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K u l b i - k e n i pa q a n r i v e r b a s i n a n d i t s p e o p l e 27 Tegbituk Another example, Tegbituk, is even more complex and provides another good illustration of the dynamics at play in the formation of the rurungan. In August 1989 I identified 20 households in this place, distributed between several clusters: one of 7 households, two of 4 households, one of 3 households, and one of 2 households, fitting type 3 (several small, interrelated clusters of households). Figure 5 shows diagrammatically the genealogical relationships between members of one central cluster whose apical resident member at the grandparental level is Mewalam, a widow.

This rule is often disregarded nevertheless, in spite of another belief saying that if the roof beam crosses the path of the sun lengthwise, it will cause the owner of the house to be devoured by the crocodile. , papaya, areca, and banana), several species of taro, chili pepper, sugarcane, lemongrass, ginger, curcuma, cordyline, pineapple, and so on. This is a real garden containing dozens of different species not arranged in any geometric pattern, but imitating, rather, the general haphazard profusion and diversity of the tropical vegetation.

This latter part of the rule allows considerable play in its enforcement and makes it possible, for instance, to find an elder brother, an aunt and her husband, or a cousin as a substitute for the parents, therefore widening considerably the choice of residence of the young couple. Let it be noted that an elder female relative will oftentimes serve as the legal warden, the person who is “looking after” her younger relative. Moreover, this rule applies less strictly as one grows older, as one’s immediate in-laws (father- and mother-in-law) are no longer alive, and as one becomes oneself an elder with several married daughters and, as such, the potential or real focus of a local settlement.

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