Canarians - Kinship, Marriage, and Family



Kinship. Kinship is traced bilaterally. Kin relations also extend to the descendants of relatives and to godsons. Kin terms follow the Eskimo system, with much use of terms for fictive kin.

Marriage. Historically, local and insular intermarriage was common, especially in the interior. The heavy maritime traffic on the coast reduced the incidence of endogamous Marriage in the harbor cities. Marriages were formed between families of similar social status. Marriages between people of different social status or with an important difference in age were prevented by public defamation of the couple. The incest taboo extended to first cousins. Postmarital residence is neolocal and uxorilocal. The role of the mother-in-law is considerable. One popular saying also states that "if you marry a daughter you gain a son, but if you marry a son you lose both." Wedding ceremonies mainly follow the Catholic rite, but civil marriages have increased in number in recent years. Wedding celebrations take place in public establishments, and this practice has popularized the use of "wedding lists" in businesses with gifts given at marriage.

Domestic Unit. The nuclear family is the most common form, although in rural areas three-generation stem families are still found.

Inheritance. Inheritance is legally regulated. In rural areas the house and lands are divided in equal parts among heirs. Domestic items are inherited by the unmarried daughter who lived with the parents until their deaths. Among shepherds, livestock is inherited by the youngest son.

Socialization. Formal education is required for all children between 5 and 16 years of age. In the cities children also attend kindergarten at age 4.


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