Canela - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Canela kinship is bilateral, not unilineal. Matrilineality occurs only in the transmission of certain rights to perform rituals and only in about one-quarter of the matrilines. Full matrilineality and clans probably never existed. The smallest kin group is the "hearth" unit ( hàwmrõ ), which is based on two to seven closely related females, ideally a mother and two or three daughters and their husbands, children, and unmarried brothers. This group shares one hearth and most food. A row of hearths, in which females are related through all-female genealogical linkages, is called a "longhouse" ( ikhrerùù , house-long). Of the thirteen longhouses stretched around the circle in 1971, the longest included twelve houses and the smallest, one.

Ideally, all longhouse women of the same generation call each other "sister," being sisters or parallel cousins. These "sisters" call each other's parents "mother" or "father," and each other's children "children." Certain exceptions alter this terminological simplicity. Female personalname transmission, formal friendship, informal friendship, and some differences of two generations or more are some of the terminological systems that alter the ideal longhouse terminology. Nevertheless, along the village circle, a series of genealogically extended female parallel cousinships holds together a longhouse. Across the village circle, cross cousinships hold together certain pairs of longhouses. Ego's father's sisters', mother's father's sisters', and father's father's sisters' descendants all live in genealogically related longhouses. Ideally, Ego calls all women in his or her across-the-circle-related longhouses "father's sister," and the men "father" (father's sister's son) or "mother's brother" (mother's father's sister's son/father's father's sister's son), with many exceptions.

Kinship Terminology. The Canela kinship terminology is generally considered to be Crow in type. Special characteristics are that father's sister, father's mother, mother's mother, and all female ancestors are classed together terminologically, as are mother's brother, mother's father, father's father, and all male ancestors. The reciprocals of father's sister and mother's brother are in one category.

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