Australian Aboriginal Kinship - The Subsection or 'skin Name' System - Systems With Two Groupings (moieties) - Yolngu


The Yolngu people of north-eastern Arnhem Land divide society (and much of the natural world) into two moieties: Dhuwa and Yirritja. Each of these is represented by people of a number of different groups, each with their own lands, languages and philosophies:

Skin name Clan groups
Yirritja Gumatj, Gupapuyngu, Wangurri, Ritharrngu, Mangalili,
Munyuku, Madarrpa, Warramiri, Dhalwangu, Liyalanmirri.
Dhuwa Rirratjingu, Galpu, Djambarrpuyngu, Golumala, Marrakulu,
Marrangu, Djapu, Datiwuy, Ngaymil, Djarrwark.

by the Yolŋu through their hereditary estates – so many things are either Yirritja or Dhuwa – fish, stone, river, sea etc., belongs to one or the other moiety. Things that are not either Dhuwa or Yirritja are called wakinŋu. Yolŋu also have a kinship system with eight subsections (four Dhuwa and four Yirritja which is what creates moiety).

Read more about this topic:  Australian Aboriginal Kinship, The Subsection or 'skin Name' System, Systems With Two Groupings (moieties)

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