Lakher - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. As has been mentioned above, the Lakher are composed of six groups, each of which consists of a number of clans. The dialects spoken by each group are mutually intelligible. Each clan is believed to have taken the name of an ancestor, though it is no longer possible to trace the lineage to its point of origin. Clan solidarity is manifest particularly during life-cycle events (e.g., marriage, birth, death) as well as at certain sacrificial occasions of a private nature. For most other purposes, the central sociopolitical unit is the village. There exist no clan-based marital prohibitions, and at least four clans (the Bonghia, Thleutha, Hnaihleu, and Mihlong) may be of totemic origin. Within the overall clan hierarchy, royal clans assume primacy of place. These are followed, in descending order, by the phangsang (noble) clans and the machhi (commoners') clans. There is a discernible relationship between clan status and material wealth. Descent is patrilineal.

Kinship Terminology. Omaha-type kinship terms are employed for first cousins.


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