Munda - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Descent is uniformly patrilineal, and all the Munda have patrilineal descent groups. Totemic, exogamous clans, mainly significant as regulators of marriage, and lineages, normally named after localities or Village offices and mainly of ritual and economic significance, are identifiable in most tribes; subclans are also present in the larger Chota Nagpur tribes. Clans are not especially localized, though they are often identified with particular cemeteries or memorial stones, and each village will be dominated by the members of a particular clan. The Gadaba, Remo, Gorum, and Gataq also group their clans into phratries, and it is these that are totemic in those groups, though they are not necessarily strictly exogamous. No Sora descent groups are Totemic. On the whole, a common totem, shared ritual food, or village coresidence are more important indicators of agnation than genealogy as such. Villages are often identified with a particular agnatic group, despite the frequent copresence of members of other clans. Clan members are not necessarily descended from their totem, but the totem usually plays some key role in the clan origin myth, and clan members must show respect to and avoid harming their own (though not others') totem species (most commonly an animal).


Kinship Terminology. Basically it is symmetric-prescriptive or bifurcate-collateral terminology, but Ego's Genealogical level is normally generational, and the levels adjacent to it usually have affinal terms separate from those for cross kin. The terminologies of the Koraput tribes are less deviant in these respects.

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