Mekeo - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Kin groups ( ikupu ) are based on patrilineal descent, and ideally they include lineage, subclan, clan, and moiety units. Male members of a lineage are closely related through male links, usually reside and garden cooperatively, and have hereditary claim to the same kinds of specialized ritual knowledge (e.g., peace, sorcery, curing, war, weather, hunting). Male members of lineages who collaborate on a day-to-day basis, who gather at the same clubhouse, and who come under the authority of the same "peace chief," constitute a subclan's core. Subclans usually form the residential blocks of village organization. Distantly related subclans, each with their own chiefs and other officials, are ranked as senior and junior branches of the same clan and, whether they live together in the same village or not, are expected to participate in feasts and ceremonies as a unit. In some instances traditionally, a patrilineal connection was presumed to unite distinct clans of a tribe into moieties.

Kinship Terminology. Villagers use a Hawaiian-type System of classifying relatives, with terms differentiating kin according to generation, gender, and, in one's own generation, relative age, birth order, and marriageability.

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