Page:The Melanesians Studies in their Anthropology and Folklore.djvu/61

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A Mota Family.

level with his uncle, maraui, as if in the place of his mother. Thus Leveveg is in fact great-uncle to John and Agnes, but counts as uncle only because they are grandchildren of his sister. The grandchildren of his brother are his grandchildren, tupui, that is his great-nephews and nieces. For the same reason Leveveg, who is in fact maternal great-uncle to Dudley, counts as his maternal uncle, maraui, Dudley ascending into his mother's place. So Pantutun is first cousin to the mothers of Tavrowar and Mowur, and, being of the generation above them, would be called father or uncle, tamai, and they his children, if it were not that he is cousin to their mothers through his mother, whose place therefore he takes on the second ascending step, and becomes tupui, great-uncle. Thus he is father, tamai, that is uncle, to his first cousins Arisqoe and Marostuwale; and his sister Maututun is their mother or aunt; because he ascends into his mother's place, who was their father's sister. The same rule makes Dudley father or uncle properly to his first cousins John and Agnes, though, as they are of the same generation and older than himself, he calls them improperly brother and sister: improperly, because they are not his sogoi, and he could in strictness, though not with public approval, marry Agnes. It is still more remarkable that John is properly father or uncle to his second cousins Tavrowar and Mowur, who are much older than himself; but his father Pantutun is their great-uncle, tupui, and he is therefore their uncle, tamai, or as it naturally sounds to us their father[1]. The case of Matevagqoe and Ro Tapermaro is distinct from this: he married her brother's daughter, and to do that must have been of her side of the house, her sogoi. If it had been her sister's daughter, she and her niece's husband would be qaliga; but that cannot be between sogoi, so they call themselves cousins, brother and sister.

The pedigree here exhibited does not shew the polygamy

  1. It sometimes happens that a boy is in this way 'father' to one old enough to be his natural father, or 'grandfather,' tupui, to one of his own age. When it is so the formal relationship is practically merged in the general tasiu, brotherhood.