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Whose tribe should posterity belong to: the mother’s or father’s?

By Vision Reporter

Added 31st January 2005 03:00 AM

SIR— The New Vision of January 28, ran Ogwal-Omara’s letter titled, “Who should determine a child’s ethnicity?” in which he asked a social relations question. 'To which parent should a child’s tribe be — the father’s or the mother’s?

SIR— The New Vision of January 28, ran Ogwal-Omara’s letter titled, “Who should determine a child’s ethnicity?” in which he asked a social relations question. 'To which parent should a child’s tribe be — the father’s or the mother’s?

SIR— The New Vision of January 28, ran Ogwal-Omara’s letter titled, “Who should determine a child’s ethnicity?” in which he asked a social relations question. 'To which parent should a child’s tribe be — the father’s or the mother’s?

He said “science tells us that a human being is born by a combination of genes from either parent, therefore none may own its tribe”. But finally he called, “Can someone explain this?”

Bluntly, this question is addressed to Sociology and not Biology.

Science and genes explain human anatomy and physiology. Sociology explains society and interpersonal relationships.

Also, whilst Biology would start with the individual and end with society (public health), sociology starts with the society and ends by subordinating the individual to society’s imperatives.

Accordingly, people keep law and order by organising their society into various social groups which define affinity and boundaries in interpersonal relationships of the members. The groups vary, such as matrilineal or patrilineal society, ethnicity, clan, family, lineage, etc.

Matrilineal society allows the descent of children to follow the mother’s line, but patrilineal determines that children follow the father's line.

Fortunately or unfortunately, most tribes of Uganda, if not all, belong to patrilineal society. This social order may close the possibilities of debating soon which parent's inheritance line the child should follow.

The Rev Dr John Magumba
Manchester, UK

Whose tribe should posterity belong to: the mother’s or father’s?

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