Wasteko - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. Modern Wasteko have adopted the Spanish system of reckoning descent through both parents. Surnames are all Spanish, and the Spanish pattern of given name plus father's surname plus mother's surname is followed.

Kinship Terminology. Wasteko words for kin are still in common use. There are separate terms for "father" and "mother" and for "grandfather" and "grandmother," but a single term is used for "grandchild." The word meaning "sibling" can be specified for sex by adding "male" or "female." Cousins are called by the Spanish term primo. Traces of an older system remain; for example, in addition to "son" and "daughter," used by both parents, there is a separate word meaning "woman's child," and, whereas there is a single term meaning both "uncle" and "nephew" and another meaning both "aunt" and "niece," there are also separate words for uncles who are "father's brothers," and aunts who are "mother's sisters." A distinction is also made between a "man's brother-in-law" and a "woman's brother-in-law" and between a man's and a woman's sister-in-law. Terms for "step-" and "adoptive" kin are derived by adding the suffix - le ' to the basic term. Catholic priests introduced the concept of ritual kinship, such as "godparent" and "godchild," and the relationship between "parent" and "godparent" (Spanish comadre and compadre ). These ritual kin relationships are described either by Spanish-derived terms or by a combination of Spanish and Wasteko terms.


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