Family Consanguineal Kin Relations

Apsaalooke Social & Family Structure, By Dale D. Old Horn & Tim McCleary, Pages 75-79, Chart Page 150.

Introduction to Kinship

The term kinship is applied to human relationships that exist due to blood ties (consanguineal), marriage ties (affinal), and adoption (fictive). In every society the formation of groups and the regulation of behavior depends to some extent on socially recognized ties of kinship. The phrase kinship system refers to all of the relationships based on blood, marriage, and adoption that intertwines individuals in sets of rights and obligations. This includes the kinds of groups formed in society on the basis of kinship and to the system of terms used to classify different kin (kinship terminology).

Although a kinship system is always based on some kind of biological relationship, kinship systems are cultural phenomena. The ways in which a society defines and groups kin relations is cultural, and may or may not be based on biological ties. The term "father" for example, may refer to the actual biological father of a child, or it may refer to a man who takes on the responsibility for the child’s well being, or is socially recognized as a father.

Culturally defined ties of kinship have two basic functions that are necessary for the perpetuation of society. First, kinship serves to provide continuity between generations. In all societies children must be cared for and educated so they may become functioning members of their society. Kin groups are therefore the social unit which is fundamentally responsible for socialization.

Second, kinship defines for the individual how others in the society may be relied on for various forms of aid. The minimal group of importance in mutual aid is the nuclear family, a woman, her children and an adult male. In most societies, such as that of the Aps√°alooke, kin groups that include individuals beyond this minimum are very important.

To aid in the description of the Aps√°alooke kinship system the next two chapters will utilize kinship charts. Kinship charts are more convenient then written explanations and allow us to see immediately how different individuals in a kinship system are related. In order to make kinship charts intelligible, all relationships in the diagram are viewed from the perspective of one individual termed EGO. The EGO is represented on the charts as a square (Figure 4). The other symbols used in the diagram are a triangle for a male, a circle for a female, an equal sign for an affinal tie (marriage), and a line connecting individuals represents a consanguineal tie (blood). Using these symbols and English terminology a kinship diagram of the nuclear family appears on the right side of Figure 4.

Aps√°alooke Blood Kin Relations

The Aps√°alooke blood kinship is very similar to the clan kinship but with more features. Basically the following relationships are used in the first degree relationships and then these are extended to further relationships. This extended family system creates a bond which adds to the support system which is found in the nuclear family. The terms from the nuclear family which are applied in this extended family are categorized in referent terms which is what is used when an individual is spoken of in reference. Address terms are those which are used when one is speaking to and addressing that individual.

The Aps√°alooke blood kin terminology is listed below. These terms are listed with the referent term first, address term second, the English definition third, and if the term is gender specific than this is listed fourth. The address morpheme "-aa" is used as an enclitic and is optional with the endearment term "-kaat".

Referent Address English Gender of Speaker





Bas√°ake Basaak√°a Father Female
Basahké Ihkáa Mother Both
Biiké Biikáa Older Brother Male
Basaalé Basaalée Older Brother Female
Basahk√°ate Basahk√°ataa Older Sister Both
Basahchíite Basahchíitaa
Younger Sister Male
Basooké Basookáa
Younger Sister Female
Bachuuké Bachuukáa
Younger Brother Both
Balaaké Balaakáa
My Children Both
Balaakbacheé Ilóoshe
My Son Both
Balaakb√≠a X√ļuche
My Daughter Both
Biilápxosaahke Axéeisaahkaa Grandfather Male
Bas√°aksaahke Bas√°aksaahkaa Grandfather Female
Biikáa Mother’s Brother Male
Basaalée Mother’s Brother Female


Ihkáa Father’s Sister Both
Basbaapíte My Grandchild or
My Brother’s Child