Pahari - Kinship



Kin Groups and Descent. As with most South Asian societies, Pahari society is composed of named, ranked castes, membership in which is determined by birth (i.e., by ancestry). Castes are with few exceptions endogamous, and Therefore they comprise very extended kin groups. Each caste is made up of exogamous patrilineal, patrilocal sibs (or clans). Each sib is made up of numerous extended joint families, Usually including two generations but ranging from one to as many as three or even four. Brothers are expected to keep the family and its patrimony intact, but even if they succeed in doing so, upon their deaths their children, who are cousins, generally divide it up.

Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology reflects this social structure: there are detailed terminological distinctions on the basis of affinity and consanguinity, of seniority (Generation, birth order, and age of self or husband), etc. But cousins are not terminologically distinguished from siblings, nor first from second cousins, etc. (i.e., all are regarded as Siblings). Therefore, it is a system employing standard Hawaiian-type cousin terms. In short, Pahari kinship organization and terminology are typical of those found throughout north India.


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