Basques - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. The Basque-American Community is stitched together by extended consanguineal (reckoned bilaterally) and affinal ties. Recruitment of herders from Europe typically involved sending for or receiving a request from a brother or cousin willing to come to the United States. Therefore, each Basque-American colony is more likely to be made up of family clusters rather than unrelated families and individuals. The degree of interrelatedness is enhanced by local endogamy involving an Old World-born ex-herder and a Basque-American spouse or two first-generation Basque-Americans. Extended Basque-American families tend to maintain close ties, gathering for baptisms, graduations, weddings, and funerals, and is further integrated by godparental ties.

Kinship Terminology. Basque kinship terms are of the Eskimo variety. Sibling terms differ according to whether the speaker is male or female. Basque kinship reckoning is quite consonant with that in the wider North American mainstream.

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