Penan - Marriage and Family

The Penan allow marriage outside the nuclear family; also, Eastern Penan may marry their first cousins, but Western Penan may not. Polygyny is accepted, but rare. Marriage to another member of the same group is desirable. Marriage does not entail ceremony or official approval. Ideally, the groom should pay a bride-price of swords, blowguns, etc., but this is rarely done. Postmarital residence is with the wife's group for a year if different from the husband's group. The domestic unit is the nuclear family. Divorce takes place at the choice of either party. With little to inherit, there are no formal rules of inheritance; siblings and offspring decide among themselves who is to have what goods.

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