Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


  • Author(s): Barbosa de Almeida, Mauro
  • et al.

Read´s research program for describing the “generative logic” of distinct kinship terminologies in a homogeneous framework has proved its fruitfulness in different ethnographic domains, ranging from North American kinship to Dravidian terminologies, and more. Applied now to the so-called Omaha systems, the framework suggests a new taxonomy of kinship terminologies, in which Thonga kinship terminology – until now a type specimen for the Omaha terminology, based on Junod´s ethnography – is separated from Fox kinship terminology, another type specimen of the Omaha,  as described by Dorsey, and Morgan before him. Read´s thesis, therefore, subverts Lounsbury´s subdivision of “Omaha” taxon in four varieties, among which “Type I” was instanced by the Fox terminology, while Type III had Thonga data as a standard representative. It is not my intention to refute Read´s representation of the logic underlying Thong kinship terminology, expressed in diagrammatic form, but, rather, to suggest that there is more than one way to represent it.

Main Content
Current View