Osage - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The Osage were divided into twenty-four patrilineal clans. These clans were grouped into phratries and exogamous moieties. Fifteen clans formed the hon-qa or "earth" moiety, which included the wa-sha-she or "water" phratry and the hon-ga or "land" phratry. Nine clans formed the tsi-zhu or "sky" moiety. Each clan had between three and five hierarchically ranked subclans. Most political positions as well as ritual positions and prerogatives were considered the property of particular clans. Each also had its own prescribed area in the village. Clans owned sets of male and female personal names that were given to their members. Today, the only significant function of the clans is in the naming of children.

Kinship Terminology. Traditionally, Osage kin terms were of the Omaha type.

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