Tz'utujil - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. Tz'utujil kinship is bilateral and lacks clans or any other such affiliation. Although at one time the fictive-kinship pattern known as compadrazgo was important, it now exists primarily in vestigial forms.

Kinship Terminology. The Tz'utujil have adopted Spanish naming patterns, according to which children receive the last names of both the mother and the father. Many of those names, however, are those of the lineage-based units of indigenous social organization ( calpul, chinamit ) that at one time dominated Tz'utujil society (e.g., Chavajay). First names tend to conform to the traditional Mayan k'exel naming pattern, according to which the firstborn son and daughter take the name of the father's parents, and the secondborn are named after the mother's parents. Depending on the community and the individual, the k'exel pattern may carry ancient religious significance.


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