Australia kinship system

Family and kinship Aboriginal kinship and family structures bind Aboriginal people together Aboriginal kinship and family structures are still cohesive forces which bind Aboriginal people together in all parts of Australia. They provide psychological and emotional support to Aboriginal people even though they create concern among non- Aboriginal people who would prefer Aborigines to follow European social preferences for nuclear families with few kinship responsibilities. Aboriginal family obligations, often seen as nepotism by other Australians, may be reflecting cultural values, involving kinship responsibilities. Nearly all Aboriginal families know of relatives who were removed as children and put into European custody.

Australia kinship system

Historical view[ edit ] Anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan — performed the first survey of kinship terminologies in use around the world. Though much of his work is now considered dated, he argued that kinship terminologies reflect different sets of distinctions.

For example, most kinship terminologies distinguish between sexes the difference between a brother and a sister and between generations the difference between a child and a parent.

Moreover, he argued, kinship terminologies distinguish between relatives by blood and marriage although recently some anthropologists have argued that many societies define kinship in terms other than blood. However, Morgan also observed that different languages and, by extension, societies organize these distinctions differently.

He proposed to describe kinship terms and terminologies as either descriptive or classificatory. When a descriptive term is used, it can only represent one type of relationship between two people, while a classificatory term represents one of many different types of relationships.

For example, the word brother in English-speaking societies indicates a son of the same parent; thus, English-speaking societies use the word brother as a descriptive term.

A person's male first cousin could be the mother's brother's son, mother's sister's son, father's brother's son, father's sister's son, and so on; English-speaking societies therefore use the word cousin as a classificatory term. Morgan discovered that a descriptive term in one society can become a classificatory term in another society.

For example, in some societies, one would refer to many different people as "mother" the woman who gave birth to oneself, as well as her sister and husband's sister, and also one's father's sister.

Moreover, some societies do not group together relatives which the English-speaking societies classify together. For example, some languages have no one-word equivalent to cousin, because different terms refer to one's mother's sister's children and to one's father's sister's children.

Australia kinship system

Armed with these different terms, Morgan identified six basic patterns of kinship terminologies: Thus, siblings and cousins are not distinguished the same terms are used for both types of relatives. Siblings are distinguished from cousins, and different terms are used for each type of cousin i.

Lineal relatives have highly descriptive terms; collateral relatives have highly classificatory terms. Thus, siblings are distinguished from cousins, while all types of cousins are grouped together. The system of English-language kinship terms falls into the Eskimo type.

A genealogical relationship traced through a pair of siblings of the same sex is classed as a blood relationship, but one traced though a pair of siblings of the opposite sex can be considered an in-law relationship.

In other words, siblings are grouped together with parallel cousinswhile separate terms are used for cross-cousins.

Australia kinship system

Also, one calls one's mother's sister "mother" and one's father's brother "father". However, one refers to one's mother's brother and one's father's sister by separate terms often the terms for father-in-law and mother-in-law, since cross-cousins can be preferential marriage partners.

Relatives on the mother's side of the family have more descriptive terms, and relatives on the father's side have more classificatory terms. Thus, Crow kinship is like Iroquois kinship, with the addition that a number of relatives belonging to one's father's matrilineage are grouped together, ignoring generational differences, so that the same term is used for both one's father's sister and one's father's sister's daughter, etc.

Relatives on the mother's side of the family have more classificatory terms, and relatives on the father's side have more descriptive terms. Thus, Omaha kinship is like Iroquois, with the addition that a number of relatives belonging to one's mother's patrilineage are grouped together, ignoring generational differences, so that the same term is used for both one's mother's brother and one's mother's brother's son, etc.

The basic principles of Crow and Omaha terminologies are symmetrical and opposite, with Crow systems having a matrilineal emphasis and Omaha systems a patrilineal emphasis. Rather than one term for "brother", there exist, for example, different words for "older brother" and "younger brother".

In Tamil, an older male sibling is referred to as Annan and a younger male sibling as Thambi, whereas older and younger female siblings are called Akka and Thangai respectively. Identification of alternating generations[ edit ] Other languages, such as Chiricahuause the same terms of address for alternating generations.

Similar features are seen also in Huichol [1] [2]some descendant languages of Proto-Austronesian e. Fordata [3]Kei [4]and Yamdena [5] [6]Bislama [7]and Usarufa [8]. The relative age and alternating-generations systems are combined in some languages.

For instance, Tagalog borrows the relative age system of the Chinese kinship and follows the generation system of kinship. Philippine kinship distinguishes between generation, age and in some cases, gender.

If each female link M,D is assigned a 0 and each male F,B a 1, the number of 1s is either even or odd; in this case, even. However, variant criteria exist. There exists also a version of this logic with a matrilineal bias. Discoveries of systems that use modulo-2 logic, as in South Asia, Australia, and many other parts of the world, marked a major advance in the understanding of kinship terminologies that differ from kin relations and terminologies employed by Europeans.Australian Aborigines Kinship System Donalee Lund ANT Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Sashur Henninger January 7, Australian Aborigines Kinship System The Aborigines of Australia have a very complex kinship system and to be honest I am not sure I fully understand their kinship system.

Indigenous kinship The heart of Indigenous society. A person’s position in the kinship system establishes their relationship to others and to the universe, prescribing their responsibilities towards other people, the land and natural resources.

Wellbeing Magazine is australias most comprehensive online natural therapy guide featuring natural health articles, events, practitioner listings and courses. The first Australians: Kinship, family and identity. In Australian towns and cities Aboriginal families retain, to varying degrees, the kinship system of their ancestors.

Many Aboriginal people have non-Aboriginal spouses and live in situations where they are embedded in non-Aboriginal society. The family structures of urban and rural. In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated.

Anthropologist Robin Fox states that "the study of kinship is the study of what man does with these basic facts of life – mating, gestation, parenthood, socialization, siblingship etc. In our family, or kinship systems, we recognise our relations "by blood" and by marriage as in other also regard ourselves as being related (although not biologically or by marriage) to all the people within our cultural or linguistic region.

Kinship and Skin Names | Central Land Council, Australia