Lineage (anthropology)

Last updated

A lineage is a unilineal descent group that can demonstrate their common descent from a known apical ancestor. Unilineal lineages can be matrilineal or patrilineal, depending on whether they are traced through mothers or fathers, respectively. Whether matrilineal or patrilineal descent is considered most significant differs from culture to culture.

In biology and genealogy, the most recent common ancestor of any set of organisms is the most recent individual from which all the organisms from such set are directly descended. The term is also used in reference to the ancestry of groups of genes (haplotypes) rather than organisms.

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.

Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is recorded through his or her father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance of property, rights, names or titles by persons related through male kin.


Related Research Articles

In human genetics, the Y-chromosomal most recent common ancestor is the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) from whom all currently living men are descended patrilineally. The term Y-MRCA reflects the fact that the Y chromosomes of all currently living human males are directly derived from the Y chromosome of this remote ancestor. The analogous concept of the matrilineal most recent common ancestor is known as "Mitochondrial Eve", the most recent woman from whom all living humans are descended matrilineally. As with "Mitochondrial Eve", the title of "Y-chromosomal Adam" is not permanently fixed to a single individual, but can advance over the course of human history as paternal lineages become extinct.

Kinship human relationship term; web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of most humans in most societies; form of social connection

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.

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 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.

Unilineality system of determining descent groups in which one belongs to ones fathers or mothers line, whereby ones descent is traced either exclusively through male ancestors (patriline), or exclusively through female ancestors (matriline)

Unilineality is a system of determining descent groups in which one belongs to one's father's or mother's line, whereby one's descent is traced either exclusively through male ancestors (patriline), or exclusively through female ancestors (matriline). Both patrilineality and matrilineality are types of unilineal descent. The main types of the unilineal descent groups are lineages and clans.

Ambilineality is a cognatic descent system in which individuals may be affiliated either to their father's or mother's group. This type of descent results in descent groups which are non-unilineal in the sense that descent passes either through women or men, contrary to unilineal systems, whether patrilineal or matrilineal. Affiliation to a descent group will be determined either by choice or by residence. In the latter case, children will belong to the descent group with whom their parents are living.

In Hindu culture, the term gotra is commonly considered to be equivalent to clan. It broadly refers to people who are descendants in an unbroken male line from a common male ancestor or patriline. Generally the gotra forms an exogamous unit, with the marriage within the same gotra being prohibited by custom, being regarded as incest. The name of the gotra can be used as a surname, but it is different from a surname and is strictly maintained because of its importance in marriages among Hindus, especially among the higher castes. Pāṇini defines gotra for grammatical purposes as apatyam pautraprabhrti gotram, which means "the word gotra denotes the progeny beginning with the son's son." When a person says "I am Vipparla-gotra", he means that he traces his descent from the ancient sage Vipparla by unbroken male descent.

Cognatic kinship is a mode of descent calculated from an ancestor or ancestress counted through any combination of male and female links, or a system of bilateral kinship where relations are traced through both a father and mother. Such relatives may be known as cognates.

In discussing consanguineal kinship in anthropology, a parallel cousin or ortho-cousin is a cousin from a parent's same-sex sibling, while a cross-cousin is from a parent's opposite-sex sibling. Thus, a parallel cousin is the child of the father's brother or of the mother's sister, while a cross-cousin is the child of the mother's brother or of the father's sister. Where there are unilineal descent groups in a society, one's parallel cousins on one or both sides will belong to one's own descent group, while cross-cousins will not.

In genealogy, the progenitor is the – sometimes legendary – founder of a family, line of descent, clan or tribe, noble house or people group. Genealogy, understands a progenitor to be the earliest recorded ancestor of a consanguineous family group of descendants.

The avunculate, sometimes called avunculism or avuncularism, is any social institution where a special relationship exists between an uncle and his sisters' children. This relationship can be formal or informal, depending on the society. Early anthropological research focused on the association between the avunculate and matrilineal descent, while later research has expanded to consider the avunculate in general society.

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.

A surname DNA project is a genetic genealogy project which uses genealogical DNA tests to trace male lineage.

The term matrilateral describes kin (relatives) "on the mother's side".

An overview of Australian Aboriginal kinship groupings within Western Australia, 1979. Tribal Boundaries map based on Norman Tindales 1974 map. It was published in Western Australia: An Atlas of Human Endeavour by the State Government, given to every school aged child in Western Australia, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the settlement of the Swan River Colony by a small English military force and several hundred free colonists in 1829.

A matrilineal surname or matriname is a family name inherited from one's mother, and maternal grandmother, etc. whose line of descent is called a matriline.

In the anthropological study of kinship, a moiety is a descent group that coexists with only one other descent group within a society. In such cases, the community usually has unilineal descent, either patri- or matrilineal, so that any individual belongs to one of the two moiety groups by birth, and all marriages take place between members of opposite moieties. It is an exogamous clan system with only two clans.

The Tjial were an indigenous Australian people of the Northern Territory who are now extinct.