Mazahua - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Marriage is monogamous, preferentially endogamous by ethnic group, and preferentially exogamous by locality. Owing to migration, however, marriage with nonindigenous partners is increasingly frequent, especially among women. Elopement and later reconciliation between families is the preferred form of marriage; nevertheless, negotiated marriages have not been abandoned, and they more frequently lead to proper church weddings.

Domestic Unit. Among the Mazahua, there are both nuclear and extended families because, during the first four or five years of marriage, a young couple lives with the groom's parents. Family units are also the basis of economic organization, whether productive or nonproductive. Kin networks are a support system facilitating migration.

Inheritance. Property passes from father to son because a woman becomes part of her husband's family. Agrarian laws legalize this procedure where land is concerned, despite the increasing struggle of some indigenous women for recognition of their right to own land.

Socialization. Socialization begins in childhood with constant participation in daily tasks within the household and with early participation in religious rituals that involve social obligations. Primary-school education, which is bilingual in some places, is a formal means of socialization.

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