Kinship sociology and aboriginal people

Implications for service providers when working with Aboriginal families 1. The traditional Indigenous family structure is significantly different to the Western view of a family unit. Where as many non-Indigenous people live within a nuclear family unit, Aboriginal people value an extended family system, which often includes quite distant relatives.

Kinship sociology and aboriginal people

Indigenous kinship The heart of Indigenous society. Kinship is at the heart of Indigenous society. Traditional kinship structures remain important in many Indigenous communities today. Indigenous nations cover wide geographical areas, and have distinct borders.

Within these nations there are clan groups, and within the clan groups there are family groups. Clan groups share a common language and kinship system, which is based on either patrilineal or matrilineal lines of descent.

Moiety, Totem and Skin Names. Moiety The first level of kinship is Moiety. In Moiety systems, everything, including people and the environment, are split into two halves. Each half is a mirror of the other, and to understand the whole universe these two halves must come together.

Moieties can also alternate between each generation people of alternate generations are grouped together. They also have a reciprocal responsibility to support each other. In the Yolngu worldview, ancestral beings assigned everything in the universe to either the Dhuwa or the Yirritja Moiety.

For example, the black cockatoo is Dhuwa, while the white cockatoo is Yirritja. The two Moieties complement and balance each other in ceremonies, marriage, and daily life.


Totems The second level of kinship is Totem. Each person has at least four Totems which represent their nation, clan and family group, as well as a personal Totem.

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Totems link a person to the universe - to land, air, water and geographical features. Each person has a responsibility to ensure that their Totems are protected and passed on to the next generation.

Totems are split between Moieties to create a balance of use and protection. For example, while members of one Moiety protect and conserve the animal, members of the other Moiety may eat and use the animal.

It also conveys information about how generations are linked and how they should interact. Each nation has its own Skin Names and each name has a prefix or suffix to indicate gender. There are sets of names in each cycle.

When that child grows up and has children of their own, those children will be Threes. This sequential naming continues until the end of the number cycle is reached, then it begins again at One.

How do Indigenous kinship systems celebrate some of the same values that are important to your family? How is it different? What elements of Indigenous kinship systems do you think could be of value to wider Australian society?

Indigenous Sociology in Australia

Understanding and appreciating Indigenous kinship systems is one way we can seek to build more respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.The bond of marriage is called affinal kinship.

When a person marries, he establishes relationship not only with the girl whom he marries but also with a number of other people in the girl’s family.

Kinship: Sociology and Aboriginal People Essay Kinship took a central role in the structure of Aboriginal communities because it was their main way of organising people and . Australian Aboriginal kinship are the systems of law governing social interaction, particularly marriage, in traditional Australian Aboriginal cultures.

It is an integral part of the culture of every Aboriginal group across Australia.

Kinship sociology and aboriginal people

Sep 25,  · Australian Aboriginal kinship is the system of law governing social interaction, particularly marriage, in traditional Australian Aboriginal is an integral part of the culture of every.

Kinship took a central role in the structure of Aboriginal communities because it was their main way of organising people and their social relationships (Keen , p).

It helped the Aboriginal people to know where they stood in regards to social relationships and their behaviour towards every other person (Broom , p). In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated.

Anthropologist Robin Fox states that "the study of kinship is the study of what man does with these basic facts of life – mating, gestation, parenthood, socialization, siblingship etc.

Australian Aboriginal kinship - Wikipedia