or paternal asset requiring paternal inheritance (kucarla). The Serer woman play a vital role in royal and religious affairs. In pre-colonial times until the abolition of their monarchies, a Serer king would be required to crown his mother, maternal aunt or sister as Lingeer (queen) after his own coronation. This re-affirms the maternal lineage to which they both belong (Tim). The Lingeer was very powerful and had her own army and palace. She was the queen of all women and presided over female cases. From a religious perspective, the Serer woman plays a vital role in Serer religion. As members of the Serer priestly class, they are among the guardians of Serer religion, sciences, ethics and culture. There are several Serer matriclans; not all of them are listed here. Alliance between matriclans in order to achieve a common goal was, and still is very common. The same clan can be called a different name depending on which part of Serer country one finds oneself in. Some of these matriclans form part of Serer mythology and dynastic history. The mythology afforded to some of these clans draws parallels with the Serer creation narrative, which posits that: the first human to be created was a female. Many Serers who adhere to the tenets of Serer religion believe these narratives to contain profound truths which are historic or pre-historic in nature.
Historical inheritance systems are different systems of inheritance among various people.
Detailed anthropological and sociological studies have been made about customs of patrilineal inheritance, where only male children can inherit. Some cultures also employ matrilineal succession, where property can only pass along the female line, most commonly going to the sister's sons of the decedent; but also, in some societies, from the mother to her daughters. Some ancient societies and most modern states employ egalitarian inheritance, without discrimination based on gender and/or birth order.
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