Gayo - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Two major combinations of social units appear in the homeland: (1) a village divided into distinct kin categories, each associated with a different village office, and (2) kin categories that extend across several villages and are centered in a mother village. In both cases membership in the category can be traced through males or females, but claims to uniquely patrifilial ties carry weight in intravillage political matters.

Kinship Terminology. An Iroquois system was in use throughout Gayoland, but a generational system without a cross/parallel distinction has been used increasingly since the 1970s, reflecting changing marriage patterns and the Islamic bilateral ideology.

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