Samoa - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. In Samoa there are overlapping cognatic descent groups ('āiga) with an emphasis on agnation. Each descent group has a localized section in a Community where its lands and chiefly (matai) titles traditionally belong; other members live in other communities on the lands of other 'āiga. Localized sections hold and allocate land to their members, regulate marriage, and control conflict among members. Between the descent groups there exist multifarious relationships that are genealogically explained, forming ramified descent structures, both at the community and at the supracommunity level. Not all of these structures are Descent groups in the strict anthropological sense of the term, however, since in some of them only matai are members. These structures are 'āiga in a metaphorical sense only. They play an important part in supracommunity territorial integration.

Kinship Terminology. Kin terms follow a Hawaiian-type system.

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