Kikapu - Marriage and Family

Marriage. The Kikapu marital relationship is formed through the decision of two individuals to establish a family. The union of the couple does not occur through a formal ritual, either religious or civil, but rather through the clan system, which regulates the marriage possibilities of each individual. The relationships are defined through emotional affections and are not arranged, as they were in the past. Marriages are now monogamous, whereas in the past some were polygynous.

Domestic Unit. Postmarital residence is patrilocal. The nuclear family is the most common form of domestic integration, and it is very common to find members of the extended family occupying the same land.

Inheritance. The rights to the land in the community are passed down from father to son. Until the late twentieth century, the political leader of the group bequested his leadership to his sons. A group composed of the heads of the families now chooses the community leader.

Socialization. Parents, along with the elders, are responsible for teaching Kikapu values to their children. Within the community, there is no formal educational institution. The Mexican government has attempted on several occasions to establish a school in the community; Kikapu resistance has contributed to the maintenance of their culture. Girls, during the first menstrual cycle, are isolated in a special house and are taught and advised by older adult women about the menstrual taboo and their future responsibilities as women.

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