Dyula - Marriage and Family



Marriage. The most highly favored form of marriage is within the clan ward, that is, for all intents and purposes, between classificatory patrilateral parallel cousins. Marriages between relatives from different clan wards, especially matrilateral cross cousins, are also encouraged. Marriage is virilocal, except for the remarriages of older widows, who usually prefer to live with their sons. Divorce, following Islamic law, is easily obtained in principle, but couples are often pressured by their families to reconcile their differences.

Domestic Unit. The Dyula have a high incidence of polygyny. In the past, sons, even those who were married, tended to live with their father. The families of full brothers frequently remained together for some time after the father's death.

Inheritance. In principle, inheritance follows the dictates of Muslim law: all sons inherit an equal share and daughters half as much as sons. In the past, the extent to which these rules were strictly followed varied, and daughters did not necessarily receive their share. To the extent that any property was considered to be corporately rather than individually owned, it passed instead from elder to younger brother.

Socialization. In day-to-day matters, mothers and older siblings were most responsible for monitoring a child's behavior; fathers intervened more occasionally or for more serious questions. Boys from mory families were usually sent to a teacher to acquire the rudiments of Arabic literacy, if not a full-fledged religious education, whereas tun tigi boys, at adolescence, were inducted into secret low (initiation societies; sing. io). Boys were also expected to learn specialized economic skills, such as weaving, from older kinsmen. Nowadays many children, especially in towns, attend modern schools.


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