Cook Islands - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Descent is now traced bilaterally with equal weight given to both sides. Every major kin group is now spread out not only over many of the Cook Islands but even more so throughout New Zealand, Australia, French Polynesia, and in many cases other countries. Interaction by mail, telephone, and personal messages on government-broadcast radio is reinforced by the sending of money and/or goods and relatively frequent visits, especially for Weddings, funerals, laying of memorial stones, or family reunions. These reunions can involve 20-150 people coming together, often from several countries.

Kinship Terminology. A classificatory system, with Hawaiian-type cousin terms, is used. Seniority is generally indicated in the kinship terms.

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