Thursday, January 5, 2012

Descent

Descent refers to a principle arising out of series of affiliations i.e parent-child links known as filiation.Accordind to Fortes a child is filiated to both parents but he is only descended from one of them in a unilineal system.Thus he is equally the child of both parents but he only derives his legal and political status from one of them-father in a patrilineal and mother in a matrilineal system.

However in patrilineal system a man is only descended from his father does not mean that his tie to filiation with his mother is lost.He is still her child and has some rights as a result of this.Fortes refer to it as complementary filiation that is the ties a man has through the parents who does not give him his descent status.

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