Mbeere - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Patrilineal descent organized lineage of varying depth. The m cii, or home, constitutes a shallow lineage, which sometimes embraces four generations. It holds land collectively. Lineages in turn are embedded in dispersed noncorporate exogamous clans. These form nonexogamous moieties. In the 1960s, when land became scarce, larger lineages grew more important. They mobilize to press claims for very large parcels of land. These parcels could then be divided among the membership, according to government directive. Descent coalitions consisting of several lineages of the same clan also emerged to establish their interests in sizable blocks of land.

Kinship Terminology. Terms of address and reference are distinguished for several categories of kin. Bifurcate-merging terminology marks Ego's parental generation. In Ego's generation, a variant of the Iroquois system occurs. Parallel cousins and siblings are equated, but both are collectively differentiated from cross cousins. Patrilateral and matrilateral cross cousins may be categorized together or separated by descriptive terms. Grandparents and grandchildren use reciprocal designations. Various classificatory usages and other extensions of primary kin terms are utilized. All men of father's generation and clan are classed as fathers. Members of father's age set or generation set are similarly classified.


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