Kinship 

The value of a kinship system is very important to Aboriginal family and structures their relationships, obligations and behaviour towards each other. There are three levels of kinship in Indigenous society: Moiety, Totem and Skin Names. Click here find out more about these three levels on kinship. 

Relationships are also complex within Aboriginal culture. The graph below shows a simple variation of the modern ideas of relationships with the extended family from the point of view of the child. Here the mother's sister is also seen as 'mother' and children of both the father's brother and mother's sister are seen as siblings not cousins.

 Mother's Sister 

Children

Children

Father's Brother

(considered mother)

(considered brothers and sisters)

(uncle)

 Mother 

 Father 

Child

(uncle)

(cousins)

Mother's Brother

Children

(cousins)

(aunty)

Children

 Father's Sister 

"Descent is about belonging to people and a place"