|From:||Anthony M. Miles <theophilus88@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, March 29, 2003, 3:36|
This was originally posted on Conculture:
>From: "habarakhe4" <theophilus88@...>
>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
>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