Gururumba - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The most important sodalities and networks were based on kinship, descent, and their Extension through marriage. The patriclan was such a sodality, marked by a name and a territory. It also had two other important attributes and functions: it was exogamous, and thus controlled marriage; and it was the organizing unit for the idzi namo (pig festival), the climactic ceremonial event in an important cycle of prestations regulating the political economy. The genealogies of these units only extended back one or two generations beyond adult living members, however, and ended with two or three imputed "brothers" rather than a single named ancestor. This type of unit is signified by the bound morpheme- juhu , which was said to indicate "people who sit down together," thus emphasizing a commonality of place and purpose more than genealogy. Each patriclan is made up of three to five patrilineages and these are identified with particular founding males. Lineages were said to be to clans as staves are to a fence or internodal segments are to a stalk of bamboo. Again, the image emphasizes unity of segments rather than genealogical subordination. Other Important descent relationships are those between mother's brother and sister's son and between men whose mothers are sisters or are from the same clan, thus giving a matrilineal bias to an otherwise patrilineal system.

Kinship Terminology. The kin term system is characterized by Omaha-type cousin terminology, an extension of parental and sibling terms to clan mates, and an elaboration of terms marking relative age for siblings and parental siblings of both sexes.

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