Woleai - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. From four to twelve matrilineal clans ( gailong ) are found on each island. Each is divided into subclans, lineages, and descent lines.

Kinship Terminology. Woleai kinship terminology has a generation emphasis with Hawaiian cousin terminology. Kin terms are referential as individuals always address each other by personal name. The matrilineal emphasis of the society is reflected in separate terms for mother's brother and sister's children. Terms can be compounded to guarantee clarity of meaning. That is, although one's mother's sister is formally silei, meaning "my mother," she may be more descriptively identified as bwisilisilei, meaning "sister of my mother."

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