Sarakatsani - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Sarakatsani marriages are arranged, with the initiative in such arrangements taken by the family of the prospective husband in consultation with members of the kindred. There can be no marriage between two members of the same kindred. The bride must bring with her into the marriage a dowry of household furnishings, clothing, and, more recently, sheep or their cash equivalent. The husband's contribution to the wealth of the new household is his share in the flocks held by his father, but these remain held in Common by his paternal joint household until some years after his marriage. The newly established couple initially takes up Residence near the husband's family of origin. Divorce is unknown and remarriage after widowhood is unthinkable.

Domestic Unit. The extended family has at its core a conjugal pair, and includes their unmarried offspring, and, often, their young married sons and their wives.

Inheritance. Inheritance, considered as the disposition of an individual's property and wealth at the time of his or her death, is largely through males: sons inherit a share of the flocks and property owned by their fathers and mothers. However, household goods may pass to daughters, and prestige—or lack thereof—of the family is visited on all surviving offspring, regardless of gender.

Socialization. When children are very young, child care is the province of the mother. When boys are old enough to help with the flocks, they accompany their fathers and are taught the skills they will someday need. Similarily, girls learn through observing and assisting their mothers.

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