Navajo Kinship and Marriage
by Gary Witherspoon
University of Chicago Press, 1996
Paper: 978-0-226-90418-4

The Navajo are one of the most studied people in the world; yet their social organization is one of the least well understood. In Navajo Kinship and Marriage, Gary Witherspoon, a fluent speaker of the Navajo language who lived among the Navajo for eight years, offers a new theoretical approach to kinship based on its cultural dimensions. Witherspoon makes a primary distinction between culture (patterns for behavior) and the system of social relations (observable patterns of behavior) in this definitive work on Navajo kinship and marriage.

"Witherspoon . . . clarifies problems pertaining to Navajo kinship and marriage through his skillful use of the concepts of cultural and social systems. He adds to the body of knowledge on the Navajo by his own fieldwork and unique life experiences." —R. S. Freed, Sociology

"Not only can Witherspoon's book on Navajo kinship help unravel the web for the Anglo willing to concentrate, it can also bring to Navajo readers an understanding of why Anglos don't understand Navajo family relationships." —Joanne Reuter, Navajo Times

"This is an important work on Navajo kinship and marriage." —David F. Aberle, American Anthropology

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