Tanaina - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. Tanaina were organized into moieties and between eleven and eighteen matrilineal exogamous clans. Clans often cross-cut societal and language boundaries. Today, some clans remain active during funeral potlatches and influence the selection of marriage partners.

Kinship Terminology. Twentieth-century terminology probably reflects changes over the last two hundred years of European contact as well as the geographic distances between groups. Iliamna dialect uses Iroquois cousin terms and bifurcate merging avuncular (first ascending generation) terms. The Inland dialect uses Crow cousin and bifurcate merging avuncular terms; Upper Inlet is Iroquois and bifurcate collateral; Outer Inlet dialect is Hawaiian cousin and mixed avuncular terms.


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