Lao - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Descent is bilateral. Surnames have been adopted only over the last several decades. Wives usually take their husband's last name. Kin groups are defined partly by choice: siblings and immediate maternal and paternal relatives are recognized by everyone, but more distant relatives may be recognized only if the kin relationship has been cultivated. Kinship relationships are recognized and reinforced through sharing of goods and produce, labor reciprocity, and participation in family and religious rituals.

Kinship Terminology. Kinship terms differentiate by gender, by relative age (e.g., younger brother, older sister), by generation, and by side of the family.

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