Subanun - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Although polygyny, including sororal polygyny, sometimes occurs, the overwhelming majority of marriages are monogamous. Marriages are generally arranged by families among neighbors and kin. Cousins may marry but are expected to pay a ritual fine that increases with the degree of closeness. A bride-price is paid by the groom's kin, to be distributed among the bride's kin. A period of bride-service in lieu of full bride-price is common. Because of bride-service obligations, a new couple generally lives near the bride's parents. Independent residence in one's own household is the goal of all nuclear families. Informal separation and formally negotiated divorce are common. Bride-price and bride-service obligations, as well as fines for misconduct, can make divorce negotiations difficult, especially between the recently married. Remarriage of the divorced and widowed is the norm. Once married, it is difficult to rejoin one's natal family unit as a dependent member.

Inheritance. Property is divided equally among surviving children. The most valuable property consists of heirlooms in the form of Chinese jars and brass gongs.

Socialization. Child care is relaxed and nonpunitive. It can, however, be a burden on young couples because of the relative isolation of homesteads and the need for both spouses to participate in agricultural work. The biggest problem in child rearing is not discipline but disease.

User Contributions:

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