Fali - Kinship



The fundamental unit of social organization is the exogamous patrilineal clan, which groups together all living or dead descendants of an actual or mythical common ancestor. In actuality, however, these clans are broken up into subclans that are similar to clans, each of which has a name, a territory, a collective responsibility, a head, and its own sanctuaries and rituals. For example, a single village of five hundred inhabitants may include up to thirty clans or fragments of clans.

Kinship terminology is of the Crow-Omaha type, with clan exogamy. Only a single form of preferential marriage exists: one with a matrilateral cross cousin of the sixth degree of genealogical difference (Guilmain-Gauthier 1981). Otherwise, relationships are classificatory: within a clan, the individuals of the same generation are brothers or sisters, which does not exclude more precise appellations, such as low mom (brother by the same father and same mother). The terms differ according to age ( botom ): for example, mom (older brother), but ka mom (younger brother). Terms of address are often indifferent as to sex, except in certain cases: wosom (grandfather), warn (grandmother), toy (father), noy (mother), sai (sister), and sata (aunt).


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