Araweté - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. Araweté society is based on the bilaterally recognized, egocentric kindred, with no intermediary structures between the extended family and the tribe. The village has an unstable membership and no corporate functions other than those spontaneously arising from daily life together. There are no descent constructs. The physical and spiritual substance of the child is thought to come exclusively from the father; but abstinence for sick kin includes both patrilateral and matrilateral relatives, and incest prohibitions apply to uterine half-siblings. The idea and the ideal of multiple paternity, finally, neutralize any patrilineal bias.


Kinship Terminology. Araweté terminology is a variant of the Dravidian system as regards its reckoning of "crossness," but it exhibits a full set of separate affinal terms. Terms tend to be restricted to close genealogical kin, and there is a category of "nonkin" or potential affine, which has as its closest specification the cross cousins.

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