DOI: 10.5070/K71253723">

Comment on German Dziebel: Crow-Omaha and the future of kin term research

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Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

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Kin terminology research—as reflected in Crow-Omaha and Dziebel (2021)—has long been interested in “deep time” evolution. In this commentary, I point out serious issues in neoevolutionist models and phylogenetic models assumed in Crow-Omaha and Dziebel’s arguments. I summarize the widely-shared objections (in case kin term scholars have not previously paid attention) and how those apply to kin terminology. Trautmann (2012:48) expresses a hope that kinship analysis will join with archaeology (and primatology). Dziebel misinterprets archaeology as linguistics and population genetics. Although neither Crow-Omaha nor Dziebel (2021) make use of archaeology, biological anthropology, or paleogenetics, I include a brief overview of recent approaches to prehistoric kinship in those fields—some of which consider Crow-Omaha—to point out how these fields’ interpretations are independent of ethnological evolutionary models, how their data should not be used, and what those areas do need from experts on kinship.

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DOI: 10.5070/K71253723