Gitanos - Kinship, Marriage, and Family

Kinship. There is little evidence of organized kinship Beyond the nuclear family, and Gitano kinship terms are the same as those of other Spaniards. Some clusters, or adhesions, exist of grandparents and one or two of their married children and young grandchildren who work together and pool certain resources. These family clusters, however, are largely divided into separate, nuclear-family households, and they are not very different from non-Gypsy extended families in urban Spain. Close kin visit one another regularly, and friendship is almost always embedded in kinship.

Marriage. Marriages are still arranged for adult children if the bride can be found to be a virgin, if the parents of the potential spouses are on speaking terms, and if the marrying partners agree. Other Gitanos elope, especially if the bride cannot pass a virginity test, one of the few distinctly Gitano practices. Eloping couples return to their kin after about a month. Newly married couples tend to live for the first year with the groom's parents. Close kin, including first cousins, marry. After disputes, arranging marriages is one of the few important events that convene Gitanos beyond the level of elementary families. Links between brothers and other male kin related through either mother or father (links, that is, Between the fathers of the marrying couple) are likely to erode, and arranging marriages builds alliances between such males.

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