Dani - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. The Grand Valley Dani have exogamous patrilineal moieties and exogamous patrilineal sibs. Some sib names can be found also in groups outside the Grand Valley and there are hints, perhaps remnants, of a moiety system in Western Dani. In the Grand Valley, people are born into the sib of their father, but at birth all Grand Valley Dani are considered to be of the wida moiety. Before marriage, those whose fathers are of the waiya moiety "become waiya," the boys through an initiation ceremony, the girls without ceremony. The chief function of the moieties is to regulate marriage. Sibs are associated with one or the other moiety, never both. There are sib-specific bird totems and food taboos. Local segments of sibs keep their sacred objects in common, store them in the men's house of the most important man, and hold renewal ceremonies for these objects. Grand Valley Dani are not much concerned with tracing genealogy. Common sib membership is assumed to mean common ancestry, but people rarely know their ancestors more than a couple of generations back.

Kinship Terminology. The Dani have Omaha-type kinship terminology.

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