Jour. Anth. Inst.


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Kinship Equivalents


It is said to be of rare occurrence to find any child above six or seven years of age residing with its parents, and this because it is considered a compliment and also a mark of friendship for a married man, after paying a visit, to ask his hosts to allow him to adopt one of their children. The request is usually complied with, and thenceforth the child’s home is with his (or her) foster father . . . though the parents in their turn adopt the children of other friends, they nevertheless pay continual visits to their own child, and occasionally ask permission (!) to take him (or her) away with them for a few days.

A man is entirely at liberty to please himself in the number of children he adopts, but he must treat them with kindness and consideration, and in every respect as his own sons and daughters, and they, on their part, render him filial affection and obedience.

It not unfrequently happens that in course of time permission to adopt a foster child is sought by a friend of the soi-disant father, and is at once granted (unless any exceptional circumstance should render it personally inconvenient), without even the formality of a reference to the actual parents, who are merely informed of the change, in order that they may be enabled to pay their periodical visits.1

In a more recent report on the Andamans Radcliffe-Brown states that "a man and his wife adopt in this way children belonging to a local group other than their own,"2 which indicates that the natives have in mind, in addition to neighborliness, the importance of extending the limits of social intercourse.

1Man, E.H.n/an/an/an/a, "On the Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Andaman Islands," , 12: 125.

2 Radcliffe-Brown, A. R., The Andaman Islanders, 78.


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Chicago: "Jour. Anth. Inst.," Jour. Anth. Inst. in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed December 8, 2023,

MLA: . "Jour. Anth. Inst." Jour. Anth. Inst., Vol. 12, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 8 Dec. 2023.

Harvard: , 'Jour. Anth. Inst.' in Jour. Anth. Inst.. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 8 December 2023, from