KINSHIP SYSTEM IN AFRICAN COMMUNITIES
At the end of the lesson, you should be able to:
- Explain the importance of kinship system
- Give factors that contribute to harmony and mutual responsibility
Kinship refers to the relationships between people. These can be by blood, marriage or adoption.
People that belong to the same kinship system are referred to as kin.
Importance of kinship system and ties
Kinship relationships were and still are important among African communities.
This is because these ties:
- Provided company. This ensured that people were not lonely.
- Provided a sense of belonging which one of the human needs. We all want to belong.
iii. Controlled social relationships between people related by blood or marriage.
- Promoted mutual responsibility and help.
- Enhanced a sense of security which is a human need.
- Regulated marital customs, rules and regulations.
vii. Enabled people to live peacefully and in harmony.
viii. Bind the community together enhancing social cohesion and loyalty to each other.
- Facilitated care for the disadvantaged members of community.
- Ensured that all members of the community are have knowledge of community beliefs and practices.
- Provided a peaceful way of settling disputes.
xii. Provided mechanisms for proper inheritance of property for example land.
Factors contributing to harmony and mutual responsibility in African communities.
These are many.
Some of them are
(i) Rites of passage
(2) Good morals
(3) Participation in communal activities such as ceremonies, work, leisure activities and worship
(4) Sharing of property and ideas
(5) Division of labour. Tasks were distributed according to one’s age, gender and status.
(6) rules/social norms regulated how people grew up; knowing what is wrong and right.
Good morals help people to live in peace and harmony.