Cochin Jew - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. Cochin Jews observed strict caste endogamy, only marrying other Jews. However, there was no intermarriage between "White" and "Black" Jews. Even within the "White" Jewish subgroup, the "White" meyuhasim (privileged), who claimed direct descent from ancient Israel, did not accept their meshurarim, or manumitted slaves, as marriage partners. Similarly, the "Black" meyuhasim did not marry their freed slaves or proselytes. Today in Israel, more than one in every two Cochini marriages is contracted between Cochin Jews and other Israeli Jews.

Kinship Terminology. Cochin Jews in general tend to encourage cross-cousin marriage. Kinship terminology reflects local Malayalam terminology, while in Israel dod (uncle) and doda (aunt) refer to one's mother's and father's siblings without specification.


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