Warlpiri - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The Warlpiri have an Arandic system of kinship with four terminological lines of descent but no named patrilineal or matrilineal descent groups. They also have patrilineal, matrilineal, and generational moieties, semimoieties, and subsections. The subsection system divides the population into eight named categories and provides for a distinction between female and male members of each. These named categories are much used in day-to-day speech and in talking to Europeans, but they are not the persuasive organizers of activity they appear to be; instead, they are a shorthand way of referring to matters organized by genealogy, land, religious interests, and other factors.

Kinship Terminology. The kinship terminology system is of the bifurcate-merging type, recognizing sex differences among primary relatives but ignoring collaterality among most categories of kin.

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