Copper Eskimo - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The basic kin group was the nuclear family with little development of any group that could be labeled an extended family. On the other hand, in the large winter encampments on the sea ice, there was a network of continuous bilateral kinship links created in part by extensive marriage ties. The smaller summer hunting groups contained various combinations of kin or nonkin. The kinship system is bilateral with a recognized kindred ( ilagiit ) composed of both consanguines and affines, but with no definable limits. The concept of descent is lacking.

Kinship Terminology. All cousins are distinguished from siblings, but the children of the father's brother have a separate term. Each sex distinguishes between older and younger siblings of their own sex and have separate sets of terms for the children of brothers or sisters, which are also extended to male or female cousins. There are four aunt/uncle terms, all separate from parental designations, and some terms in the parental generation are also applied to spouses of some of these relatives. There is a complex set of affinal terms that show complementary variations between males and females.


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