Bene Israel - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. The Bene Israel strictly observed "caste" endogamy, marrying only other Bene Israel and, later, other Jews. However, there was no intermarriage between Gora (White) and Kala (Black) Bene Israel, the former claiming descent from the original families who were shipwrecked off the Konkan Coast and the latter being the descendants of mixed marriages with Hindus, possibly even Untouchables.

Kinship Terminology. In India, Bene Israel kinship terminology reflects local Marathi terminology, whereas in Israel the Bene Israel terms dod (uncle) and doda (aunt) refer to parent's siblings without specification of maternal/paternal linearity.

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