Social Groups and Kinship Calculation Among the Southern Betsileo


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    I wish to thank the Foreign Area Fellowship Program for a field grant and postdoctoral fellowship which made research among the Betsileo possible.


Southern Betsileo kinship is theoretically bilateral, patrilineally skewed in practice. The skewing is greatest among the mass of commoners, less consistent among nobles and high status commoners who focus descent upon prestigeful ancestors by whatever line they are linked, while groups of slave descent have very shallow genealogies with no consistent skewing on either side.