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Lifestyle, Relationships

Unusual Relationships – Beyond Polygamy & Polyandry

Please identify a kinship that applies in your African culture:

  • Amilateral: Ambilateral is sometimes used in kinship studies to refer to non-unilineal systems in which an individual may choose to align himself with either of his parental groups.
  • Adelphic Polyandry: The marriage of a woman to two or more brothers.
  • Amitaclan: A clan with patrilineal descent in which unmarried females reside with a paternal aunt and bring their husbands to the father’s sister’s home. It parallels the avuncuclan, but is only theoretical.
  • Amitalocal Residence: The norm whereby wives take their husbands to the residence of the bride’s father’s sister. It parallels avunculocal residence, but is only theoretical.
  • Amitate: In the amitate a sister is superior to her brother in that the paternal aunt can dictate the matrimonial destinies of her brother’s children.
  • Avunculate: Denotes the institutionalization of authority by the mother’s brother over the sister’s son and the latter being made the heir and companion of the former.
  • Avunculocal Residence: Postmarital residence of a newlywed couple with husband’s mother’s brother. Some have argued that the terms “viri-avunculocal” or “avuncu-virilocal” are more precise.
  • Cross-cousins: The children of opposite-sexed siblings; similarly, the offspring of one’s parents’ opposite-sexed siblings.
  • Matrifocal Family: Consists of a mother and her children. [I know a lot of Matrifocal families]
  • Nepotic Inheritance: The norm that a man inherits his uncle’s wife or wives.
  • Polygyny: Marriage of a male to two or more females.
  • Sororal Polygyny: Where the plural wives are sisters (to one another) [Vatsonga practice this kind of kinship, the sister wife usually comes in as Hlatswa or as an official second wife].
  • Polyandry: Marriage of a female to two or more males. [We first saw this on national TV on Generations: The Legacy].
  • Fraternal Polyandry: Where the husbands are brothers (to one another).

Yet they ridicule us for ndovolo *sigh*…

Content sourced from: Anthropology.au.edu (Kinship Glossary)

Image: Pixabay

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