Khinalughs - Kinship



Kinship Groups. The Khinalugh community divided into four major kinship groups or clans: the Malïkla, Gämk'i, K'ämk'i, and Gadakkhi, which earlier formed the basis of neighborhoods within the settlement. These neighborhoods were originally organized strictly on a kinship basis. Each clan had its particular pir (shrine), cemetery, and council of elders. The clan exercised the right to take in newcomers. At the beginning of the twentieth century the community apportioned the summer pastures by neighborhoods, which once corresponded to the clan groupings ( mekhelle ). In the course of time the neighborhoods have grown and been divided into smaller groups ( kebele ). The kinship groups Nishani, Mameydarar, and Kkharyagdin split off from the Gämk'i; the Jampashali from the K'ämk'i; and the Yalqavan and Mirigi from the Gadakkhi. Each of these groups consists of people related to a greater or lesser degree, tracing their descent from a single mythical or real ancestor. In the nineteenth century, before the kebele groupings came into being, their function as economic and ideological entities was performed by the extended family, the members of which were blood relatives. The extended family had the right to admit outsiders into its midst.

Kinship Terminology. The Khinalugh terms for near kin are similar to those of other Lezgin peoples (Lezgins, Budukhs, Kryzes): bïy (father), dädä or (mother), tstsa or tssa (brother), rïtsï (sister), she or shi (son), rishe or rishel (daughter)—from rishi (girl), aba (grandfather), äzhä (grandmother), khïdïal (grandson or granddaughter), ts'nas (bride—young wife of son or brother), legeld (husband), and mïsïsts' (husband's brother). Some kin terms have been borrowed from Azerbaijani: ämä (paternal uncle—also used by children to address any older man) and khola (maternal uncle).


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