TOWARD A HISTORICAL TYPOLOGY OF KINSHIP-TERM SYSTEMS: THE CROW AND OMAHA TYPES
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5070/K71253752
An attempt is made to determine the place held by the Crow and Omaha types in the historical typology of systems of kinship terms. Attention is centred upon structural differences between individual systems within each of these types. The author groups all these differences into six variants and advances the view that they should be considered as stages in the development of the Crow and Omaha systems. All the variants are mapped. Two suppositions are made to explain the preservation of the peculiarities of the Crow and Omaha systems in the earliest phase of the secondary stage in the evolution of kinship systems. The author regards it as the more probable explanation that certain features of these systems survive from the preceding stage of development in the course of evolution. However, another possibility should not be dismissed, namely that in the course of evolution the terminology of the Crow and Omaha types acquires a novel content and, in fact, represents a combination of the same elements but possessing a new quality.
The author also emphasizes that to attach the names of types within the general typology of kinship term systems to particular ethnicities is unwarranted. This is especially true since these types are identified on the base of two structure-forming characteristics: bifurcation and linearity. Taking this into consideration the author proposes that the types should be named by termsdenoting these characteristics.