Kaluli - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. Kaluli clans are patrilineal, exogamous, and dispersed throughout the longhouse settlements. Localized lineages of two or more such clans share Residence in any single longhouse. While clan membership passes through the male line, an individual has claims of Kinship both to the father's and mother's clans, with paternal kin providing ties within the longhouse and maternal kin providing linkages with his or her mother's kin in another longhouse of the territory. In practice, the sibling set—which includes one's actual siblings and all others of the same generation born of one's mother's sisters and father's brothers—takes priority over genealogical reckoning in establishing relationships. When a man marries, the importance of maternal kin for establishing extralonghouse relationships is superseded by ties to his wife's paternal clan.

Kinship Terminology. All kin two or more generations distant from an individual are called maemu ("grandfather" or "grandchild"), which is also the term used to designate people with whom one shares no discernible kin ties. Father and father's brother are called by the same term, as are mother and mother's sister. The offspring of all of these People are classified as siblings and share a common designation. The children of one's father's sister and mother's brother are termed cross cousins, though the mother's brother's daughter, upon bearing children, is reclassified with the term for "mother" and her children are classified as siblings. In practice, genealogical reckoning of relationships is preempted by classificatory assignment of a kin term, with no real effort made to pin down actual genealogical links.

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