Moiety (kinship)

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In the anthropological study of kinship, a moiety (/ˈmɔɪəti/) is a descent group that coexists with only one other descent group within a society. In such cases the community usually has unilineal descent, either patri- or matrilineal so that any individual belongs to one of the two moiety groups by birth, and all marriages take place between members of different moieties. In the case of a patrilineal descent system this can be interpreted as a system in which women are exchanged between the two moieties. Moiety societies are found particularly among the indigenous cultures of North America and Australia.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Tooker, E. (1971). Clans and moieties in North America. Current Anthropology, 357-376.
  2. ^ Parsons, E. C. (1924). Tewa kin, clan, and moiety. American Anthropologist, 26(3), 333-339.
  3. ^ White, I. (1981). Generation moieties in Australia: structural, social and ritual implications. Oceania, 6-27.