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12 Functions of Kinship System in Nigeria Culture

In this post, we look at the functions of the kinship system in Nigeria culture. Kinship is a social relationship that defines who we are and where we are from. Kinship, being a cultural artifact can actually shape the way people do things, the way peoeple think , the way people believe things. In fact, I believe, since it is something created by man in reference to one’s culture and history, is more or less, cultural heritage of a people.


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Functions Of Kinship System In Nigeria Culture:

So many functions have been seen carried out within the kinship system in Nigeria. Since kinship is owned by almost every society, some of its functions, as I will be discussing in this article will seems familiar, while others will not, nonetheless, we are going to look at quite a number of the functions of kinship system in Nigeria in this article, and here are there;


* Kinship Defines Acceptable Role Of Engagement:

In every society, there is acceptable role of engagement, and such role of engagement is made possible by kinship. Besides this however, there is also role of relationship between and among members of a family. You look at the parents – children relationship, relationship between father and son, relationship between father and daughter, relationship between mother and daughter, relationship between mother and son, and so on and so forth. So it is kinship that bring about proper way of relating with one another within a family. Apart from defining proper role relationship within a family, kinship also guides or provides guidelines for persons to interact among themselves and/or between themselves.


* Kinship Determines Relationship Lines:

Relationship line in every family, I think is necessary, and this is the function of kinship system in Nigeria, where family line relationship is determined accordingly. In a family, a relationship could be a distance one or a close relationship, depending on the family in question. Therefore, the kinship system in Nigeria can work in a way that can determined what relationship family relationship lines are.


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* Kinship Decides Who To And Who Not To Marry:

This is another function of kinship system in Nigeria, it draws a path and guide you on how to go through the path. For instance, it is the kinship that will determine who you should marry and who you should not marry, where to marry and where you should not marry. Once there is order that you cannot marry there, and that, relationship there, maritally is taboo, you have no choice. So it is the kinship system that decides.


* Kinship Influences Religious Practices:

Kinship in a sense, do influenced people’s religious practices. What is expected from every member of a religious sect for example, is defined by kinship system, including the determination of the rights of the people, and obligations of these people, who belonged to, or indulged in religious practices and that of sacraments, which actually begins from the point, where someone is born and through  a point where this person is deat



* Kinship Maintains Relationships:

Another function of the kinship system in Nigeria is to ensure that there is maintenance of solidarity of relationships. Such solidarity of relationship is mostly enjoyed among members of the family, the father, the mother, children and any other member of the family


* Determines Obligations And The Rights Of Family:

Kinship system in Nigeria also determined the obligations, the rights of the family. This is can be seen in  tribal and rural societies. Kinship relation also determined the obligations and the rights of political power, the rights of marriage, as well as determined the obligations and the rights of system production, and this happened within a family.


* Kinship Regulates Beheviour Of Kin:

Kinship system in Nigeria functions in a number of ways, particularly, in tribal societies, when used in different ways. One of the functions of the kin system, when used in different ways is that, it will regulatates behaviours of different kin. So through the many usages of the kinship, there is that possibility of regulating the behaviour of every kin.


* Kinship Helps In Designating Kin Of Various Types:

Kinship is known for helping in the process of  classification of different types of kin_and this happened as the result of some terms within the kinship system, and through such terms, the designation and the description of different types of kin is made possible.


* Kinship Creates Groupings Of Kin:

Another function of the kinship system in Nigeria is that, by the virtue of different ways of using kinship, groupings of kin can be created. Therefore, the creation of special groupings of kin happened through the usage of kinship.


* Kinship Governs Role Relationship:

In kinship, there are some rules, and these kinship rules have a way of affecting or mpacting on the role of relationships within the family. Among various kins, there would be this rule of kinship that will governs the relationship role, as related to the family.


* Kinship Regulates Social Life:

There are so many functions of the kinship system in Nigeria, and one of such functions is that of acting as the social life regulator. Social life is regulated in almost every society, and what made it possible for social life regulations is kinship system.


* Kinship Influences Production System:

System of production can be influenced through kinship system. Apart from influencing production system, kinship system goes as far as influencing other aspects of kinship within the family, such aspects of kinship include, land ownership within the family, as well as the concept of wealth and their various usages.



* Conclusion:

Kinship has several importance in a social structure. Kinship decides who you can marry and who you cannot marry, possibly, where marital relationships are taboo. It also determines rights and obligations of every member in every religious practices within the society from when someone is born and up to the point he is dead.  The important of kinship system in Nigeria cannot be underestimated, and the important of kinship system can be seen within the family functions and at the event of marriage. It is also good to note the kinship system haa a way of determining family line.


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Joseph Athanasius

Joseph Athanasius is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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