Kalmyks - Kinship



The extended family (örke-bül) is a major unit of solidarity and authority. It may include as many patrilineally related nuclear families (ger-bül) as can live and work together. The patrilocal extended family includes a group of men related by patrilineal descent (lineal and collateral), the wives of these men, and the immature children of all these families. Descent is strictly agnatic. Kalmyk kinship terminology is an example of a bifurcate collateral kinship system. Although kinship ties remain strong today, they are gradually giving way to modern demands and expectations. Thus, newlyweds ideally seek to establish their own residence as soon as possible, and, more frequently, young men and women decide to leave their families to fulfill their ambitions in the Kalmyk capital or, sometimes, major former Soviet cities.


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