Seri - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Marriages are usually negotiated by parents. A boy may initiate the process, after which his parents take over if they approve his choice. If the girl's parents also approve they begin negotiating bride-price, which since the 1960s has become considerable. When bride-price transactions are completed, the bride moves in with the husband without ceremony. Ideally, some bride-service obligations continue indefinitely. All close kin are excluded as potential marriage partners, including parallel and cross cousins who are terminologically equated with siblings. Some polygyny existed in the past, but all present marriages are monogamous. European-style weddings, encouraged by the local evangelical church, have become common. Since the 1960s, intermarriage with Mexican fishermen who are willing to live in El Desemboque and Punta Chueca has been increasing. Divorce is not common. It may be initiated by either partner, usually amid accusations of laziness or illtempered behavior. The bride-price is not returned.

Residence. Residence is neolocal, although the couple may reside briefly with the boy's parents.

Domestic Unit. The normal household is a simple nuclear family.

Inheritance. A few personal items were traditionally interred with the body. Nearly all the remaining property of the deceased and his household were exchanged for equivalent possessions of the hamac that performed the burial. This system is breaking down as the Seri acquire large amounts of consumer goods.

Socialization. Children, including twins, are welcomed. Girls are preferred for the bride-price they will bring. Children are raised in a permissive atmosphere with little or no physical punishment.


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