Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor W. L. Rodman
This is a study of the relationships between the systems of consanguineal and affinal classification, the types of genealogical and affinal connections to which the terms refer, and the modes of conduct that are normatively grounded in relations of genealogical connection as they are conceived by the people of Longana district, Aoba. The Longana have a Crow system of kin classification in conjuction with exogamous matrimoieties.
Important to the analysis of Longana kinship is their theory of procreation, which consists essentially of three parts. First, the Longana believe that parents contribute equally to the substance of their offspring. The Longana themselves posit relations of genealogical connection. Second, the theory of gestation states that a woman's children congenitally acquire her kin class status with respect to her cross-sex sibling. Third, the Longana have a story that accounts for the origins of men and women, sexual knowledge and procreation.
The mode of consanguineal classification cannot be discovered by analyzing the terms together with the kin types to which they refer separately from the system of spouse and affinal classification, and separately from the modes of conduct that are normatively ascribed to relations of consanguinity and affinity. The principal reason for this is that certain consanguineal relationships, namely the children of grandchildren and the offspring of cross-sex siblings, refer to more than consanguinity, or substance, alone.
These consanguineal relationships refer also to relations of affinity; to ideas concerning gestation and its significance in the context of the cross-sex sibling bond; to ideas concerning the creation of men and women, and hence to the origin and nature of procreation itself. These conceptions are expressed in the story of human reproduction in which the first woman was a sibling with a male sexual identity with respect to her husband and his brothers. The story is a sequence of events between the first siblings, their spouses and affines, wherein the principles for classifying consanguineals and affines are contained. Also, the story is the means by which particular modes of conduct come to be connoted by the connections between ego and his or her cross-sex sibling, cross-sex sibling's spouse, and cross-sex sibling's offspring -- what is called the cross-sex sibling complex. The cross-sex sibling complex, together with the terminology and modes of conduct appropriate to it, are manifestations, symbols, of the theory of procreation.
An understanding of the significance of the cross-sex sibling complex is essential for discovering the principles of the Crow terminology, and has relevance for understanding Longana descent, politics, economics, and ritual. In particular, the theory of procreation informs the cross-sex sibling complex in such a way that certain offspring of cross-sex siblings have, congenitally, two sexual identities with respect to their parents' cross-sex siblings, and the resulting multiple kin class statuses held by these kin types refer to the relationships between the first woman and her brothers and her children expressed in the story of human reproduction.
Thus, the Longana concept of genealogical connection contradicts the prevalent, if implicit, assumption that kin types have associated with them either a male or a female sexual identity, and contradicts the assumption that a genealogical grid constitutes a conveniently simple, semantically neutral, framework for analyzing kinship systems. Finally, the dissertation suggests that a pro-genealogy approach to kinship, and a cultural or symbolic approach to kinship, are not necessarily opposed strategies for investigating the relationships between systems of kin classification and the modes of conduct that may be associated with such systems.
Lovell, Peter Raymond, "Children of Blood, Children of Shame: Creation and Procreation in Longana, East Aoba, New Hebrides" (1980). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 596.