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Personal Closeness

From:Anthony M. Miles <theophilus88@...>
Date:Saturday, March 29, 2003, 3:36
This was originally posted on Conculture:
>From: "habarakhe4" <theophilus88@...> >Reply-To: >To: >Subject: [conculture] Lahabic Kinship Terms and Marriage Customs >Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 21:38:50 -0000 > > The Lahabic-speaking Dhabra do not define which others they can >marry by any system known on Earth. A Dhabra usually marries his or >her cousin, but the kinship terms are based on whether or not one is >allowed to marry that kin. For the sake of argument, take a male >Dhabra named Applewaiter. In English terms, Applewaiter has on >father, >one mother, one brother, and two sisters. In the Lahabic system, >Applewaiter has one father (phaphorkhe, pl. phaphor), one mother >(mamarrakhe, pl. mamarra), and two sisters (be'nidra, sg. >be'nidrakhe). The number of brothers (kalo'kra, sg. kalo'krakhe) he >has, however, is the total number of what English speakers would call >brothers and his male first cousins, because he cannot mary any of >them, just as he cannot marry his sisters. His female first cousins >are called "tyaru'ra", a word which is normally translated as 'wife', >but means something closer to 'potential wife'. Although a Dhabra >knows that he has a fated mate among the tyaru'ra, he may not know >which tyaru'rakhe this is. Therefore many Dhabra romance several of >their tyaru'ra and conflicts can develop (a perfect society is >boring). A Dhabra is expected to settle down after his first child, >but the kind of flirting that tyaru'ra elicit would be offensive if >attempted with anybody else. > This system has interesting effects on the inheritance system. >Since all of Applewaiter's cousins are potential wives and are >treated with the respect due to his wife in the English sense, the >Dhabra consider the 'sons' (tyadadra) and 'daughters' (thale'dra) of >any tyaru'ra of Applewaiter to be the legal children of Applewaiter >(but not of his wife in the English sense). The offspring of >Applewaiter's brothers and his sister, however, are regarded as his >nephews and nieces. If they are descendants of his brother, they are >called tolkalo'ttekhe (pl. tolkalo'ttem); if they are descendants of >his sister, they are called tolbe'nittekhe (pl. tolbe'nittem). Since >the property, both tangible and religious, of Applewaiter is >distributed among his 'sons' and 'daughters', no Lahabic-speaking >Dhabra is rich separate from his family. > The only different term for a female Dhabra is 'medetrakhe', >'husband' (pl. medetra). The fathers and mothers of Applewaiter's >tyaru'ra are called kheniyaphaphor and kheniyamamarrakhe, >half-fathers and mothers. > Applewaiter would be expect to have a close relationship with his >sons and daughters. This arrangement allows him to examine many of >the tyaru'ra and medetra of his biological sons and daughters. > I think you can see why the Dhabra are communal and why the kings >and queens of the island do not have linear descent, in our terms, >and why it is so difficult to write this post clearly > > >


Rachel Klippenstein <estel_telcontar@...>Kinship Terms