Barama River Carib - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. The Barama River Carib tend to favor close consanguineal marriages and concentrated kinship relatedness. After a few generations of endogamous marriages, a pattern of fission tended to disperse segments of the population to new locations. The kinship system is designed for survival at a minimal size. Although mining jobs kept the Barama River Carib in one locale from the 1930s to the 1960s, their kinship system has not changed. A small, endogamous population, the Barama River Carib practice direct marriage exchange in a two-section kinship system. Two categories of brothers and sisters, between which there is a direct marriage-exchange relationship, are repeated in each generation.

Kinship Terminology. Categories of father and his brothers, mother and her sisters, father's sisters or mother-in-law, and mother's brothers or father-in-law are designated. Children are classified with terms for sons—including same-sex siblings' sons—and daughters—including same-sex siblings' daughters. The term for nephew covers opposite-sex siblings' sons, and eventually individuals from this group become sons-in-law. The term for niece covers opposite-sex siblings' daughters who likewise eventually may marry classificatory sons. A measure of flexibility in the designation of marriage sections is provided by the malleable status of young females. With sister's daughter marriage, which is uncommon, a daughter leaves her own generation and joins the marriage section of her father's sisters, who are married to her mother's brothers. Grandparents are not differentiated, nor are grandchildren.

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