Vlachs - Kinship, Marriage, and Family

Kinship. The most important kinship group is the patriarchal extended family formed by married brothers and their offspring. Herders usually have many children, from eight to twelve. Several families of a common descent form a lineage ( soj or fara ). The surnames of lineages are permanent and the members of seven to fifteen generations are known Genealogically. Descent is agnatic and kinship terminology is highly elaborated. Blood brotherhood ( pobratimstvo ) and godfatherhood ( kumstvo ) are highly respected and socially important.

Marriage. Exogamous marriage and patrilocal residence are preferred. However, matrilocal residence is possible when there is no male heir in a family, and such an in-marrying male is called a domazet. Marriages are traditionally arranged by parents. Age at marriage is exceptionally low, and early marriages are a common and socially imposed phenomenon. It is generally believed that a girl will grow old if she does not marry immediately after puberty.

Domestic Unit. The extended family is the most frequent domestic unit, which is a unit of production, consumption, and common defense.

Inheritance. Land inheritance, both traditionally and today, is primarily through male lines of descent.

Socialization. Children are taught always to respect their elders and never to oppose them. They are more afraid of their fathers than of their mothers; corporal punishment is common. Small children are carried everywhere in a small cradle slung on their mother's back. In addition to the Parents, father's and mother's brothers and cousins also show considerable care for the children. Male children are generally more protected than female ones, while the borderline Between childhood and adolescence for both sexes is the age of 15, which coincides with sexual and biological maturity.

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