Jingpo - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. All Jingpo people trace descent patrilineally. The individual inherits his or her surname from the father. Each family belongs to a lineage, which belongs to a clan containing other lineages. Individuals with a common surname are thought to be from the same patrilineage and, as a rule, from the same clan; but individuals with different surnames may also affiliate their lineages in differing spans to the same clan. A Jingpo clan is thus a lineage of maximal scale. The lineages from which wives are taken and given become mayu (wife giver) and dama (wife taker) to each other, with the mayu enjoying prestige and privileges over the dama.

Kinship Terminology. Jingpo kin terms follow Omaha-type cousin terminology. Male speakers refer to all the members of mayu-dama families with affinal terms regardless of generation. Ego calls father's brothers' and mother's sisters' children by sibling terms. A man calls his brothers' children and a woman calls her sisters' children by the same terms used for his or her own children. A man calls his sisters' children and a woman calls her brothers' children by different terms than for his or her own children. A man calls his father-in-law and mother-in-law by the same terms used for his mother's brother and the mother's brother's wife, while a woman refers to her mother-in-law and father-in-law the same way she refers to her father's sister and the father's sister's husband.


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