Amuesha - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. Cognatic descent groups traditionally lived as territorial units; often there was conflict between them. Today, although many recognize themselves as being from one or the other group, bilateral kindreds are the only functioning kin-based groups. Within communities nuclear and extended matrilocal families form household units within clusters of patrilineally related households.

Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology is of the Dravidian type, with sex and parallel or cross relations distinguished in three generations. Cross relations are equated with affinal ones; in fact, the affinal concept is predominant in the terms. Consanguineal, parallel relations are the stronger ones and require mutual respect and help. Amuesha deities are referred to by three terms. Joking relations are maintained between cross cousins of the same sex and avoidance relations between those of the opposite sex. The Spanish terms for "aunt" and "uncle" are used by many for siblings of both parents. Great-grandparents are referred to as classificatory siblings.

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