Tepehuan of Chihuahua - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. Descent and inheritance are reported as patrilateral, with exceptions made in the passing of property to daughters at times. This may not be the case, since the indigenous pattern for neighboring groups is bilateral and gender egalitarian, with male and female inheriting land bilaterally and with the spouses making homes in either or both pieces of inherited land. The reported patrilaterality, and certainly patronymy, may be influenced by the dominant mestizo pattern and sampling bias. Kinship is probably reckoned bilaterally, which means that relatives on father's and mother's side of the family are counted as relatives. There are no lineages, clans, moieties, or other such descent groups.

Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology is descriptive (tends to combine elementary terms) with distinctions made among each of Ego's four grandparents, mother, mother's sister, mother's brother, father, father's sister, and father's brother. These relatives are also categorized by age and sex, but in Ego's generation, cousins and siblings are not distinguished by sex or in any other manner. Except in Ego's generation, in which brother-in-law and sister-in-law are designated by the same term, affinal kinship terms are descriptive. Ego's children are distinguished by sex but not by relative age. Terms of reference and terms of address differ. Elder brother, for example, is addressed with a special term of respect. In other cases, Spanish personal names are used. Kinship terms are not affected by the sex of the speaker. Godparents ( padrinos ) are selected when children are baptized in the church, but since there are no church weddings or confirmations, there are no other godparents.


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