Sideways or downwards? Lateral and vertical succession, inheritance and descent in africa and eurasia

Man, n.s. Vol/Iss. 5 Published In Pages: 627-638
By Goody, Jack


". . . descent groups of the matrilineal kind are significantly less likely to be found in the Eurasian continent. Matrilineal descent groups . . . are found more frequently in Africa than in Eurasia" (636)


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Comparison of raw scoresSupportedNot ApplicableUNKNOWNUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Culture AreaIndependentIdentification
Matrilineal DescentDependentRule Of Descent

Related Hypotheses

Main AuthorHypothesis
Goody, JackThe proportion of uterine systems of inheritance (matrilineal) is greater in Africa than in Eurasia or other continents. But agnatic (patrilineal) inheritance is predominant worldwide (630)
Goody, JackThe incidence of bridewealth decreases along a kin group scale with highest incidence in patrilineal and then double descent kin groups, matrilineal kin groups, and finally lowest incidence in bilateral groups. The less frequent marriage transactions, dowry and gift exchange, are not associated with any particular kin group. Absence of any transactions is related to kin groups in the reverse order of the bridewealth-kin group relationship (51)
Goody, Jack"Both for real property and movable property there is a very significant association of patrilineal systems with vertical transmission and matrilineal ones with lateral transmission" (634)
Martin, M. KayMatrilineal descent in horticultural groups will be negatively associated with severity of female premarital sex restrictions (247).
Aberle, David F."If we compare 'dominant horticulture' with all [other subsistence types], we find that matrilineal systems tend to be found significantly more often in this category than either patrilineal or bilateral systems" (676)