Matrilineal and Patrilineal Kin

A final essential distinction to be made is between matrilineal and patrilineal kin, which differs substantially from the matrilateral and patrilateral categorization.

Matrilineal and Patrilineal Kin
lineal vs collateral kin
Patrilineal Kin - linked through males.
Matrilineal Kin - linked through females
Cross Relatives - cross sexed linked

Unlike the patrilateral and matrilateral grouping, these unilineal connections are consistently traced through a single sexed relative. Accordingly there are kin on each side, who are neither patrilineal or matrilineal. These are known as cross relatives. Among the members of this category, cross cousins are of particular importance, especially for some marriage systems we shall discuss. In the above diagram 19, 20, 27, and 28 are Ego's cross cousins while 21, 22, 25, and 26 are his parallel cousins. Cross cousins can be identified as the children of opposite sexed siblings (of a brother and sister) and parallel cousins as the children of same sexed siblings (of two brothers or two sisters).

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© 1995 Brian Schwimmer
University of Manitoba
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