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Sam Mohan Lal Kinship Structure and its Application
Terminological structure of the kinship relationships prevailing among Uralis shows consideration for both bifurcation and collaterality by `first ascending generation’ (Lowie : 1948). According to the generally accepted formal way of nomenclature, distinction is maintained between father (ammä) from father’s brothers brothers both elder (biliyammä) and younger (acca). Similarly, mother (agvë) is distinguished from mother’s elder sister (bilig:gvë) and younger sister (acci) as well as mother’s elder brother’s wife (bili ma:mi) is distinguished from mother’s younger brother’s wife (cinna ma:mi). In the second descending generation, no terminological distinction is maintained to call one’s own daughter (maga) and son (mü:ga) and elder or younger brother’s daughter or son and also to call the boys and girls of that generation.
Equal to that type of collateral system, no distinction in address terms between one’s father’s father (ayya), father’s mother (ette) and mother’s father and mother’s mother. Also, only one cover term is used for great grand father (pa:a) and great grand mother (pa:i) of both paternal and maternal lineage respectively.
In general, among the various kinship terms identified in the Urali social system, only the basic address terms such as father, mother, grand parents, son, daughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grand son and grand daughter are in use very commonly to demarcate the basic relationships in a society. As found in an educated urban Indian society, where the cover terms `aunt’ and `uncle’ are used in a more nativised manner to express different blood relationships under one or two common terminologies, this tribal society also in a trasitional stage is restricting the various kinship terms. For example, in contrast with the regular pattern of demarcating usage of `bili ma:më’, `bili ma:mi’, `cinna ma:më and `cinna ma:mi’ (distinctive meanings are given in the table), younger generation uses only `ma:më (uncle) and `ma:mi’ (aunty) to express the various relationships. Kinship Behaviour
Apart from the non-usage of certain kinship terms as stated earlier, there is no remarkable inconsistency or incoherence in the kinship behaviour with the terminological structure. Intra family kin relationship of a nucleus family is very affectionate. In the sense, father and mother tender their children with extreme care. An affectionate touch of an older brother or sister towards their younger ones is always seen. At the same time, the conduct of the children towards their parents is also streamlined with love and respect. In an extended family situation also appreciable understanding is maintained with the clan men and women. The children approach their father through their mother who acts as a mediator. Even at an early childhood, the male children are seen assisting their father in all his activities and the female children, their mother, mainly in carrying out the domestic duties. Now and then, the parents impart moral education to their wards. Not only only from their parents, but also through the other elders in the village, the children are taught different skills and knowledge of things regarding world, family, their cultures, in an informal manner. For example, the practice of story telling and solving riddles is common in this society. The native stories which is listened to attentively by the children, contain many morals. Also, most of the riddles revolve on very useful information and sometimes serve as a brain teaser for the children.
Grown up boys and girls in a family show considerable respect to their brothers-in-law and their behaviour towards grand parents also is considerate.






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