Nayaka - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. All the Nayaka of a local community consider each other kin. In everyday conversation they refer to and address each other by kinship terms. On the whole, families do not cooperate in work, share productive equipment, or exchange gifts; but people are expected to be generally friendly and hospitable toward one another. The Nayaka, though warm and friendly, are highly autonomous. They rarely cooperate with other members of their hamlet, and every six to eighteen months they move to another Hamlet. Life-cycle events are celebrated, if at all, by ad hoc aggregates of people within the locality who are invited by the celebrants. The conjugal family is the only corporate and effective group among the Nayaka. Its members share possessions, work, and responsibility for each other. There are no descent groups. The Nayaka attach equal importance to matrilateral and patrilateral kin links.

Kinship Terminology. Nayaka use kinship terms that reflect a Dravidian kinship terminology. In everyday application of kinship terms, they do not strictly maintain the distinctions between affinal and consanguinai relations in the first ascending and first descending generations.


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