Selepet - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Selepet villages consist of one or more exogamous, patrilineal clans centered on men's houses and organized into localized, agamous phratries. When membership increases, the members subdivide along lineage or sublineage lines and build a new house. The men's houses were the context for the cultic religious activities, and women were forbidden entry. Although Christianization has transferred the religious activities to the church, women still do not enter men's houses. Loyalty is primarily to one's own lineage, then to the other lineages (if any) affiliated with the same men's house, and last to the phratry. Phratry loyalty is manifested by the exclusive patronage of the businesses of one's own phratry. Members of a phratry combine their resources to build trade stores and participate in other joint ventures such as taxi trucks.

Kinship Terminology. The system is characterized by bifurcate-collateral terms for uncles and bifurcate-merging terms for aunts. Cousin terms are of the Iroquois type. The avunculate is strongly developed. In aboriginal times a boy's maternal uncle was responsible for initiating him and teaching him the secrets of the cultic religion. All affinal relationships are characterized by some measure of avoidance.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: