Southern Paiute (and Chemehuevi) - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. The primary social unit in Southern Paiute society was the nuclear or small extended family, and much the same situation obtains today. Families constituted the primary residence and subsistence units, focused as they were in some areas around privately owned springs. Larger units of several families came together in some seasons but had little permanence. An individual's personal kindred served as his or her primary means of integration within the society at large, as relatives were likely to be found beyond the local group or subarea, and even in another tribe. Mutual obligations to one's kin ensured that none went hungry or lacked a place to stay. These values are still primary in Southern Paiute households, where one is likely to find a relative or two in residence for a month or more. The elderly are foci in many such households.

Kinship Terminology. Kinship reckoning is basically bilateral, with Eskimo cousin terminology prevailing in the Native system of designation. Among those with few native Language skills, English terminology prevails.

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