Chapter 21 Kinship & Descent Chapter Preview What Is Kinship? What Are Descent Groups? What Functions Do Kin-ordered Groups Serve? What are Kinship & Descent Groups? As all human groups meet and overcome obstacles such as the regulations of sexual practices, child rearing, subsistence, and the overall care of the household, ways to deal with these human challenges must be established. Everyone in a group will have certain responsibilities and play a particular role. We will examine these roles and responsibilities through kinship and descent groups. Kinship Kinship is a network of relatives within which individuals possess certain mutual rights and obligations. To better organize kinship lines is through the usage of descent groups. Descent Groups A descent group is any kin-ordered social group with a membership in the direct line of descent from a real (historical) or fictional common ancestor. Members share descent from a common ancestor through a series of parent-child links. Common way to organize a society along kinship lines. Provides members with a wider social network to better conquer daily needs like food, water, and shelter. Descent Groups There are a variety of ways that descent can be traced according to the particular culture in which it is found. Which is most likely a North American descent pattern? Unilineal descent Descent that establishes group membership through either the mother’s or the father’s line. Matrilineal descent Descent traced exclusively through the female line to establish group membership. Descent Groups Patrilineal descent Descent traced exclusively through the male line to establish group membership. Ambilineal descent A person has the option to affiliate themselves with either their mother or father’s descent group. Double descent Rare system when both patrilineal and matrilineal descent is recognized at the same time. Bilateral descent When descent derives from both the mother and fathers families equally. Unilineal Descent Groups Two major forms of unilineal descent groups are the lineage and the clan. Lineage • A unilineal kinship group descended from a common ancestor or founder who lived four to six generations ago, and in which relationships among members can be stated genealogically. Clan • An extended unilineal kinship group, often consisting of several lineages, whose members claim common descent from a remote ancestor, usually legendary or mythological. Identification might be reinforced by Totems. Patrilineal Descent Groups Male members trace their descent from a common male ancestor. A female belongs to the same descent group as her father and his brother. Authority over the children lies with the father or his elder brother. Patrilineal Descent Diagram Matrilineal Descent Groups Descent is traced through the female line. Women do not hold public authority, rather they share it with men. Although they do hold considerable power in decision making than in patrilineal societies. Common in horticultural societies where women perform much of the productive work. Tracing Matrilineal Descent Lineage Exogamy Characteristic of all lineages is exogamy. As previously defined one must marry outside of a particular group. Since marriage is between two lineages and not just two individuals: Lineage members must find their marriage partners in other lineages. This curbs competition for desirable spouses within the group and promotes group solidarity. Lineage to Clan If the kinship group’s membership becomes too large to be manageable or too much work for the lineage;s resources to support the group may split. This is known as fission- the splitting of a descent group into two or more new descent groups. Totemism The belief that people are related to particular animals, plants, or natural objects by virtue of descent from common ancestral spirits. Although the word stems from the Native American Ojibwa, totemism is found in many areas of the world. Organizational Hierarchies This diagram shows how lineages, clans, phratries, and moieties form an organizational hierarchy. Each moiety is subdivided into phratries, each phratry is subdivided into clans, and each clan is subdivided into lineages. Phratries and Moieties Apart from lineages and clans there are two other ways to organize groups. These are known as Phratries and Moieties. Phratry A unilineal descent group composed of two or more clans that claim to be of common ancestry. If only two such groups exist, each is a moiety. Moiety Each group that results from a division of a society into two halves on the basis of descent. Bilateral Kinship Descent groups are not common to all societies. Bilateral kinship similar to bilateral descent groups establish that everyone is equally related in their blood line. Considering the size of this family then one much define the close relatives or the kindred- an individuals close blood relatives on the maternal and paternal sides of their family. Kindred A small circle of paternal and maternal relatives. A kindred is never the same for any two persons except siblings. EGO is the central person from whom the degree of each relationship is traced. The Kindred Kinship Terminologies The Hawaiian system The Eskimo system The Iroquois system Least found worldwide Omaha system Crow system Sudanese system Kariera system Aranda system Eskimo System Eskimo System: Kinship reckoning in which the nuclear family is emphasized by specifically identifying the mother, father, brother, sister, while lumping together all other relatives into broad categories such as uncle, aunt, and cousin. May also be referred too as lineal system. Eskimo System Notice and locate EGO’S father and mothers are distinguished from EGO’S aunts and uncles, and siblings from cousins. Hawaiian System Hawaiian System: Kinship reckoning in which all relatives of the same sex and generation are referred to by the same term. May also be called the generational system. This system reflects the absence of strong unilineal descent. Both mother and father’s members are viewed equally. Hawaiian System Notice that men numbers 2 and 6 are called by the same term as father (3) by EGO. The women numbers 1 and 5 are called by the same term as mother (4). All cousins of EGO’S own generation 7-16 are considered brothers (B) and sisters (Z) Iroquois System Iroquois system: Kinship terminology wherein a father and father’s brother are given a single term, as are a mother and mother’s sister, but a father’s sister and mother’s brother are given separate terms. Parallel cousins are classified with brothers and sisters, while cross cousins are classified separately, but (unlike Crow and Omaha kinship) not equated with relatives of some other generation. Iroquois System EGO’S fathers brother (2) is called by the same term as father (3); the mothers sister (5) is called by the same term as the mother 94) but the people numbered 1 and 6 are each referred to by a distinct term. Those people numbered 9-14 are all considered siblings, but 7, 8, 15 and 16 are cousins.