Gamilaraay kinship dynamics


Traditional Indigenous marriage rules have been studied extensively since the mid-1800s. Despite this, they have historically been cast aside as having very little utility. Here, I will walk through some of the interesting mathematics of the Gamilaraay system and show that, instead, they are in fact a very clever construction. Indeed, the Gamilaraay system dynamically trades off kin avoidance – to minimise incidence of recessive diseases – against pairwise cooperation, as understood through Hamilton’s rule.