Rotinese - Marriage and Family

Marriage. The Rotinese recognize three levels of marriage, depending on (1) the amount of bride-wealth given for the woman, (2) the reciprocal prestations on the part of the woman's family, (3) the amount of ceremony and feasting accompanying the marriage, and formerly (4) the length of bride-service performed by the groom. Bride-wealth may be paid in gold, in old silver rupiah, in water buffalo, or in sheep and goats; there exists a fixed conversion rate among these different forms of wealth. Polygyny is permitted and is the ideal of the rich and the noble. Rotinese clans are not exogamous, although lineages are. Marriage is prohibited between siblings and close parallel cousins; more distant parallel cousins are, however, potential marriage partners. Marriage is preferred but in no way prescribed between cross cousins, the stated preference being for marriage with the mother's brother's daughter. In Thie and Loleh, there exists a moiety system that partially regulates marriage. Divorce is relatively easy, but permission must be obtained from the lord's court. Levirate, sororate, and adoption are extremely rare.

Domestic Unit. Elder sons and all daughters leave at marriage, but the youngest son resides with his parents after marriage. The youngest son inherits the paternal house and brings his wife to live there. All elder sons must establish a new residence before or shortly after marriage, usually in the same village area but never too close to the paternal house. The domestic unit is based on the nuclear family and generally consists of husband, wife, and unmarried children, except for the youngest son and his wife. Widows can maintain their own households and raise their children on their own.

Inheritance. The eldest son inherits the right to represent his father in affinal ceremonies and inherits all affinal prestations; the youngest son inherits the house. Other wealth is divided equally among all sons. A daughter (or daughters) may inherit only when the household lacks a male heir.

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