Australian Aborigines and Their Complex Kinship Essay

1207 Words Jul 28th, 2012 5 Pages
Amanda hamner | Australian Aborigines and their Complex Kinship | Introduction into Cultural Anthropology | | Kathryn Grant | 6/11/2012 |


Australian Aborigines and their Complex Kinship
Aborigines have a complex system in relation to their social and marriage laws, based on the grouping of people within their society. To understand the complexities of their social organization, consider it this way: divide it first into three main parts. The first part is the physical structuring of society in terms of numbers – family, horde and tribe. Second, the religious structuring based on beliefs and customs, totems and marriage laws. (Kinship, 2005) These beliefs divide people into sections and subsections, totemic groups
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The value of a kinship system is that it structures people's relationships, responsibilities and manners towards each other. This in turn defines such matters as, who they will have look after children if a parent dies, who can marry whom, who is accountable for another person's debts and who will care for the sick, weak and old.
The kinship system allows individual naming for up to 70 connection terms in some tribes. (Australian, 2012) It is the system where brothers of one's father are also called, in one sense, father. Cousins may be called brother or sister. A person knows who their real mother and father are, but under kinship laws, they may have similar family obligations to their aunts and uncles, the same as they would to their mother and father, and this is shared.
These groups are further described as tribes. In Australia, tribes are really language groups, made up of people sharing the same language, customs, and general laws. The people of a tribe share a common bond and in their own language, their word for man is often the word used for the name of the tribe. For example, in Arnhem Land, people are called Yolgnu because Yolgnu name for man. People from another tribe are outsiders, because a tribe is like a

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