The aboriginal system of kinship in Australia is the foundation and basis of all social relationships and interactions. It is a complex system whereby a specific language unit or tribe governs the network of personal relationships in that language unit or tribe and provide guidance for their interactions with other tribal members. Kinship guides all aspects of social structure and organization. The institution of marriage forms the basis for the Aboriginal system of kinship and all other relationships stem off from the institution of marriage.
The basic social unit is the nuclear family as well as being the basic kinship unit. The core of the family is the husband and the wife or wives as polygamy was practiced. Majority of the aboriginal kin systems allowed both women and men to look for extra-marital partners with whom they could engage with in sexual activities; this was based on romantic basis or transient- ritual or transient mundane. It was achieved mainly through potential replacements of a spouse in addition to allowing for surrogates to bear children. Among the people of Arnhem Land women were allowed to have secondary husbands. In addition to many other customs that govern marriage the ones discussed above are the most conspicuous.
Among the Aborigines some relationships are considered more binding than others in the kinship systems. Siblings of the same sex had a strong bond between them and they had little or no conflict among them. In spite of this, sibling rivalry was common in siblings who were fighting for the same woman; however, they were always united by common religious grounds, which was a unifying factor. Sisters are also close friends and this is reinforced when they become co-wives. This relationship extended to all males and female members of the extended family as they were all considered brothers and sisters. This interaction governed the relationship between siblings and generally set the rules and to live by.
The relationship between people of different generations is not solely based on family ties rather it signifies superiority and subordination among the different generations. The older generation enjoyed unquestionable authority as they charged with guiding the various activities of the tribe. However, despite this respect bestowed upon the older generation they enjoyed close relationships with the younger generation. This is most evident in the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren, the grandparents view their grandchildren as successors to their positions. Therefore, the older generation is treated with respect and this governs the relationship between the different generations (Aboriginal Kinship Systems, 2013).
In my own society, kinship still plays a major role in the day-to-day activities of the people. However, the customs are not strictly followed as the Aborigines of Australia. In my society the family is still the basic unit, however, unlike the Aborigines polygamy is not practiced and the partners in a marriage cannot seek extra-marital affairs. In my society, it is also unheard off for a woman to have more than one male partner (Aboriginal Culture - Traditional Life - Social Organization, 2013).
Just like the Aborigines, siblings in my society also have strong bonds among themselves. Brothers always take care of each other; however, sibling rivalry is a common occurrence in my society due to various issues. It is also impossible for sisters to be co-wives in my society.
The older generation in my society enjoys utmost respect from the younger generations just like the older generations in the Aborigines. They command respect among the rest of the community and are the leaders in giving direction and guiding the community. The practices of the Aborigines don't govern my society due to the fact that modern laws have infiltrated my society and hence the need to abide by them.