Dualism and Pluralism in Pueblo Kinship and Ritual Systems
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Dualism and Pluralism in Pueblo Kinship and Ritual Systems


How do kinship and ritual systems articulate with patterns of social organization? Among the Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona, social organization has been described as conforming to two opposing patterns. Among the Eastern Pueblos of the Rio Grande, especially the Tanoan-speaking towns north of Santa Fe, kinship is held to play a structurally insignificant role; social organization there, rather, pivots on ritual sodalities.” In the Western Pueblos (especially Hopi and Zuni), named matrilineal descent groups (“clans” and lineages), associated with Crow kinship terminology, are treated as the main articulating features of the social system. How is it that notwithstanding major cultural similarities in other respects, the Pueblos came to exhibit such different structuring principles for social life? This paper argues for greater similarities in the kinship and ritual systems of Eastern and Western Pueblos than has previously been ascribed to them, and suggests that dual exchange, of a type associated with kinship and marriage rules, underlies their differences.

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