Canelos Quichua - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. The ayllu is the bilateral kinship system as reckoned with a patrilateral bias for a maximum of three to four generations by male and female individuals and small intermarried groups. This system may be modified cognitively through the use of adjectives such as quiquin (one's own) or caru (distant) or a suffix such as pura (among us, ourselves). Ayllu means "kindred," "extended clan," and "maximal (dispersed) clan." The kinship system is intimately and inextricably tied to male shamanic nodes that merge and separate through time at levels of kindred, territorial clan, and maximal clan. Each powerful shaman is closely connected by consanguinity and/or affinity to a master potter. Affinal relationships of the grandparental generations, both demonstrated and stipulated, are very important in reckoning contemporary kinship structure and transmission patterns. A parallel system of kin-class transmission and cultural transmission takes place: men through men by the vehicle of shamanism, women through women by the vehicle of pottery manufacture.

Kinship Terminology. The primary term for mother's brother is extended to father's sister's husband; mother's brother and father's sister's husband are always in the same kin class. Affinity is important in reckoning consanguinity ties. Affinal and consanguineal kin terms indicate an ideology of parental or grandparental cousin marriage and a kin equation suggesting sibling exchange. These structural features, combined with the bifurcate-merging nature of avuncular terminology, raise the unsolved issue of prior terminological separation of parallel and cross cousins.

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