Unangam Aleut Social System

Petrivelli, Patricia J.
September 2004
Arctic Anthropology;2004, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p126
Academic Journal
An analysis of the kinship terminology used in pre-contact Aleut society reveals a balanced system without indications of matrilineal or patrilineal descent. The social system of the Aleut, especially the nature of the pre-contact descent reckoning, has been a subject of scholarly debate for several decades. The early researchers studying the kinship and social organization of the pre-contact and early contact Unangam Aleut society characterized the descent system as matrilineal, stressing the importance of the avunculate relationship as the basis for this conclusion. A review of marriage patterns and post-marital residence indicates patrilineal tendencies that would overshadow implications from the avunculate relationship.


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