Nyakyusa and Ngonde - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. A person was both a member of an agnatic kin group and an age village. With the exception of the chiefly lines, lineage groups were unnamed, genealogically shallow, and residentially dispersed because of the age-village system. The corporate political significance of lineages was therefore limited. Their main relevance emerged in judicial proceedings, inheritance, and ritual; kin had greater legal responsibility for one another's behavior than did age mates. Marriage between descendants of a common great-grandfather was frowned upon, but marriage between descendants a common grandfather was considered "impossible." Unlike many peoples of the region, cross-cousin marriage was not considered permissible, although in other respects cross cousins behaved familiarly and had mutual obligations in the ritual of kinship.

Kinship Terminology. Father, father's brothers, and their structural equivalents were terminologically equated, as were mother, mother's sisters, and so forth. Father's sister and mother's brother were distinguished. Parallel cousins and cross cousins were distinguished in Iroquois fashion. Grandparents and grandchildren used a self-reciprocal term for one another. Wife's sister and husband's brother were addressed by the same term as one's spouse. Lineal features in the terminological system are relatively undeveloped.

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