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A Propos du problème murngin: le système de sous-sections

Karel Kupka and Alain Testart
L'Homme
T. 20, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1980), pp. 71-90
Published by: EHESS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25131648
Page Count: 20
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A Propos du problème murngin: le système de sous-sections
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Abstract

Le but de cet article est d'éclairer un aspect de la controverse sur les Murngin (Nord-Est de la Terre d'Arnhem, Australie): le fonctionnement du système de sous-sections. Les différentes interprétations de ce système par Warner, Webb, Lévi-Strauss, etc., sont examinées à partir de données généalogiques. Les 859 mariages pour lesquels l'information est dis-ponible révèlent une tendance statistique conforme au système décrit par Lévi-Strauss. Il est possible de reconstituer en partie les cycles d'échanges matrimoniaux entre les groupes patrilinéaires. Enfin le système de sous-sections est situé dans sa dimension historique. /// The article aims at shedding light on the controversy upon the Murngin (Northeast of Arnhem Land), that is, the working of the subsection system. The different interpretations set forth by Warner, Webb, Lévi-Strauss, and others, are considered from genealogical data. As a result, 859 marriages for which information was available appear as representative samples of the prevalence of the Lévi-Strauss' system. The cycles of marriage by exchange among patrilineal groups could be partly reconstituted. Finally, the author frames the subsection system into its historical dimension.

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