Madeirans - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Portuguese administrative practice and religious ideology stress the family as basic kin unit, a tenet historically reinforced in Madeira's isolated Uplands by extreme lack of peasant mobility. Kin relationships extend into mutual support networks among women and into cooperative labor pools for locally based farm or cottage industry. Emigrant remittances make manifest enduring kin ties; bilateral descent is culturally underlined by island endogamy. Urban Madeirans follow modern European familial conventions.

Kinship Terminology. Kin terminology is formally Eskimo, subject to generational and collateral extension in Domestic groups where elderly female kin customarily remain active. The padrinho/madrinha (godparent) role adds a spiRitual dimension to respectful acceptance of the aged.

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