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Marriage, Descent, Residence, Death, Funerary Customs, etc. - Gtx0 ?>


Marriage, Descent, Residence, Death, Funerary Customs, etc.
Posted: Posted November 30th, 2008 by chiarizio
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@Cerne:

The terms "patriclan" and "matriclan" are already in use.

A "patriclan" is a unilineal descent group to which one belongs because one's father belonged to it.

A "matriclan" is a unilineal descent group to which one belongs because one's mother belonged to it.

[quote:72660f80a8="This kinship glossary"


Your use of the term seems like a reasonable variation of the standard use; the difference is that in your society a "patriclan" seems to know who their "apical ancestor" is/was; and it looks like septs of the clan (such as everybody descended through the male line from that ancestor's second son) still qualify as "patriclans".

But that's only true if that apical ancestor's daughters' descenants, and granddaughters' descendants, etc., don't count as members of the patriclan. I believe that's what you meant; membership passes only through males. Is it what you meant?

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NOTE: Here I have only concentrated on the social aspects of my concultures and have left out beliefs and material culture. If anyone wants further clarification or explanation of any of the points, or wants to offer constructive criticism on them, quote them in a post stating what you want clarified or explained and I'll get back to you.


Actually you've covered little other than marriage, descent, residence, death, funerary customs, etc.

(Though I must compliment you on how well you've covered those!)

You haven't mentioned such rites-of-passage as coming-of-age. You haven't said much about education. You haven't said much about division-of-labor. You haven't said much about status or prestige or government or debts. You haven't mentioned how warfare (or whatever hostilities there might be instead of war) is conducted, nor how wars start, nor how they are avoided, nor how they are ended. You haven't mentioned anything about lawsuits and how they are decided or avoided. You haven't mentioned anything about how property is inherited -- you didn't even mention primogeniture once, as near as I can tell, nor say "everything goes to the oldest son" or "oldest daughter" or "youngest son" or "youngest daughter" or "oldest sister's oldest son" or "gets split up equally among all the sons" or "gets split up equally among all the daughters" or "gets split up equally among all the children" or "gets split up equally among all the wives" or "gets split up equally among all the sisters" or "gets split up equally among all the nephews".

You do mention occupation and occupational rank, but mostly to say you won't talk about it. You do mention slavery but don't say what it is, how one falls into it, how one can be redeemed from it, or how the societies that don't have it compensate.

You don't mention festivals. You don't mention guest/host relationships. You don't mention gifts.

You say little about politics or social stratification except that in one instance you say you haven't worked it out yet. In the other instances, did you work it out and just not mention it for some reason?

None of this is criticism of what you did mention; nor of your consocieties. I only say what you left out to illustrate why I think it's difficult, if not impossible, to summarize even a fictional society in just twenty sentences.

The fact is your summaries are very much worth reading, and I thank you for them. I just want more.

Posted November 30th, 2008 by chiarizio
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Your use of the term seems like a reasonable variation of the standard use;


Hence why I used it :wink: I had a feeling it was already an established term but, if in the chance I was making it up, I thought it would be safer to list it as an invented term in case viewers actually believed me. Still, thanks for pointing that out :thumbright: Muchly appreciated.

the difference is that in your society a "patriclan" seems to know who their "apical ancestor" is/was; and it looks like septs of the clan (such as everybody descended through the male line from that ancestor's second son) still qualify as "patriclans".


Not only that, but - by the way I use it - the oldest member of the patri-clan is still alive. In this circumstance a patri-clan is simply a single extended family where all of the males are directly related to the oldest living male member of the family. These are called Clan Chiefs and they are the only ones who can take part in the Elders' council. In pre-Iron Age Mokuri society they were also the only members of the society with political power because, at that time, the Council of Elders was the only political group the Mokuri had to govern the rest of the society.

But that's only true if that apical ancestor's daughters' descenants, and granddaughters' descendants, etc., don't count as members of the patriclan. I believe that's what you meant; membership passes only through males. Is it what you meant?


Nope. As long as you're married to one of the males descended from the clan chief, or are the daughter of one of his descendants, you are a part of the clan and hence part of the household. It doesn't go any farther than that, though. Once a woman from one of these clans marries, she is no longer a part of her parents' clan. She now belongs to her husband's clan (albeit indirectly).

Actually you've covered little other than marriage, descent, residence, death, funerary customs, etc.


That was pretty much all I needed to cover in order to adequately describe each society in ten points, with one or two sentences each. Everything else you've brought up either doesn't apply to these societies or is not relevant in characterizing them from societies on Earth or from things you would expect in a fictional society. Really, all I need to say about those additional aspects is either "they don't have that" or "pretty much like the way we do it on Earth" and IMO it would be a waste of space.

(Though I must compliment you on how well you've covered those!)


Thank you.

You do mention occupation and occupational rank, but mostly to say you won't talk about it.


???

Each point needs to be one or two sentences only so I had to be as short as I could. I don't think I ever said I wouldn't talk about it though. Anything in particular you want to know about it?

You say little about politics or social stratification except that in one instance you say you haven't worked it out yet.


Another strange statement. I never typed anywhere that any of what I put down was not worked out.

In the other instances, did you work it out and just not mention it for some reason?


Umm, yes and no. What I included was what I would use to describe that society in particular. What I left out was either not important enough to include or was not something that would characterize the society from other societies on my conworld or from societies on Earth. I was limited for space (as I'm sure you knew) so I could only sum up the more unique aspects of the society as those would probably be the aspects that come to my mind when I describe it.

The fact is your summaries are very much worth reading, and I thank you for them. I just want more.


Then ask about it. I can compress a description into ten points or less but I obviously can't fill it with a lot of detail or explanations while staying in those boundaries.

Posted November 30th, 2008 by Cerne
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Cerne
 

@ chiarizio: I decided to take a second look at what you said I had left out and tried to see if I really did leave out anything in my three ten-point descriptions.

You haven't mentioned such rites-of-passage as coming-of-age.


Yes I did.

5. Status inside of a patri-clan depends on age, with older generations having higher status than lower generations.


7. An individual who has died can only be called an ancestor when those who knew him have also died; before then, even though he has ancestor status (I.e. treated as an ancestor by everyone), he is still considered only a family member by those who knew him.


8. An individual who has died can only be thought of as an honored ancestor if they have lived a full life (over 40 years) and can not otherwise be given a proper burial.


For the Mokuri, death is a rite of passage to becoming an ancestor. It is also a rite of passage for the physical body to literally become a tree and the soul, or "Pa," to reunite with Pachakuri.

10. In urbanized Noktan society, adult males live alone until they are married. Female Noktan live with their parents until they are married.


For urbanized Noktan, marriage is a rite of passage. For females it is when you leave your family to start a completely different life. For males, it is when you finally have your own family to look after. For urbanized male Noktan, moving away from your family to live alone for the first time can be considered a rite of passage in much the ame way that getting your own apartment can be for young men in North America.

Shilamzhu society is monogamous for males. A male can only have one wife at a time.


For Shilamzhu males, marriage can also be considered a rite of passage as it is when you become an adult. That in turn can have many implications.

8. Shilamzhu society is patrilineal but inheritance is passed on to a male's daughter, not his son. A father's son-in-law is more of a son to him than his biological son.


Inheritance of important family posessions can be considered a rite of passage.

9. Shilamzhu society is matrifocal. a female's husband(s) leave their families and join their wife's family.


Leaving one's own family to join another can be considered a rite of passage.

10. Shilamzhu society is neolocal: a female's husband gets his own house (part of the dowry) from his father-in-law.


Recieving a house from one's father-in-law, getting your own house, living away from your family, all are rites of passage for Shilamzhu males because they signify that he is now an independant adult.
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You haven't said much about education.


Where education occurs at all is not something important enough to put into a ten-point outline of a society unless there is something peculiar or unusual in this specific society. Simply being in a society or culture is education in itself because it passes down knowledge to new generations merely by including them. There is no formal education in pre-Iron Age Mokuri society or pre-urban Shilamzhu society except that of occupational instruction. Which you would expect anyway if you were a part of one of these occupations. It's just something you would expect from these societies so I saw no reason to waste space describing it anyway.
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You haven't said much about division-of-labor.


4. Status outside of a patri-clan[1] depends on ancestry, with the descendents of a first-born ancestor having higher status than the descendants of a second-born ancestor.
5. Status inside of a patri-clan depends on age, with older generations having higher status than lower generations.
6. Military and other forms of occupational rank exists outside of these two determinants but not above it.


In Mokuri society, those with higher status get more priviledged occupations involving more political power or military skill or prowess. Think about our own military systems: those with higher rank get somewhat safer or more privileged jobs. The same goes with the Mokury military. So why should I waste space including something like that?

2. Traditional Noktan society is completely egalitarian and recognizes occupational status but not occupational rank.
3. Urbanized Noktan recognize occupational status and rank but not obligation.


This says it plain and simple. There is no rank in traditional Noctan society and Noktan in cities don't recognize obligational differences so how are you supposed to tell what the division of labour is?

3. Shilamzhu society is polyamorous for males. If a male captures a female slave, she may become his concubine. ...The amount of concubines a male can have does not depend on wealth (if he can catch 'em, he can have 'em).


This indicates that there are atleast two divisions of labour: one for slaves and one for free-working Shilamzhu. It also indicates that female slaves become concubines while male slaves do menial work.
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You haven't said much about status or prestige or government


Returning to this one, I distinctly remember keeping status and prestige in mind while making these three ten-point outlines.

4. Status outside of a patri-clan[1] depends on ancestry, with the descendents of a first-born ancestor having higher status than the descendants of a second-born ancestor.
5. Status inside of a patri-clan depends on age, with older generations having higher status than lower generations.


2. Traditional Noktan society is completely egalitarian and recognizes occupational status but not occupational rank.
3. Urbanized Noktan recognize occupational status and rank but not obligation.


1. Shilamese society is patriarchal externally (outside of the family) but matriarchal internally (inside the family).


7. The amount of husbands a female can have depends on her family's wealth.


Status and prestige in Mokuri society is dictated almost completely by lineage, except when in the military. In Noktan society, it is not dictated at all unless where I have stated otherwise. In urban Mokuri and Noktan societies rank and prestige functions in much the same way typical rank-and-prestige systems on Earth do: you can either go up or down in the hierarchy based on what you do, who you are, or who you're related to. But I already indicated this. In Shilamzhu society rank and prestige can be dictated by gender and wealth, as I have also shown. In all three of these societies, government is decided by rank. For Mokuri, elders carry most of the political power, as indicated where I said that status is dictated by age. And in Shilamzhu society, power is dictated by wealth which is in turn dictated by that individual's accomplishments. But I assumed you could tell that by the outline...I guess not.
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or debts.


Irrelevent. Debts don't exist in any of these societies yet, and where they do, they follow hierarchical systems. In Mokuri society, younger generations are automatically in debt of older generations for holding their lineal rank valid in the rest of the society. It's sort of like an involuntary debt that you are born into. If/when debt does exist, it would work in much the same way we would expect it to. If you owe someone something, you pay it back to them. Why is this important enough to include in an outline that limits the description to ten points with two sentences per point?
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You haven't mentioned how warfare (or whatever hostilities there might be instead of war) is conducted, nor how wars start, nor how they are avoided, nor how they are ended.


Warfare is not a regular part of Mokuri society and definately not a regular part of Nokran society. However...

3. Shilamzhu society is polyamorous for males. If a male captures a female slave, she may become his concubine.


The fact that Shilamzhu have involuntary servitude and that they catch others against their will indicates that there may be warfare involved, or atleast some sort of hostility. But again, unless a culture practices warefare on a regular basis and warefare is important to their culture, there is no need to put in a description of how they would conduct a war when space is limited. It's just not as important and it doesn't characterize the society.
_________________

You haven't mentioned anything about lawsuits and how they are decided or avoided.


Irrelevant. None of the cocieties on my conworld even have lawsuits.
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You haven't mentioned anything about how property is inherited -- you didn't even mention primogeniture once, as near as I can tell, nor say "everything goes to the oldest son" or "oldest daughter" or "youngest son" or "youngest daughter" or "oldest sister's oldest son" or "gets split up equally among all the sons" or "gets split up equally among all the daughters" or "gets split up equally among all the children" or "gets split up equally among all the wives" or "gets split up equally among all the sisters" or "gets split up equally among all the nephews".


umm, yes I sort of did.

3. Mokuri lineages are strictly patrilineal and are arranged in a Polynesian-style bell system.
4. Status outside of a patri-clan[1] depends on ancestry, with the descendents of a first-born ancestor having higher status than the descendants of a second-born ancestor.
5. Status inside of a patri-clan depends on age, with older generations having higher status than lower generations.


For Mokuri, property is handed down along patrilineal lines from one forefather to the next. It only makes sense that, if patrilines and ancestors was so important to this society, they would inherit their posessons that way.

2. Traditional Noktan society is completely egalitarian


I had assumed this could indicate that no one Noktan could have any more than any other Noktan and hence that nobody could really have anything that someone else didn't have, making possession rather futile. I mean, if somebody already has the same thing, why would they take yours? ...I guess I was wrong. In any case, Noktan don't believe in personal posession so they don't have any personal posessions. What is one person's posession is everyone's posession. This is more a belief rather than a social dynamic, however, so I didn't include it. Didn't seem that important either, but maybe I was wrong about that too.

6. A female's family (mostly her father) needs to offer her husband's family a dowry. The husband has to repay this dowry as interest later on to remain married to her.


This clearly indicates posession and the distribution of posessions as wealth.

7. The amount of husbands a female can have depends on her family's wealth.


This does too. The number of husbands a female has indicates how much her father has and how much he has given her for her dowry.

8. Shilamzhu society is patrilineal but inheritance is passed on to a male's daughter, not his son.


And this explains who inherits the property. A male's daughter gets her wealth from her father and her husband gets it from her as a dowry.
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You do mention slavery but don't say what it is, how one falls into it, how one can be redeemed from it, or how the societies that don't have it compensate.


'What' slavery entails is fairly obvious: it is involuntary servitude. As for how one falls into it:

3. Shilamzhu society is polyamorous for males. If a male captures a female slave, she may become his concubine.


Basically, slaves are citizens of other villages - and, for the most part, different cultural backgrounds - who are caught and taken against their will to serve whoever caught them, They can't be redeemed of slavery unless they run away (which is obvious) and those who don't have slaves basically do without them (which is also obvious).
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You don't mention festivals.


Festivals lie more in the fields of culture (the way we do things) and belief (why we do them). It doesn't have anything to do with the dynamics of a society or how it works so I didn't include them.
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You don't mention guest/host relationships. You don't mention gifts.


2. Mokuri worship their family's direct ancestors and pay homage to them atleast once a day.


Most of the time Mokuri don't give gifts. They pay tribute, either to the ancestor tree on which the house in particular is situated on or to the any number of ancestors directly related to the family living in the house. When gifts are given, they have no particular reason behind them other than a random act of kindness or friendship. But then, unless I said something in particular about giving gifts in this or any other society, I'd hope that would be what readers would expect. Hence the importance of putting it into the ten-point summary.

2. Traditional Noktan society is completely egalitarian


I've already explained how Noktan feel about material posessions. Giving a gift in this society would be like saying "you can have it now, I'm done with it" or "I thought you might need this (hence random act of kindness)." Basically it is assumed that, if a Noktan wants something, they get up and get it on their own.

6. A female's family (mostly her father) needs to offer her husband's family a dowry. The husband has to repay this dowry as interest later on to remain married to her.


8. Shilamzhu society is patrilineal but inheritance is passed on to a male's daughter, not his son.


10. Shilamzhu society is neolocal: a female's husband gets his own house (part of the dowry) from his father-in-law.


Suffice to say, in Shilamzhu society this is about as close to gift giving as you're gonna get. Shilamzhu operate almost entirely on exchange and robbing. Giving gifts is very rare and thus not that important.
_________________

You say little about politics or social stratification


And again...

4. Status outside of a patri-clan[1] depends on ancestry, with the descendents of a first-born ancestor having higher status than the descendants of a second-born ancestor.
5. Status inside of a patri-clan depends on age, with older generations having higher status than lower generations.


2. Traditional Noktan society is completely egalitarian and recognizes occupational status but not occupational rank.
3. Urbanized Noktan recognize occupational status and rank but not obligation.


1. Shilamese society is patriarchal externally (outside of the family) but matriarchal internally (inside the family).


7. The amount of husbands a female can have depends on her family's wealth.

_________________

So you can see why I wouldn't want to include most of this in my outline. It is either irrelevent to the society (they don't have it), not important (you should be able to assume what they would do), or I have already included it in one way or another. So yeah, you're right - you can't put in every single minute detail if a society in a ten-point two-sentence maximum description - but you don't need to in order to characterize the society. Just put down what is important or unique about it that makes it that society. And do what Blake suggested. Learn to compress your sentences with more descriptive language and references.

Now, who else wants to give this a shot? :D

Posted December 2nd, 2008 by Cerne
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Cerne
 


@ chiarizio:
I decided to take a second look at what you said I had left out and tried to see if I really did leave out anything in my three ten-point descriptions.
---- CUT ----


So, it looks like you did say something about a lot of those things; it just wasn't clear to me that that's what they were about until you explained it in your last post.

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BTW about the patriclans' female members.

Parallel to any father-and-son line of males are going to be two lines of females.

Their wives and mothers will form a line related to one another as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Their daughters and sisters will form a line related as aunt-and-niece.

These lines do, in fact, exist, whether or not the members of the culture are aware of them or place any importance on them.

Parallel to each of those lines of women will be a second group of men.

The brothers and fathers of the mother-in-law-and-daughter-in-law line is one such group; in some cultures (those in which a man marries his mother's brother's daughter or a girl classified with her) it will form a father-and-son line.

The sons and husbands of the aunt-and-niece line is the other such group; in some cultures (those in which a woman marries her father's sister's son or a boy classified with him) it also will form a father-and-son line.

Something similar could be said for any society in which a man's wife and his brother's wife are necessarily classified as sisters (say, perhaps, because one of the women is the other woman's father's brother's daughter). In all such cases the sons and husbands of the aunt-and-niece line will form a line; but not always a father-and-son line. Likewise the brothers and fathers of the motherinlaw-and-daughterinlaw line will form a line; but not always a father-and-son line.

(In societies where a man's wife and his brother's wife needn't have any particular relationship to each other, those two groups of men needn't form lines.)

Posted December 3rd, 2008 by chiarizio
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Parallel to any father-and-son line of males are going to be two lines of females.

Their wives and mothers will form a line related to one another as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Their daughters and sisters will form a line related as aunt-and-niece.


There are indeed two ways in which females can fit into a Mokuri patriline but these groups are not connected as a "line" of relationships in the way that males are. When a female joins her husband's family, she is a complete stranger with no connections to anyone other than her husband. She is, in essence, thought to be nothing more than a shadow of her husband, as his symbolic Pa so there is no way she can have a connection to anyone else in the family. Before then, she is thought to be a shadow of her father. To put it basically, females don't fit into lineages at all because they don't exist.

These lines do, in fact, exist, whether or not the members of the culture are aware of them or place any importance on them.


They can exist, but this depends on their importance to the culture in which they are found. We recognize these relationships in our own culture and we look for them in other cultures because they are a part of North American families. They are important to us, hence why we look for them. But it is equally possible for these relationships not to exist. I might add that similarity between people in their relationships to their spouse does not necessarily mean there is a relationship between these people themselves. There may very well be terms in Mokuri for "mother-in-law" and "daughter-in-law" (I haven't gotten this far with the Mokuri language yet) but that does not and should not imply a relationship with that individual.

Parallel to each of those lines of women will be a second group of men.

The brothers and fathers of the mother-in-law-and-daughter-in-law line is one such group; in some cultures (those in which a man marries his mother's brother's daughter or a girl classified with her) it will form a father-and-son line.

The sons and husbands of the aunt-and-niece line is the other such group; in some cultures (those in which a woman marries her father's sister's son or a boy classified with him) it also will form a father-and-son line.


This isn't possible in Mokuri families. The relationships between fathers and sons in a Mokuri patriclan are very strict and mutually exclusive. Any males that are not descended from a certain male are excluded from any sort of relationship whatsoever with the descendants of that male out of clan loyalty, Stratification among these living family clans depends on which clan ancestor was born first to the last common ancestor of all the clans being stratified against each other, as well as who's clan ancestor is older generation-wise. Clan piety is so strong that it would be inconcievable for two males from two families to hold any sort of relationship to each other. That is why females change their familial status completely when they get married, and why they hold such low positions in Mokuri society.

(In societies where a man's wife and his brother's wife needn't have any particular relationship to each other, those two groups of men needn't form lines.)


Doesn't this kind of defeat the purpose of unilineal descent? There is always going to be some level of exclusivity between families with these types of lineal systems. The purpose behind unilineal descent is to emphasize the relationships between one sex's line of descent only, so naturally it would override the need for members of the opposite sex to form relationships with each other in the same family. While I could understand how these types of inter-family relationships could happen, I don't see why they would need to happen. If they did, I doubt there would even be such thing as unilineal descent because it would no longer be important. Then again I could be wrong, but I always thought the purpose of unilineal descent was tracing ancestry through exclusion.

If I were to apply them to Mokuri families, the clan hierarchies I had planned for them couldn't exist. So for Mokuri society, clan exclusivity is very important. Adding a second line of females would not only be pointless - clan patrifocality makes only one female line possible so they would still be the lowest line while the male line would always be the highest - it would be detrimental to clan hierarchy because it would create a tie between two families with large gaps in their common ancestor's lineage between the ancestor of one family and the ancestor of the other family. This would enable the lower family to be higher than any clans that were originally intermediate in ancestry when they otherwise did not earn it. To put it more simply, it makes birth order in male children irrelevant and this defeats the purpose behind clan hierarchy.

Posted August 30th, 2009 by Cerne
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Cerne
 

...(lots of good stuff CUT)...
Thanks; interesting.
(In societies where a man's wife and his brother's wife needn't have any particular relationship to each other, those two groups of men needn't form lines.)
Doesn't this kind of defeat the purpose of unilineal descent? There is always going to be some level of exclusivity between families with these types of lineal systems.
No and yes. If a man's wife and his brother's wife needn't be related in any particular way, then the society doesn't have a Prescriptive Marriage System; so, that would defeat the Prescriptive Marriage System. But, in "our" system (in most of real-life modern USAmerica), neither of my ex-wives was related to the other, nor is my brother's wife related to either of them.
The two lines of men I was talking about are the father-in-law - to - son-in-law line, and the uncle-to-nephew line. They depend on a mother-to-daughter line. If the mother-to-daughter line is not noticed by the society, not even to the extent of assigning it a name, then those two groups of mean needn't be organizible into a line. In our (contemporary USAan) system, in fact, the mother-daughter line isn't named, and so a man probably doesn't share a name with his mother's brothers nor his sisters' sons, and also doesn't share a name with his wives' fathers nor his daughters' husbands.

The purpose behind unilineal descent is to emphasize the relationships between one sex's line of descent only,
What its purpose is in your conculture is up to you.
But in real life that can't be its purpose.
For one thing, there is a unilineal descent group system in use in a real live culture wherein membership is inherited from the parent of the opposite sex; a woman belongs to the same group her father and her father's mother belonged to, and to the same group her sons and her sons' daughters will belong to.
For another there are cultures that have two unilineal descent group systems operating simultaneously.
So, I don't know what other purpose it has, nor why it doesn't have the purpose you said, but I do know that it doesn't always have the purpose you said.

so naturally it would override the need for members of the opposite sex to form relationships with each other in the same family.
But it doesn't do that. It is the absence of the other kind of UDG that causes that, rather than the presence of this kind. For instance, if there are patrilines, the mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, and the aunt-to-niece (that is, father's sister to brother's daughter) lines, tend to be strong. If you want proof, ask around for several months in your own family and you'll see how much stronger the motherinlaw-daughterinlaw bond is than the fatherinlaw-soninlaw bond would lead you to believe. (Of course such a bond could have a negative side, if it turns out they don't like each other. But even then it's stronger than a typical negative fatherinlaw-soninlaw bond.)
But since we don't have named matrilines, the bond between a man and his mother's brother or a man and his sister's son doesn't extend to a third (second?) generation in either direction; even less so, in our culture, does the bond between a man and his wife's father or a man and his daughter's husband.

While I could understand how these types of inter-family relationships could happen, I don't see why they would need to happen.
I don't remember saying need. At any rate I wouldn't say it now. But, in my conculture, they in fact do occur.

If they did, I doubt there would even be such thing as unilineal descent because it would no longer be important. Then again I could be wrong,
That happens to be disproven by real-life counterexamples.

I always thought the purpose of unilineal descent was tracing ancestry through exclusion.
Well, surely it must be something like that. Even in my conculture, where three different UDG systems operate simultaneously, a boy doesn't share one with his father's mother and a girl doesn't share one with her mother's father.
In my conculture the main use of the UDGs I've come up with so far is guaranteeing that marriages don't occur between people who are too consanguineous. If none of either parties' grandparents share any UDGs with any of the other party's grandparents, then the parties' most recent common ancestor must have been several genarations back.
I also use the UDGs in inheritance. Certain heritable items pass along patrilines, certain ones pass along matrilines, and certain ones pass along "the rope" (the alternating-sex UDG).

...(a bit more good stuff CUT)...
Interesting.

Thanks.

Posted August 30th, 2009 by chiarizio
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If a man's wife and his brother's wife needn't be related in any particular way, then the society doesn't have a Prescriptive Marriage System; so, that would defeat the Prescriptive Marriage System.


What? Prescriptive marriage only means that the partners are arranged to each other. Their spouses don't need to be related before the marriage and they don't need to share a relationship with each other afterward. Quite frankly, I don't think the people who imploy these marital systems would even care unless it was a tradition in that particular culture.

The two lines of men I was talking about are the father-in-law - to - son-in-law line, and the uncle-to-nephew line. They depend on a mother-to-daughter line. If the mother-to-daughter line is not noticed by the society, not even to the extent of assigning it a name, then those two groups of mean needn't be organizible into a line.


Umm, OK.

This is what I meant when I said that the relationships in a unilineage (mothers and daughters in matrilines, fathers and sons in patrilines) override those of their spouses. A father-in-law and son-in-law in a matriline may hold the same types of relationships with their spouses and hence hold the same positions in their marital family but that doesn't necessarily mean that they themselves are related to each other. That relationship will only exist if the people in that society place it there, and that depends on the culture. In contrast, the father-in-law and son-in-law could merely be seperate twigs in their wives' lineal branch, without any further connections between the two.

And saying that relationships in a unilineage depend on those between their spouses is silly. Not all lineages are bilateral. in some of them there is no prior relationship at all. In fact, this may very well be intentionally avoided.

The purpose behind unilineal descent is to emphasize the relationships between one sex's line of descent only,


What its purpose is in your conculture is up to you.
But in real life that can't be its purpose.


Alright then. What is its purpose?

Nevermind, I'll answer that. The purpose of unilineal descent is blood. More specifically, it is about shared blood. Blood that is passed down only through one sex. If a father has children, his male child(ren) will have his blood. His female child(ren) will have it too but, in unilineal descent, only one sex can carry on the family name and the family line. And in a patrilineal descent this will be the men. Or the women in matrilineal descent. So the purpose of unilineal descent is to pass down blood from one individual to the next through only one sex. And the purpose of having or belonging to a unilineage is the ability to trace that lineage from parent to child along an entire line of fathers and sons, or mothers and daughters, and being able to claim direct descent from an ancestor of the same sex.

For one thing, there is a unilineal descent group system in use in a real live culture wherein membership is inherited from the parent of the opposite sex; a woman belongs to the same group her father and her father's mother belonged to, and to the same group her sons and her sons' daughters will belong to.
For another there are cultures that have two unilineal descent group systems operating simultaneously.


I don't know what the heck those lineal systems are called that switch sexes like the one you mentioned but they definately aren't unilineal. And unless the line of descent was sex-exclusive, that second example you gave was an example of bilineal descent. Not unilineal descent. If it was sex-exclusive, both lineages still could be unilineal but there is a special term for that and I can't remember it right now. In any case, parallel unilineages are far from the norm and their gender-exclusivity still doesn't rule out the emphasis on relationships within a particular sex's line of descent. In fact, it enforces these relationships. If it didn't, there wouldn't be any gender-exclusivity.

So, I don't know what other purpose it has, nor why it doesn't have the purpose you said, but I do know that it doesn't always have the purpose you said.


If it doesn't, it's not unilineal. Simple as that. That's why it wouldn't have the purpose I said. People use the term for a reason.

so naturally it would override the need for members of the opposite sex to form relationships with each other in the same family.


But it doesn't do that. It is the absence of the other kind of UDG that causes that, rather than the presence of this kind. For instance, if there are patrilines, the mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, and the aunt-to-niece (that is, father's sister to brother's daughter) lines, tend to be strong.


You are talking about that parallel descent thing again. Unilineal descent doesn't necessarily have to involve two lines of descent so it doesn't need to rely on pre-existing relationships between those who are marrying into the family. If the society in which this sort of thing was practiced made it important to do so, then a second UDG would probably be necessary. But that is far from being a rule in human societies.

If you want proof, ask around for several months in your own family and you'll see how much stronger the motherinlaw-daughterinlaw bond is than the fatherinlaw-soninlaw bond would lead you to believe.


Actually, relationships between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in my family are not really that prevalent but I am assuming the reason why this occurs in families is the desire for a wife to impress or live up to her husbands mother's high standards. Mothers tend to form strong bonds with their sons when their relationship with their husbands is not strong enough for them. Clingy women often tend to produce "mama's boys" and, when their sons eventually marry, their wives may feel compelled to maintain a good relationship with their mother-in-laws in order to curb their jealousy. Of course, this doesn't always happen. Then you get fights and this could lead to the poor man having to choose between his mother and his wife.

But to return to the point: we are talking about blood here, remember? Non-blood bonds can occur but they don't define a lineage in themselves unless the two lineages decided to marry into each other so bonds that aren't tied by blood don't matter.

[quote="chiarizio"]If a man's wife and his brother's wife needn't be related in any particular way, then the society doesn't have a Prescriptive Marriage System; so, that would defeat the Prescriptive Marriage System.


What? Prescriptive marriage only means that the partners are arranged to each other. Their spouses don't need to be related before the marriage and they don't need to share a relationship with each other afterward. Quite frankly, I don't think the people who imploy these marital systems would even care unless it was a tradition in that particular culture.

The two lines of men I was talking about are the father-in-law - to - son-in-law line, and the uncle-to-nephew line. They depend on a mother-to-daughter line. If the mother-to-daughter line is not noticed by the society, not even to the extent of assigning it a name, then those two groups of mean needn't be organizible into a line.


Umm, OK.

This is what I meant when I said that the relationships in a unilineage (mothers and daughters in matrilines, fathers and sons in patrilines) override those of their spouses. A father-in-law and son-in-law in a matriline may hold the same types of relationships with their spouses and hence hold the same positions in their marital family but that doesn't necessarily mean that they themselves are related to each other. That relationship will only exist if the people in that society place it there, and that depends on the culture. In contrast, the father-in-law and son-in-law could merely be seperate twigs in their wives' lineal branch, without any further connections between the two.

And saying relationships in a unilineage depend on those between their spouses is silly. Not all lineages are bilateral. in some of them there is no prior relationship at all. In fact, this may very well be intentionally avoided.

The purpose behind unilineal descent is to emphasize the relationships between one sex's line of descent only,


What its purpose is in your conculture is up to you.
But in real life that can't be its purpose.


Alright then. What is its purpose? ...nevermind, I'll answer that. The purpose of unilineal descent is blood. More specifically, it is about shared blood. Blood that is passed down only through one sex. If a father has children, his male child(ren) will have his blood. His female child(ren) will have it too but, in unilineal descent, only one sex can carry on the family name and the family line. And in a patrilineal descent this will be the men. Or the women in matrilineal descent. So the purpose of unilineal descent is to pass down blood from one individual to the next through only one sex. And the purpose of having or belonging to a unilineage is the ability to trace that lineage from parent to child along an entire line of fathers and sons, or mothers and daughters, and being able to claim direct descent from an ancestor of the same sex.

For one thing, there is a unilineal descent group system in use in a real live culture wherein membership is inherited from the parent of the opposite sex; a woman belongs to the same group her father and her father's mother belonged to, and to the same group her sons and her sons' daughters will belong to.
For another there are cultures that have two unilineal descent group systems operating simultaneously.


I don't know what the heck those lineal systems are called that switch sexes like the one you mentioned but they definately aren't unilineal. And unless the line of descent was sex-exclusive, that second example you gave was an example of bilineal descent. Not unilineal descent. If it was sex-exclusive, both lineages still could be unilineal but there is a special term for that and I can't remember it right now. In any case, parallel unilineages are far from the norm and their gender-exclusivity still doesn't rule out the emphasis on relationships within a particular sex's line of descent. In fact, it enforces these relationships. If it didn't, there wouldn't be any gender-exclusivity.

So, I don't know what other purpose it has, nor why it doesn't have the purpose you said, but I do know that it doesn't always have the purpose you said.


If it doesn't, it's not unilineal. Simple as that. That's why it wouldn't have the I said. People use the term for a reason.

so naturally it would override the need for members of the opposite sex to form relationships with each other in the same family.


But it doesn't do that. It is the absence of the other kind of UDG that causes that, rather than the presence of this kind. For instance, if there are patrilines, the mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, and the aunt-to-niece (that is, father's sister to brother's daughter) lines, tend to be strong.


You are talking about that parallel descent thing again. Unilineal descent doesn't necessarily have to involve two lines of descent so it doesn't need to rely on pre-existing relationships between those who are marrying into the family. If the society in which this sort of thing was practiced made it important to do so, then a second UDG would probably be necessary. But that is far from being a rule in human societies.

If you want proof, ask around for several months in your own family and you'll see how much stronger the motherinlaw-daughterinlaw bond is than the fatherinlaw-soninlaw bond would lead you to believe.


Actually, relationships between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in my family are not really that prevalent but I am assuming the reason why this occurs in families is the desire for a wife to impress or live up to her husbands mother's high standards. Mothers tend to form strong bonds with their sons when their relationship with their husbands is not strong enough for them. Clingy women often tend to produce "mama's boys" and, when their sons eventually marry, their wives may feel compelled to maintain a good relationship with their mother-in-laws in order to curb their jealousy. Of course, this doesn't always happen. Then you get fights and this could lead to the poor man having to choose between his mother and his wife.

But since we don't have named matrilines, the bond between a man and his mother's brother or a man and his sister's son doesn't extend to a third (second?) generation in either direction; even less so, in our culture, does the bond between a man and his wife's father or a man and his daughter's husband.


Actually, the reason why this doesn't happen is more likely because those men are not related to each other by blood. Non-blood bonds can occur across in-law generations regardless of whether they marry in to a unilineage or not. Being in one just gives them one more reason to form these bonds.

If they did, I doubt there would even be such thing as unilineal descent because it would no longer be important. Then again I could be wrong,


That happens to be disproven by real-life counterexamples.


Such as...?

If a relationship to your wife's father makes you a member of his family rather than that of your father, then unilineal descent is no longer important. Hence no more reason to continue your line of descent. What I meant in that part you quoted was that there needs to be some emphasis on descent and who it goes to in order for there to be a unilineal line of descent to trace. Otherwise, if you didn't care who's family your next-in-line child became a part of, then they may stop representing your name through your blood and it would be useless to continue that line. You need to emphasize the continuation of your family line if you want it to continue, and unilineages do this through only one sex.

Posted August 31st, 2009 by Cerne
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Cerne
 

This thread is really about the 10-point descriptions.
So my last post and this one are a bit off-topic.
I won't make another such post until after someone posts another 10-point description.

Cerne's information about his/her own conworld are on-topic and interesting and I appreciate them.

Much of what Cerne said in her/his last two posts actually I agree with and s/he agrees with me. I didn't go into detail about the topics on which we agreed.

In Cerne's latest post there was one point where I think s/he just misread me. I never said that unilineal descent groups only occurred in societies where there was only one such UDG; I only said that they often occur in societies with at least two UDGs. "Bilineal" kinship systems are well-known (http://www.sociologyindex.com/bilineal_descent.htm), and are not the same as "ambilineal". Bilineal may include
3. There is also the form of Double or Duo lineal or Bilineal Descent. It is a form of unilineal descent which combines both patrilines and matrilines. Descent is traced separately through female and through male lines for different purposes, e.g., inheritance of immovable property through one line and inheritance of movable property through the other.
or it may include
Cognatic or Bilateral Descent is non unilineal descent. Here descent is traced through all progenitors, female and male, through both the mother and the father.
. The former is what happens in my conculture; the latter is what happens in "Eskimo kinship systems".
The Y�ko of southeastern Nigeria are an example of a society with bilineal descent. Their important portable property, including livestock and money, are inherited matrilineally. Fixed property, such as farm plots, pass down through the patrilinal line as do rights to trees and other forest products. It is not surprising that they have patrilineally inherited obligations to cooperate in cultivating their fields. Obligations to perform funerals and pay bride price for sons are inherited through the matrilineal line.
The Toda of southern India also follow bilineal descent. Their property is inherited patrilineally and ritualistic privileges related to funerals are inherited matrilineally.

In matrilineal societies, the descendants of men are their sister's children and not their own, who belong to their mother's matrilineage.

[quote:2a64d4be5c="http://anthro.palomar.edu/kinship/glossary.htm"bilateral descent
the cognatic pattern of descent in which every biological ancestor and descendant is a socially recognized relative. Everyone is a member of both his or her father's and mother's families. This is not the same as bilineal descent.
*

bilineal descent
the cognatic pattern of descent in which an individual is both a member of his mother's matrilineage and his father's patrilineage. Also known as "double descent." This is not the same as bilateral descent.

(*It seems that around 33% of the societies that have any unilineal-descent-group systems have bilineal descent systems. That's not a trivial nor negligible fraction, but still, most (67%) societies that have a UDG have just one.
My conculture is "trilineal". TTBOMK there is no such "trilineal" system in real-life on Earth.
In my conculture fixed assets and real estate are inherited along the matriline; portable goods including cash and jewelry and personal weapons (whether for hunting or for fighting) and personal armor are inherited along the patriline; and intangible assets and livestock and rolling-stock are inherited along "the rope".)
(EDIT: I moved the parenthetical material out of the "quote" block. When it was left in there it looked like I meant that something I was saying on my own hook was something I was claiming to quote a reference as saying. Nobody else said it; just me. /EDIT)
(EDIT2: There was more to the accidentally-fabricated "quote"; I've moved it into the parenthesized and italicized material above. /EDIT2)


In Cerne's latest post there are, I think two terminological disagreements. (If there were others I didn't notice them yet.)

For one thing "unilineal descent group" does indeed include "the rope" in the professional anthropologists' articles I read. See http://www.amazon.com/phrase/cognatic-system and especially http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0521278236/ref=sip_pdp_dp_1/182-3465070-1286025 for instance page 141. Any systematic means of tracing descent through just one parent is, if given a name and importance in the ambient society, a "unilineal descent group". If Cerne wants to apply that term only to matrilines and patrilines, that's Cerne's terminology, and may for all I know also be others' terminology, including for all I know some professionals. But it doesn't include any professionals whose work I've read so far.
It must be either not well-known or not common or both, at least it's hard to find sites that include it as well as patrilines and matrilines. But there are some, and no site says it does not occur.

Look up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unilineal_descent and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambilineality. "The rope" is not ambilineality because a person doesn't get to pick whether s/he belongs to his/her father's line or to his/her mother's line; instead all boys belong to their mother's line and all girls belong to their father's line. Wikipedia's definition of "unilineaity" is that each person belongs either only to his/her father's line or only to his/her mother's line. There are, mathematically, four ways of doing this:* every child belongs to his/her father's line.
  • every child belongs to her/his mother's line.
  • every son belongs to his mother's line, and every daughter belongs to her father's line.
  • every son belongs to his father's line, and every daughter belongs to her mother's line.System d is unstable and never occurs in tracking actual biological kinship, though it does occur in tracking "fictive kinship". (I don't know why it's unstable; I've read that it is, but not why it is.)
    Systems a and b and c all occur in real life.
    System c satisfies the definition of "unilineality"; each child belongs to the same line as just one parent, and which parent that is is preset at birth. It also satisfies the definition of "descent group".
    None of the sites I could find that listed the "major systems" included this "rope" as "major". So while it definitely exists, I guess it's not "major", whatever "major" means.
    In other words it strikes me as perfectly reasonable that Cerne (or anyone else) has never heard of it before.


    For another "prescriptive marriage system" as for instance discussed in http://eclectic.ss.uci.edu/~drwhite/pw/Classificatory.htm is that a man must marry a bride who is related to him in a specific way. See http://www.as.ua.edu/ant/Faculty/murphy/436/kinship.htm and look up all "alli" (e.g. "alliance") and all "prescri" (e.g. "prescriptive"). And see http://www.wifi-assen.nl/~mahuuon/CA/CA_glos_g.htm and search for all "exchang".
    generalized exchange (�change g�neralis�)
    A system of alliance (prescriptive marriage) whereby kin groups exchange wives indirectly, so that a man must marry his actual or classificatory mother's brother's daughter (matrilineal alliance) or father's sister's daughter (patrilineal alliance, said not to exist) but so that wife-givers cannot be wife-takers.


    Also see http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0226569896/ref=sip_pdp_dp_0 especially page 55.

    "Classificatory" kinship systems don't imply prescriptive marriage systems, but prescriptive marriage systems do require classificatory kinship systems, of the kind where a mother's sister is called "mother" and a father's brother is called "father". The most common kind of prescriptive marriage system requires a man to marry his mother's brother's daughter (MBD) or a girl classed with her. I have a conculture in which a man must marry his mother's father's mother's brother's daughter's son's daughter (MFMBDSD).

    Given that Cerne's use of the phrase "prescriptive marriage" meant something different than my (and all professionals whose work I've read) use of the phrase "prescriptive marriage system", as far as I can tell we could both be right.

  • Posted August 31st, 2009 by chiarizio
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    I have split.
    Old topic was "Ten Point Description" here on the World & Culture subforum.
    New topic is called:
    "Marriage, Descent, Residence, Death, Funerary Customs, etc."
    and it is here in "World & Culture".

    On-topic posts will be about marriage, descent, kinship, where new married couples live, who inherits what from whom, and so on.

    (BTW It might be that "etc." is meant to include slavery and other forms of servitude; I don't know what else should or shouldn't be included.)

    --------------------------

    In Adpihi, there are three kinds of unilineal descent groups; every person belongs to just one line of each of the three kinds.

    They are:
  • patriline
  • matrilne
  • "rope"

    In Adpihi, (and with modifications in Reptigan, but it might take a trained eye to tell that there are still similarities):
  • Fixed assets and real estate are passed along the Matriline.
  • Portable goods, including cash, jewelry, personal weapons (whether for hunting, for war, for defense, or for dueling), and personal armor, are passed along the Patriline.
  • Intangible assets, such as magical power, hereditary religious office (unless it's a one-sex-only office), and hereditary political office (unless it's more military than anything else), are passed along "the rope". So, too, are rolling-stock and livestock.

    This applies to most heritable assets; but for some (in Reptigan, for most) the bequestor's will governs, unless s/he died intestate.

    In Reptigan, not everybody is human, so the Adpihi system doesn't translate to the nonhumans.
    Also, certain things that have only one form in Adpihi come in "his-and-hers" forms in Reptigan. A piece of jewelry intended to be worn by a woman would go from a woman to a woman; a personal weapon meant to be wielded by a woman, or a piece of armor intended to be worn by a woman, would go from a woman to a woman; as would a woman's clothes if they can be inheritied. A building or a piece of rolling-stock that was built to suit one sex, would be inherited by a member of that sex; likewise, if head of livestock was bred to be used suitably by one sex, a member of that sex would inherit it.
    Very few political offices remain hereditary; and, for the most part, the idea that military posts and offices should be held by men rather than women has gone by the wayside.

    Some articles cannot be divided among the heirs. For some of these, there are traditions about who inherits it; some are inherited by the oldest son, some by the oldest daughter; some are inherited by the youngest son, some by the youngest daughter. Less commonly, some are inherited by the oldest child of either sex and some by the youngest child of either sex.

    Again, this applies to most indivisible heritable assets; but for some (in Reptigan, for most) the bequestor's will governs, unless s/he died intestate.

  • Posted August 31st, 2009 by eldin raigmore
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    Thanks for this, Eldin. The 10 point description thread looks a lot neater now. I will post something more here later. But...if I may ask, what happened to lryda mbazha's post and the post where I asked for the thread to be split? I'm not concerned about my post at all and I'm not trying to be critical but I hope Lryda is able to re-post her ten point description again. Does she even know the thread was split?

    Anyway, thanks again for agreeing to do this. Especially since I am partly responsible for carring it off-topic. I should have PM'd that last bit of the post I made on August 29th.

    Posted August 31st, 2009 by Cerne
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