Edo - Kinship



Descent is reckoned patrilineally in Edo society. Descent groups are called egbee , a term that refers both to the immediate lineage and to the dispersed clan of which it is part. There are about thirty-five clans, which are distinguished by exogamy, the possession of special morning salutations, and the adherence to particular avoidances of foods or activities. Unlike those of the neighboring Yoruba, Edo lineages are not landholding, nor do they have political significance, except for that of the king and a very few hereditary chieftaincy titles. The royal lineage is particularly set apart by virtue of its descent from the Yoruba culture hero Oranmiyan (called "Aranmiyan" in Edo), who founded the second Benin dynasty, which has reigned continuously since about the twelfth or thirteenth century. Kinship terminology is of the Hawaiian type.

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