Gender Related Social Groups

Throughout the year Bakkarwal settlements are small, varying from one to nine tents/dwellings and not consisting of more than three generations. Hence the size of a person's local social group is limited to campmates, most of whom are siblings or other close relatives. However, the children of a camp are of various ages, so that genuine peer groups hardly exist.

Larger social groups, all of which are kin based, are formed around rich and important men. The largest of these groups is a tolaa, which is a migrating unit at its maximum; the smallest is a kumbaa, a term denoting a collection of nuclear or extended families descended from one living man. Thus the term kumbaa denotes a specific type of descent group, headed by a man who has many living married progeny and male siblings, all of whom recognize his authority over themselves. If this last requirement is not met, the Bakkarwal speak of a man's deraa rather than his kumbaa. The principle of the Bakkarwal kumbaa is one of segmentation; while several deraa compose a kumbaa, these in turn make up a tolaa, which in turn generally consists of several kumbaa, represented by the units of humans and herds which actually move and camp very close together during the spring and autumn migrations. Like a kumbaa, a tolaa is usually explicitly linked to a living adult male, and also often named after him. No such larger social groups are formed around women.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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