One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A familial relationship that is forbidden according to rules operating in some traditional societies. In Australian Aboriginal society, for example, mothers-in-law and sons-in-law may not meet face to face or speak directly with one another.
- ‘Degrees of permissible looks are articulated through the kinship system, where an avoidance relationship can mean that two individuals may sit next to each other, without being allowed to look at one another face to face.’
- ‘Well we have questions of avoidance relationships in particular.’
- ‘Thus, an ‘avoidance relationship’ is named both na madua ni veiwekani (shame of kinship), and na vakarokoroko ni veiwekani (the pride of kinship).’
- ‘The opposite of avoidance relationships are ‘joking relationships.’’
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