Other Cross Sex Relationships

The aunt-nephew and uncle-niece relationships are the great joking institutions in Canela society, but this joking occurs only when the kinship is not immediate. Individuals related in this way feel that they have to joke sexually whenever they meet. Classificatory spouse relationships are similar unless the individuals happen to be living in the same house.

Informal friendship relationships involve lifelong camaraderie, but include playing practical jokes on each other as well as sexual humor. Women seldom became informal friends with men, and never with other women.

Primary formal friends carry out complete avoidance. They do not look each other in the eye and they scarcely speak to each other. They must come to each other's aid whenever necessary. They paint each other on ceremonial occasions and the survivor buries the other upon death. Women are involved in formal friendship relationships in the same way as men. These relationships are both same sex and cross sex.

The most serious consanguineal relationship is between uterine brothers and sisters. They respect each other and never joke, though they can carry out full communications. Classificatory opposite-sex siblings put names on one of each other's children of the same sex. This name-exchange relationship strengthens the tie between the classificatory siblings so that they are almost as close to each other as uterine siblings.

A naming uncle has a close relationship with his named-nephew. With the transferred set of names goes ceremonial membership in men's societies and rights to carry out certain ritual roles. While a naming aunt is equally close to her named-niece personally, she has little to pass on to her ceremonially.

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