Khasi - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The Khasi are a well-known instance of matriliny. The maximal matrilineage among them is the clan (called kur or jaid ). The Khasi speak of a family of great-grandchildren of one great-grandmother (thus, four generations) as shi kpoh (one womb). Clans trace descent from ancestresses or kiaw (grandmothers) who are called ki lawbei-tynrai (grandmothers of the root, i.e., of the clan tree). In some instances the actual name of the ancestress survives. She is revered greatly and her descendants are called shi kur (one clan). Below this division are the subclan or kpoh (as already mentioned, descendants of one great-grandmother) and the iing (house or family), usually made up of a grandmother, her daughters, and her daughters' children. Together these are said to be shi iing (one house).

Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology employed for first cousins follows the Iroquois pattern.


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