Guajiro - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The Guajiro are organized into some thirty nonlocalized clans (matrisibs) called eiruku, a term that also means "flesh" or "meat." Each one is associated with a proper name (or "flesh name," sünülia eiruki ) and a totemic animal, a "clan animal" ( uchii shiiruku ). These clans are actually agamic and noncorporate, however. Filiation is matrilineal. Persons recognized as relatives, designated by the general term wayuu kasa tanain ("the people who are something for me"), constitute two groups: apüshi and oupayu. The former are uterine relatives in the strict sense—an Egocentric group or matrilineage, depending on the author—who gather together in the same cemetery the bones of their dead and act as a corporate group. The term "oupayu" refers to the close uterine relatives (apüshi) of Ego's father. The complementarity of these two groups becomes apparent: at the time of bride-price negotiations (in general, the price is determined by the father of the bride if it is his first daughter or, for the other girls, by their uterine relatives), in situations of conflict (in general, compensation is claimed by the victim's father if the wound is superficial, and by the victim's maternal uncle if the injury is serious or mortal), and, finally, in funeral arrangements (it is often the father or other uterine relatives of the deceased who are responsible for organizing the first obsequies, since the second funeral is always the responsibility of the apüshi).

Kinship Terminology. Guajiro kinship terminology is of the Crow type.


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