Family Structure, Kinship, Marriage


Kingdoms
The kingdoms were usually based off kinship but not always. In the Arawak kingdoms, the inhabitants were related or bond in some way. The majority of the Arawaks practiced monogamy, yet polygamy was practiced among some, mainly caciques. A man could have two or three wives, yet at times a cacique has as many as thirty wives.source It was considered honorable for a woman to be married to a cacique and enjoy a materially superior lifestyle, with her children recognized as high class.

Family Structure
According to article Surinam Arawak as compared with different dialects of Island Carib some evidence of pologamy can be seen through the language of the Arawak. "There seems to be some instability in these terms' reference; for the first of those cited above has been glossed elsewhere as 'my step-father' or 'my FaBr', the second as 'my step-mother', 'my FaSi' or 'my uncle's wife'. But assuming that there is or was some justification for the gloss 'step-' (that datêboathi referred to a man who was or might one day be married to my mother, daiaboato to a woman who was or might one day be married to my father), the present terminological distinction between MoSi and FaSi may well reflect a former prevalence of the sororate and/or of sororal polygeny."

Also the article states, "There seems to be some instability in these terms' reference; for the first of those cited above has been glossed elsewhere as 'my step-father' or 'my FaBr', the second as 'my step-mother', 'my FaSi' or 'my uncle's wife'. But assuming that there is or was some justification for the gloss 'step-' (that datêboathi referred to a man who was or might one day be married to my mother, daiaboato to a woman who was or might one day be married to my father), the present terminological distinction between MoSi and FaSi may well reflect a former prevalence of the sororate and or of sororal polygeny."
Also it is mention that the Arawak family structure went throught changes throughout history. "Nevertheless, indications that the kinship terminology of Arawak has changed somewhat in historical times are not lacking." source

Housing
The housing represented social status:
external image caneye.gifsource
The caciques had rectangular single house (bohio) for only him and his family, the size of the houses depended on the size of the family due to the many wives a cacique might have.

external image bohio.gifsource
The people of the kingdom has circular houses (caneye) where about ten to fifteen men lived with their families, so this circular house could have housed a hundred peoples.