Craho - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. Kin groups are the elementary family, the domestic group, and the residential segment. Near kin include, among others, the relatives born in the same residential segment, which is exogamous. There are also distant kin and nonkin, from whom it is possible to choose a husband or wife. These categories do not have well-defined contours. Near kin, who constitute a kindred, exchange food and services among themselves in a generalized reciprocity, but forbid sexual relations among themselves. Sexual activity with the others is permitted, but food and services are exchanged in a balanced reciprocity. Punishment for incest is more sociological than religious: the more a man increases the number of women with whom he has sexual intercourse, the more he decreases the number of women from whom he can get free food. Sexual intercourse or marriage with a near kin (it seems never to occur between individuals born in the same residential segment) involves a more expensive indemnization or matrimonial prestation.

The Craho have no unilineal groups. They have several pairs of moieties, all of them linked to a series of specific rites, but they do not regulate marriage. Two pairs of these moieties have as their membership criterion the transmission of personal names. There is another pair, which consists of two age-class clusters, and several others, membership in which is simply by free choice: a man can become a member at the time of a certain rite, but he can change to the opposite moiety during the following performance of the same rite. Male personal names are transmitted by relatives included in the keti terminological category, which includes mother's brother, mother's father, father's father, and their half brothers and parallel cousins. Female personal names are transmited by tui, a category that includes father's sister, father's mother, mother's mother, their half sisters and parallel cousins, and every woman born in the same residential segment as the father.

With the personal name an individual receives his membership in a season moiety, as well as formal friends, ritual roles, kinship terms to be applied to distant kin and nonkin, and, for men only, inclusion in a plaza group that is part of a moiety of another pair. On the other hand, an individual is linked to his father, mother, brother, sister, son, and daughter by food restrictions during critical life periods, such as the first months after birth, illness, or snake bite. In Craho thought, an individual's body is biologically tied to those of his or her parents, siblings, and children and is masked as the same ritual personage animated by his or her name's transmitter.

Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology is of the Crow type. Cognatic terminology can be extended by an individual to the outer limits of society, but its Crow features are blurred by the overlap of affinal terms, formal friendship terms, name transmission, and terminological changes that occur when kin behavior is modified by individual choices. Some features of female-name transmission can produce a partial Omaha effect in terminology.

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