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An avunculocal society is one in which a married couple traditionally lives with the man's mother's eldest brother, which most often occurs in matrilineal societies. The anthropological term "avunculocal residence" refers to this convention, which has been identified in about 4% of the world's societies.[1]

This pattern generally occurs when a man obtains his status, his job role, or his privileges from their nearest elder matrilineal male relative. When a woman's son lives near her brother, he is able to more easily learn how he needs to behave in the matrilineal role he has inherited.

The Chamorros of the Mariana Islands[2] and the Taíno of Turks and Caicos Islands[3] are examples of societies that have practiced avunculocal residence.


  1. ^ Rosman, Abraham and Rubel, Paula G. The Tapestry of Culture: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Mcgraw-Hill College, 1995. (ISBN 0-07-053955-3)
  2. ^ Cunningham, Lawarence J. Ancient Chamorro Society. Bess Press, 1992. (ISBN 1-880188-05-8)
  3. ^ Keegan, William F. Before Columbus: Caonabo’s Homeland, Middle Caicos Earthwatch Report, 1999.

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