A person is born into one of the 8 groups (subsections as they are known technically) and thus acquires, in addition to his personal name, the name belonging to that skin group. His father belongs to a different skin group, his mother belongs to another, his wife to another.
Use of the Arrente Skin Names chart will help to clarify how children gain a skin name.
Below are listed the Arrente skin names, with the Warlpiri equivalent.
There are two generation levels:
- ones own generation level – nganantarka or ngananari
- second generation level – tjanamiitjanpa or inurrpa.
People separated from each other by generation are regarded as belonging to the same generation level (referred to as ‘harmonic’ generations).
People of adjacent generations are regarded as belonging to different generation levels (referred to as ‘disharmonic’ generations).
One must marry into one’s own generation level, not into the opposite one; and not within one’s own camp, or countryman.
Arrernte Skin NamesÂ 2
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