Tolai - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The dual division is the pivot of Tolai social organization. Every Tolai belongs to one of two matrimoieties, the chief function of which is the regulation of marriage. Sexual relations within the moiety constitute the most heinous of offenses, which in the past called for the death of the guilty parties. By birth every Tolai is also affiliated with the clan of the mother. The clan is a dispersed unit, associated with a place (or places) of origin, from which members scattered over the course of time to form separate branches or local matrilineages elsewhere within the area. The clan (or segments of it) provides an elaborate network of kin relations covering many different local communities, and to this day it continues to provide a basis for cooperation in a variety of economic activities and above all in ceremonial affairs.

Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology is of the Iroquois type. In the context of everyday social interaction, personal names are generally used and kinship terms are rarely heard save in dealing with affines.

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