Tandroy - Marriage and Family

Marriage. The literature differs on the question of marriage preference. In the southwest, marriage is a group concern, and an ideology of patrilateral parallel-cousin marriage is pronounced, whereas for northern Androy it has been reported that all types of marriage are practiced indifferently. Nonetheless, all accounts agree that agnatic and village endogamy are common, but that they coexist with intergroup alliances. Tandroy marriage is often polygynous, and divorce and serial marriage are common. Ideally, perhaps, marriage is patrilocal for both parties; otherwise virilocality is preferred. A negative political value attaches to a man who contracts an uxorilocal union. Marriage involves a series of gifts between both parties, including agricultural assistance and mortuary duties on the part of the son(s)-in-law.

Domestic Unit. The house ( traño ), in which a married couple and their unmarried children reside and to which fields and granary attach, is the basic unit of agricultural cooperation and consumption. The same term, however, extends to all coresident agnates, emphasizing the fact that the boundary between the domestic unit and the local descent group is at best unclear; this lack of distinction is also true of arrangements of the ownership and herding of cattle.

Inheritance. In principle, a man's cattle are distributed among his children before his death, while he retains ritual ownership. Although the oldest son often receives the most, he is obliged in turn to give cattle to his brothers. Married couples do not normally inherit from one another, save in the case of the first or chief wife. Outmarrying women and their offspring receive livestock, money, and household goods, with the amount of each generally depending on the standing of the parties and the sociopolitical importance that is attached to their alliance. Cultivable land stays in the ownership of the local descent group. In the past, personal and household effects were sent to the grave or burned with the house of the desceased, but this custom is changing, particularly in the urban centers.

Socialization. Infants and children are raised by members of the household and the village. The main emphasis in their training is upon observing ancestral custom and developing honor and fortitude; admonition is normally verbal, although physical punishment may be employed. Although education is provided by the state, many Tandroy children are unschooled.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: