Uploaded by MD Sakib Al Hassan


Welcome to our
What is descent?
It is the third principle in a kinship system which is actually the vertical or
chronological relationship between the generations “coming down” from
parents to Children and beyond.
Anthropologits have found some symbols (specially six symbols) to represent
the entire spectrum of such relationship. The main six symbols and the
meanings of them are given below .
What to discuss?
The overall discussion is about different kinds of descents in different kinds of
Patrilineal descent
Matrilineal descent
Unilineal descent
Ambilineal descent
Bilateral descent
Double descent
And others.
1. Patrilineal Descent
Patrilineal , or agnatic, descent is
established by tracing descent exclusively
through males from a founding male
In the figure,the individuals indicated in
blue constitute the patrilineal
descendants of a common ancestor. Both
men and women are included in the
patrilineage formed but only male links
are utilized to include successive
2. Matrilineal Descent
Matrilineal , or uterine, descent is
established by tracing descent exclusively
through females from a founding female
The individuals indicated in red constitute
the matrilineal descendants of a common
ancestress. Both men and women are
included in the patrilineage formed but
only female links are utilized to include
successive generations.
Unilineal Descent
“Uni”- is a prefix which refers to the
concept “one” ; having or consisting of
So, unilineal descent means a principle in
which individuals trace their ancestry
through a line “line” of related kin
(typically a male or female line) such that
some blood relatives are included in the
descent group or lineage and other
relatives are excluded from it.
Double descent
In addition to patrilineal and matrilineal
principles, some unilineal systems and
combine both rules to form a double descent
In this arrangement, ego is a member of two
separate and fundamentally distinct groups: a
matrilineal group through his mother (in red)
and a patrilinealgroup through his father (in
blue). Where dual systems are employed, one
set of groups will tend to take on
complementary functions in relation to the
For example, among the Yako of Nigeria,
patrilineages are important for the allocation
and inheritance of land, while matrilineal
groups determine the ownership of movable
property such as cattle.
anthropology eg
o refers to the
individual from
whom the
of kinship and
relationship and
descent are
reckoned and
Lineage is a
kinship based
corporate group
composed of
related by
descent from a
known ancestor.
A clan is a
group of people
united by actual
perceived kinshi
p and descent.
Even if lineage
details are
unknown, clan
members may
be organized
around a
member or
apical ancestor.
A phratry can
be defined as a
descent group
composed of
two or more
clans. The
members of
a clan may feel
they have
close ties with
other clan or
clans of the
A kinship group
which is one half
of a dual
division of the
society is a
Dani society
• Dani society contained fifty clan-like entities, which were not territorial but did
share corporate interests in marriage and ritual. These clans were combined into
two named patrimoieties called Wida and Waija.
• All Dani are divided into two exogamous patrilineal divisions, or moieties, named
Wida and Waija. Accordingly, a Wida man or woman is forbidden to marry or have
sexual relations with Wida member of the opposite sex and must marry into the
opposite moiety. Waija people must follow the corresponding rules for their group.
• Dani men are allowed to marry more than one wife but women are restricted to a
single husband.
• The Dani system of polygyny is supported by the process of accumulating wealth in
the form of pigs, shells, and stone valuables and is, in turn, closely integrated into
the male ranking or "big man" system.
Thank you