Page:Kinship and social organisation.djvu/43

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SOCIAL ORGANISATION

of children, while he, who had previously been the father's sister's son of D and e, will now become their father. An exceptional form of the classificatory system, in which there is a departure from the usual rule limiting a term of relationship to members of the same generation, is found to be the natural consequence of a social regulation which enjoins the marriage of persons belonging to different generations.

The next step in the process of demonstrating the social significance of the classificatory system of relationship will take us to the island of Pentecost in the northern New Hebrides. When I recorded the system of this island, I found it to have so bizarre and complex a character that I could hardly believe at first it could be other than the result of a ludicrous misunderstanding between myself and my seemingly intelligent and trustworthy informants. Nevertheless, the records obtained from two independent witnesses, and based on separate pedigrees, agreed so closely even in the details which seemed most improbable that I felt confident that the whole construction could not be so mad as it seemed. This confidence was strengthened by finding that some of its features were of the same order of peculiarity as others which I had already found in a set of Fijian systems I have yet to consider. There were certain features which brought relatives separated by two generations into one category; the mother's mother, for instance, received the same designation as the elder sister;