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Le fils et le neveu

 | 
Suzanne Bernus
, 
Pierre Bonte
, 
Lina Brock
, 
et al.

11. “Children of men” and “Children of women”: Descent, marriage and residence among the Tamәjirt

Lina Brock

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My object in this paper is to raise some questions about the nature of kin groups in Tuareg societies and the processes through which they are constituted. In broadest terms, my questions concern the roles of marriage, descent and residence in structuring the Tuareg kin groups known as tăwsheten (sg. tăwshet)1.

In classical analyses of exogamous unilineal descent groups, descent defines groups; marriage links them. In Tuareg societies, the relation between descent constructs, choice of marriage partner, and the processes of constitution and reproduction of kin groups (tăwsheten and the local groups which comprise them) departs from this model, but we are still struggling, across the diversity of the Tuareg groups documented, to characterize this relation adequately.

Among the Tamәjirt, a tăwshet of former-captive status which provides the principal empirical basis for the discussion to be presented here, unilineal descent principles currently play no direct role in determining group c...

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© Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, 1986

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