Ntɔn

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A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan's unity. When this "ancestor" is non-human, it is referred to as a totem, which is frequently an animal. Clans can be most easily described as tribes or sub-groups of tribes. The word clan is derived from clann meaning children or progeny but not family in the Irish language[1][2] and Scottish Gaelic languages. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was introduced into English around the year 1425 as a label for the tribal nature of the Scottish Highlands society.[3] Clans in indigenous societies are likely to be exogamous, meaning that their members cannot marry one another. Clans preceded more centralized forms of community organization and government; they are located in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show they are an independent clan.

  1. Dineen, Patrick S. (1927). Foclóir Gaeďilge agus Béarla an IRISH-ENGLISH DICTIONARY. Dublin and Cork, Ireland: The Educational Company of Ireland, Ltd. 
  2. Ó Dónaill, Niall (1992). Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla. Dublin, Ireland: An Gúm. ISBN 1-85791-037-0. 
  3. "Clan", Online Etymology Dictionary