Download: PPT. Modern approaches to the cross-cultural study of kinship Modern evolutionary anthropology does not posit that cultural evolution is unilinear, or even that there are any necessary evolutionary pathways for cultural change. Study population The Bantu languages represent one of the biggest linguistic families in the world, numbering over five hundred and spanning across the whole of sub-Saharan Africa [ 40 ].
Hypotheses and Study Design The creation of kinship terminology typologies has been useful in identifying the broad structural differences between types, and has led to the observation that societies in opposite parts of the world have independently come up with comparable cultural concepts of kinship organization, as we would theoretically expect from a standpoint of modern evolutionary theory. Our research questions are: 1. Has Iroquois terminology co-evolved with unilineal descent among Bantu groups? Has Hawaiian terminology co-evolved with ambilineal descent among the Bantu?
Has Omaha terminology co-evolved with patrilineal descent in Bantu groups? Has Crow terminology co-evolved with matrilineal descent in the Bantu? We then test the hypothesis that kinship terminology has co-evolved with local rules of residence, asking: 5. Has Iroquois terminology co-evolved with rules of unilocal residence among the Bantu?
Has Hawaiian terminology co-evolved with rules of ambilocal residence in Bantu groups? Has Omaha terminology co-evolved with rules of patrilocal residence among the Bantu? Has Crow terminology co-evolved with rules of matrilocal residence among the Bantu? Co-evolutionary hypotheses testing To test these hypotheses, we are using the Ethnographic Atlas [ 66 , 67 ], which contains global data on cousin terminology variable 27 , categorising societies under one of the six Murdock typologies, as well as global data on descent practices variable 43 , and rules of residence after marriage variable Results We find only very weak support for the commonly held assumption that systems of kinship terminology, as traditionally classified, are co-evolving with patterns of descent organization.
Fig 2. Ancestral state reconstruction of Bantu kinship terminology. Table 1. Bayes Factor Interpretation, adapted from [ 69 ]. Table 3. Discussion Iroquois-like systems are not only the most common across the Bantu tree, but also widespread across the whole of the Sub-Saharan African continent. Supporting Information. S1 File. Additional Detail. References 1. Keesing R. Kin Groups and Social Structure. Wagner R. Incest and identity: a critique and theory on the subject of exogamy and incest prohibition. Man — View Article Google Scholar 3.
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