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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Pomo Lineages: 'Why Not?' A Response to Kunkel


I found Kunkel's article, "The Pomo Kin Group and the Political Unit in Aboriginal California," to be most interesting and stimulating (see Vol. 1, No. 1 of the Journal). I do trust that, even though only an interloping Africanist of sorts, I may be allowed to offer some criticism of certain of his conclusions. Insofar as I am qualified to say, I found his ethnographic case for the existence of "ambilocal residential kingroups as… basic [Pomo] political subdivisions" quite convincing. My reservations primarily concern his contention that the finding is inconsistent with the existence and/or political significance of unilineal kin groups.

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