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Aliyasantana (sister's son lineage) was a matrilineal system of inheritance practiced by Tuluva community in the coastal districts of Karnataka, India.[1]


Myth of origin[edit]

Tuluvas believe Aliya Santana was adopted at the behest of a king called Bhootala Pandya. The story goes like this: A demon wanted the king to sacrifice his son to save the kingdom from a longstanding drought. However, none of his queens and sons were ready to be sacrificed. Seeing the difficult situation, the king's sister offers her son. However, the demon shows mercy and lets him off. On his part, the king declares his nephews his true inheritor.

Salient features[edit]

  • The child is a part of the mothers family
  • The inheritance of lineage identity in the form of gotra or in the form of ancestral house is through the mother. Marriage between same "gotra" was prohibited.
  • Inheritance is matrilineal, but in all aspects the husband is the head of the household. All Tuluvas practiced patriarchal system of living.
  • The matrilineal uncle is generally the male head of the family and was known as "Gurikare" in Tulu, means Yajamana in Kannada.
  • Among Tuluvas, brothers usually manage the matrilineal family land on behalf of his sister.

Matrilineal communities[edit]

Tuluva sub-groups which practised a matrilineal system of inheritance included:

See also[edit]