How to draw lineages in Pajek kinship data

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Genealogical dataset for Garo and source

Let's take a finished p-graph village genealogy like the The data consist of 96 marriages from the genealogy published by Nakane, Chie. 1967. The book and the graph can provide a basis for a term paper. A supplementary network analysis showed a frequency census of types of blood marriages as follows:

  1. 9 MBD - One of two cross-cousins the other being FZD (Z=sister)
  2. 3 MMBDD
  3. 2 FMMZDDD
  4. 1 MMBD (skew generation, inconsistent with viri-sides, consistent with uxori-sides)
  5. 1 FMZDDD


Nakane, Chie. 1967 [1968] Garo and Khasi. A comparative study in matrilineal systems. Paris, The Hague, Mouton.

These are society SCCS 69: Garo in the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample, see SCCS, on-line Bibliography, for additional sources.

Marriage network

Garo-Marriage-and-Family describes the Garo as having moieties, two exogamous matrilineal sides that exchange men, i.e., women of one side marry men of the other.

Some features of social organization

"Double quotes" from web-site Contemporary matriarchal societies. Single quotes within their text are from that site, Quoting Chie Nakane, 1967.

The Garo are Tibeto-Burman speaking wet rice (paddy) "agricultural peoples who live in hill districts in Meghalaya state in North-Eastern India." "Inheritance of property and succession to tribal office run through female line, passing from mother to youngest daughter."

"The Garos usually live as extended families in large longhouses." "The managerial head of the land of the Garo lineage is the husband of the 'matron'. Village council is formed by all the adult male members of the village."

"Among the Garo, one daughter, usually the youngest, is chosen as heiress. For the heiress, the husband is selected by her parents, and the groom ceremonially captured - the groom may even run away twice. The youngest son-in-law comes to live in his wife's parents' house and becomes his father-in-law's nokrom, or clan representative in the mother-in-law's family. If the father-in-law dies, the nokrom marries (and the marriage has to be consummated) the widowed mother-in-law, thus becoming the husband of both mother and daughter. This custom is now falling into disuse."

"Other girls select their own husbands. 'Initiative is always taken by the Garo girl. Boys behave demurely and fight shy of entering into wedlock without social pressure.' However, no able-bodied adult must remain without [a] mate; replacement marriages are arranged in case of death or dissolution of the marriage. Incompatible marriages can be dissolved; and illegitimately born child suffers no indignity (as the parents may marry anyway soon) if it is not a sequence of an incest within the same lineage. Marriages are exogamous, that means that the husband belongs to another matrilineage than the wife."

How to graph lineages in Pajek

Read data into Pajek, click /Draw. Female lines are in red, on two opposing sides composed of female descent lines. Black links show how husbands marry into the opposite side as their parents (mother's lineage).

To see how the lineages were constructed, do Main Menu /Net/Partition/Depth/Generation and /Draw/Draw-Partition. Press Z to rotate 180 degrees to ancestors are on the top.

To get females only, on Main menu, /Net/Transform/Remove/Lines with values less than/(enter 1.5). This will remove males. /Draw/Draw-Partition. /Layers/in y direction. /Layers/optimize in x direction/forward. /Layers/optimize in x direction/backwards. Then /Draw/Draw-Partition. /Layers/in y direction. There you have the lineages.

To partition female lineages Main /Net/Components/Weak. /Draw/Draw-Partition. The node colors will differ for each lineage. Graph menu: /Move/Fix/y. Click and hold the mouse near a lineage and move right or left to separate lineages. /Options/Size/of Vertices and make size larger so you can move individual nodes by placing the cursor on them and move them left or right. Align the lineage nodes so they have more vertical links.

Main menu: Click the tab on the first (net) window, and move the cursor up, click the first network. /Draw/Draw-Partition. This restores the men. Now move lineages left and right to sort out the two moieties.