Austrailian Aboriginals Essay

2265 Words Dec 17th, 2012 10 Pages
AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINALS
Dana Weaver
Ant101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Prof. Steven Sager
Sept 2, 2012

In this paper, I will explain in detail how the kinship system works with the Australian Aboriginals. I will also explain how this system relates to how the live and interact in their society. I also want to compare their kinship system with ours here in America. The Aboriginals culture is a very complex and diverse culture. The Indigenous cultures of Australia are the oldest living culture in the world. “They go back at 50,000 years. ( http://australia.gov.au) They survived that long because of their ability to adapt to their environment and change over time. The Aboriginals are divided into small groups called
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The tribal members are sorted into categories with names used in each tribe. Relatives-in-law are often placed in the same categories.”( indigenousaustralia.info ) With the Aboriginals culture, you have a mother and a father that you would call mother or father. You also have the mother’s sister, who in our culture would be considered your aunt but the Aboriginals. She would be considered as your mother also and you would treat the same as if she is your biological mother. The same also goes with your father’s brother. That is a form of classificatory kinship. Your father’s sister is considered an aunt as well as your mother’s brother an uncle. “The statuses of the mother’s brother and father’s sister are an extension of the sibling relationship. This status involved special obligations and responsibilities in nearly all Aboriginal societies that could be combined with avoidance taboos. Such persons often have an important role in the initiation rituals of their brother's son or daughter, or sister's son or daughter.”( http://austhrutime.com ) But when it comes to marriage you are able to marry your father’s sister’s children as well as your mother’s brother children. In our culture that would be your first cousin and you wouldn’t be allowed to marry them because of the close relationship. Some relationships are

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