Online Encyclopedia Search Tool

Your Online Encyclopedia


Online Encylopedia and Dictionary Research Site

Online Encyclopedia Free Search Online Encyclopedia Search    Online Encyclopedia Browse    welcome to our free dictionary for your research of every kind

Online Encyclopedia

Crow kinship

Crow kinship is a kinship system used to define family. Identified by Louis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Crow system is one of the six major kinship systems (Eskimo, Hawaiian, Iroquois, Crow, Omaha, and Sudanese).

The system is somewhat similar to the Iroquois system, but further distinguishes between the mother's side and the father's side. Relatives on the mother's side of the family have more descriptive terms, and relatives on the father's side have more classificatory terms.

The Crow system is distinctive because unlike most other kinship systems, it chooses to not distinguish between certain generations. The relatives of the subject's father's matrilineage are distinguished only by their sex, regardless of their age or generation. In contrast, within Ego's own matrilineage, differences of generation are noted. The system is associated with groups that have a strong tradition of matrilineal descent. In doing so, the system is almost a mirror image of the Omaha system.

The system, like the Iroquois, uses Bifurcate Merging, however, only the Iroquois system uses BM as a secondary name.

Graphic of the Crow kinship system


The system is named for the Crow Indians (more properly known as the Asparoke Tribe , of Montana). The system is in common usage throughout the world and is currently used by the Hopi Indians in the Southwestern U. S. as well as (traditionally) by members of the Navajo Nation.

See also

Sources & external links

  • William Haviland, Cultural Anthropology, Wadsworth Publishing, 2002. ISBN 053427479X
  • The nature of kinship
  • Archnet: Crow kinship
  • Crow Kin Terms
  • Crow Kinship & Social Organization

Last updated: 02-11-2005 09:33:52
Last updated: 02-25-2005 01:04:06