Endenese - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Marriage is preferred with one's mother's brother's daughter. However, this matrilateral cross-cousin marriage (a marriage type called mburhu nduu wesa senda ) is not regarded as a prestigious marriage. A marriage with a girl with whose group one has no previous alliance (a marriage type called 'ana 'arhé ) is the most prestigious one. Considerable bride-wealth ( ngawu ) is demanded from the side of the bride. The amount varies from one type of marriage to another. If a man can pay only a small portion of the bride-wealth demanded, he has to stay with his father-in-law. Otherwise the bride should go to the groom's village, where they may stay with the groom's father or build a new house.

Domestic Unit. Nowadays the domestic unit corresponds to a nuclear family. Married sons tend to build a new house near their parents' house. Residence is virilocal once the prescribed bride-wealth has been paid.

Inheritance. In accordance with the ideology of patrilineality, inheritance is, in most cases, through the patrilineal line. The eldest son is supposed to inherit everything from his father. Exceptions occur where bride-wealth is concerned. Though never stated clearly as a rule, it seems to be the case that rights over bride-wealth for a sister are assumed only by her full brothers. Thus the eldest brother cannot have a say over the bride-wealth paid for his half-sister.

Socialization. Fathers as well as mothers take care of children. According to older informants, there used to be some initiation rites for children, such as filing of teeth and cutting of hair, but these practices no longer exist.


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