Melpa - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Descent groups are normatively patrilineal, but there is a counterbalancing stress on matrilateral relationships and on affinal alliances expressed through exchange and in shifts of residence to the maternal group in case of in-group conflict or economic advantage. Exogamous clans are clustered into tribes and divided into subclans and smaller units that act as groups in exchange activities.

Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology follows the Iroquois system with bifurcate-merging terms for collaterale. Most kin terms are self-reciprocals in address but not in reference.

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