Moiety (kinship)

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In the anthropological study of kinship, a moiety ( /ˈmɔɪəti/ ) 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 matri- lineal 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.[ dubious ]

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.

Society Social group involved in persistent social interaction

A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

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.

In the case of a patrilineal descent system, this can be interpreted as a system in which women are exchanged between the two moieties. Moiety societies are found particularly among the indigenous peoples of North America and Australia. [1] [2] [3]

Indigenous peoples Ethnic group descended from and identified with the original inhabitants of a given region

Indigenous peoples, also known as first peoples, aboriginal peoples or native peoples, are ethnic groups who are the original settlers of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently. Groups are usually described as indigenous when they maintain traditions or other aspects of an early culture that is associated with a given region. Not all indigenous peoples share this characteristic, as many have adopted substantial elements of a colonizing culture, such as dress, religion or language. Indigenous peoples may be settled in a given region (sedentary) or exhibit a nomadic lifestyle across a large territory, but they are generally historically associated with a specific territory on which they depend. Indigenous societies are found in every inhabited climate zone and continent of the world.

Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pre-Columbian inhabitants of North, Central and South America and their descendants

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.

Aboriginal Australian kinship are the systems of law governing social interaction, particularly marriage, in traditional Australian Aboriginal cultures. It is an integral part of the culture of every Aboriginal group across Australia.

Related Research Articles

Moiety may refer to:

Totem spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe

A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe.

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.

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.

Yolngu Indigenous Australian people inhabiting north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory

The Yolngu or Yolŋu are an aggregation of indigenous Australian people inhabiting north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. Yolngu means "person" in the Yolŋu languages. The terms Murngin and Wulamba were formerly used by some anthropologists for the Yolngu. All Yolngu clans are affiliated with either the Dhuwa (Dua) or the Yirritja moiety.

Structural anthropology is a school of anthropology based on Claude Lévi-Strauss' idea that immutable deep structures exist in all cultures, and consequently, that all cultural practices have homologous counterparts in other cultures, essentially that all cultures are equitable.

There are several hundred Indigenous peoples of Australia; many are groupings that existed before the British colonisation of Australia in 1788. Within each country, people lived in clan groups: extended families defined by various forms of Australian Aboriginal kinship. Inter-clan contact was common, as was inter-country contact, but there were strict protocols around this contact.

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.

Robert Hamilton Mathews (1841–1918) was an Australian surveyor and self-taught anthropologist who studied the Aboriginal cultures of Australia, especially those of Victoria, New South Wales and southern Queensland. He was a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales and a corresponding member of the Anthropological Institute of London.

The alliance theory, also known as the general theory of exchanges, is a structuralist method of studying kinship relations. It finds its origins in Claude Lévi-Strauss's Elementary Structures of Kinship (1949) and is in opposition to the functionalist theory of Radcliffe-Brown. Alliance theory has oriented most anthropological French works until the 1980s; its influences were felt in various fields, including psychoanalysis, philosophy and political philosophy.

Kinship terminology is the system used in languages to refer to the persons to whom an individual is related through kinship. Different societies classify kinship relations differently and therefore use different systems of kinship terminology; for example, some languages distinguish between consanguine and affinal uncles, whereas others have only one word to refer to both a father and his brothers. Kinship terminologies include the terms of address used in different languages or communities for different relatives and the terms of reference used to identify the relationship of these relatives to ego or to each other.

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.

The Karieri people were an Indigenous Australian people of the Pilbara, who once lived around the coastal and inland area around and east of Port Hedland.

The Nunggubuyu are an indigenous Australian people of eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

The Ajabakan were an indigenous Australian people of the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland

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

The Bingongina or Pinkangarna are a possible indigenous Australian people of the Northern Territory. However, the name may simply be a former alternative term for Mudburra.

References

  1. Tooker, E. (1971). Clans and moieties in North America. Current Anthropology, 357-376.
  2. Parsons, E. C. (1924). Tewa kin, clan, and moiety. American Anthropologist, 26(3), 333-339.
  3. White, I. (1981). Generation moieties in Australia: structural, social and ritual implications. Oceania, 6-27.