Selung/Moken - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Moken recognize couples as married when they begin having sexual relations. Couples arrange their own marriages with the consent of the bride's parents, whom the groom asks through an intermediary. The groom may provide a small bride-price to the bride's parents. Marriage ceremonies are only found among Islamized communities. Among some communities (e.g., Sekah and Kallang), a man must have his own boat before he can marry. Few restrictions are placed on the selection of a spouse; partners may be from within or outside a boat community. Marriage between Moken women and non-Moken men is not uncommon. While there is no proscription against polygyny, it is uncommon. There are no reported cases of marriage after widowhood, but according to White there is a stepparent kin term suggesting the possibility. Patrilocality predominates; with the birth of a child, a couple takes up residence on its own boat. The exceptions to this include Orang Sekah and Orang Sama, who reside matrilocally, and Moken, who do not reside with the husband's boat group until after the birth of the couple's first child. White suggests that the Moken see divorce as "sinful."

Domestic Unit. Nuclear families predominate; cases of extended households include young ,/iyweds and elderly parents. Average household size ranges from four to ten people.

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