The Sociality of Affinity
This chapter focuses on the aspect of the person created through maternal descent—what the Mapuche call küpal ñuke püle. Whereas paternal descent creates relationships of obligation and solidarity that frequently give rise to aggregates of persons, maternal descent is primarily a source of difference. The relations that people have with their matrilateral relatives are mainly affinal. This sociality of affinity is a kind of midway point between the sociality of exchange and the sociality of descent discussed in the previous chapters. The chapter also analyzes the different kinds of relations created by marriage, relations that, despite their capacity for inequality, are portrayed as essentially equal.
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