A parallel is posited between the ways hybridity and kinship are thought about in Western contexts, challenging the idea that kinship and biology tend to lead to narrow, roots-oriented, essentialized definitions of identity. Rather than being the opposite of rhizomic, diasporic hybridity, kinship and biology partake of the tension between roots and routes that is characteristic of all hybridity. Anthropological evidence on the character of Western kinship thinking is examined to elucidate some features of its flexibility. Theories of hybridity are seen as being themselves a type of kinship thinking. © 2005 Taylor & Francis.