Mixe - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Marriage is regulated by the parents as an alliance between kin groups, formalized by gift exchange. Although the nuclear family is the predominant type, limited polygamy occurs in several villages. Marriages are village endogamous and prohibited with individuals whose ancestors are separated less than four generations from Ego. Couple- and father-dominated households vary according to residence location and differential wealth. The residence pattern is virilocal after marriage, with subsequent shift to neolocal residence, once such a move is economically feasible. Divorce is rare and informal.

Domestic Unit. The nuclear family is the dominant form of household composition. Extended families typically consist of two families of procreation from adjacent generations, as well as the offspring of siblings and affines. Stem families consist of two- and three-generational families and married siblings living jointly in one household.

Inheritance. Property is ideally distributed to all children, irrespective of age or sex. In some cases, the father will give more to his sons and less to his daughters or, if there is insufficient land, all will go to the son. A woman retains the rights over her lands and other property after she becomes married. In case of divorce, she retains her property. Offspring who are faring poorly are given more consideration than siblings in a better economic position. The expenses for a son's marriage or education may be considered his inheritance, and the house lot and lands divided among the other siblings. Inheritance from husband to wife is rare.

Socialization. Obedience is stressed in late childhood but is seldom enforced. Older children learn gender-related domestic and economic tasks by observing and imitating their parents. Siblings and nonkin playmates obey each other on the basis of age. Children are scolded and restrained from displaying aggression toward siblings and playmates, and begin to perform public service at early adolescence.

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