Amuzgo - Marriage and Family

Marriage. In more traditional communities, it is still the custom to ask for the bride's hand: the young man requests that his father act as intermediary. The marriage ritual begins with the mediation of a pedidor (negotiator), who presents himself at the home of the bride's parents and makes known the groom's family's intention. After several visits, the proposal is usually accepted. The process continues with a ritual called the quedamento, during which the engagement is publicly announced, as well as the day that the Catholic wedding rite will be performed. This tradition, which was the norm prior to the 1970s, has gradually lost force as couples face an ever increasing process of modernization. A big marriage fiesta—a good fandango —will be indicative of a good marriage. Ideally, baptismal godparents will be chosen to act as marriage godparents.

Inheritance. The Amuzgo do not have precise guidelines for the inheritance of goods, rights, or obligations. There is a slight tendency to prefer the oldest son of the first formally married wife to inherit the headship of the family.

Socialization. Women are in charge of introducing girls and boys into the social order. When nearing adolescence, girls assume practically all domestic functions, and boys begin to work more closely with their fathers in agriculture, fishing, and hunting.

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