Thursday, December 22, 2011

Complex Unilineal Structures

Double Descent
Double descent affilates an individual with a group of kin who are related to him/her at the same time through both his/her father and mother including only the patrilineal kin of her/his father and the matrilineal kin of her/his mother.

A double descent system is thus a discrete combination of unilineal affiliation. The people in the double descent system use patrilineal descent for certain purposes and matrilineal descent for certain other purposes.The Ashanti tribe of West Coast Africa and the Yako tribe of Nigeria have double descent systems.

Among the Ashanti the matriline determines residence and it is the matrilineal group which is the land-owning unit.The political organization also had its roots here.On the other hand for the people it is the patri line which is the source if their spirit or soul.This is where the religious organization has its base. Thus while the matrilineal group is concerned with the secular space the patrilineal group is concerned with the religious sphere.

Bilateral Descent
Another complex structure is bilateral descent.In societies where kinship is determined on the basis of father and mother,it is known as bilateral descent.In a very few societies bilateral descent is prevalent.Descent normally does not go beyond 5-6 generations.When descent is traced not directly then such a kinship is known as collateral kinship and the members of such family are known as collateral kins.

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