Ch'ol - Marriage and Family

Family units are important and positively valued. Relations between brothers are said to be strained and competitive, whereas relations with cousins are friendly. Uncles are counselors and helpers; grandparents are treated with respect and are sought out for advice.

Marriage. Marriage is expected to take place when both parties are about 21. Accompanied by an older male family member, the prospective groom calls on the bride's parents in a series of informal visits, during which gifts of food are delivered. After tacit agreement is reached, courtship lasts six months or more. Marriage is accomplished by both civil registration and religious ceremonies. Postmarital residence is usually patrilocal, but the possibilities include the groom residing matrilocally and working with his father-in-law, ultimately inheriting as if he were a son.

Domestic Unit. Residential units are nuclear-family or extended-family households with elder parents or recently married children added to the nuclear family.

Inheritance. Inheritance goes to the last child, especially if this child is male. If the last child is female, she must be unmarried so that the goods remain in the same patrilineal family.

Socialization. Socialization of young children is by a combination of good role models, discipline, and instruction, with the expectation that positive early formation prevents problems from occurring later.

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