phratry(redirected from phratries)
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social group based on actual or alleged unilineal descent from a common ancestor. Such groups have been known in all parts of the world and include some that claim the parentage or special protection of an animal, plant, or other object (see totem).
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phratry(ANTHROPOLOGY) the grouping of two or more CLANS who claim a common ancestor, which may be mythical or nonhuman (see TOTEMISM).
a form of social organization, intermediate between the genos and phyle, in Athens and other states of preclassical Greece. A phratry generally had its own governing bodies and religion. In modern times, the term “phratry” was employed by L. H. Morgan, who discovered a similar social organization among the North American Indians. The phratry was an exogamous group of related clans; that is, its members married into other phratries. A dual organization of two phratries constituted a tribe. The principal function of a dual-phratric organization was to regulate exchanges. In later stages of social development, the division into phratries was not necessarily dual: tribes of three phratries also existed. In its later forms, the phratry was sometimes endogamous.
REFERENCESMorgan, L. H. Drevnee obshchestvo, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1935. (Translated from English.)
Zolotarev, A. M. Rodovoi stroi i pervobytnaia mifologiia. Moscow, 1964.
Semenov, Iu. I. Proiskhozhdenie braka isem’i. Moscow, 1974.