Aboriginal Families

I found the recent reading on the vocabulary of families to be very interesting. The different words used for an aunt, for example, depending on whether it is your mother’s sister or your father’s sister is something I had not encountered before. Likewise, referring to cousins as either older or younger brother or sister, depending again on whether it is on your mother’s side or your father’s side was something I wanted to explore a little more.

I came across this site which has a detailed information on the history, philosophy and values of Aboriginal families, as well as the impact of colonisation upon Aboriginal family life. Some interesting (at least for me) titbits include the encouragement of levirate,  the definition of ‘family’ as meaning the extended family, and some details of how the Dreaming “set out rules of traditional kinship”.


(I stumbled upon the above site on families after watching a youtube video of a group of Yolngu youths performing Zorba the Greek in Yolngu style, which was a joy in itself, though at first glance may not seem connected, but it is.)

George Pegios LING566

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