Tz'utujil - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Individual Tz'utujil communities tend to be endogamous. In most cases, women who marry into a community continue to wear the style of costume of their natal community. Marriage is by the partners' choice. Although most Tz'utujil marriages were formerly conducted according to so-called Christo-pagan rituals, the great majority of Tz'utujil marriages today include either a Catholic or a Protestant wedding ceremony. This transition began in the 1930s and accelerated after 1950. Further reflecting outside influences, most young Tz'utujil brides now insist on wearing white wedding gowns and veils for their marriage ceremonies. With regard to Tz'utujil marriage, monogamy is the norm and polygyny the exception.

Domestic Unit. The nuclear-family household, or sitio, is the basic unit of Tz'utujil social organization. In many cases, there exists an extended family grouping of sitios known as a vivienda. Economic and domestic interaction between the component households in the vivienda is limited, but children typically contribute economic assistance to their parents. In most cases, postmarital residence is patrilocal, although for economic or interpersonal reasons, matrilocal residence is common.

Inheritance. Tz'utujil inheritance is bilateral—but not necessarily equally distributed.

Socialization. The socialization of Tz'utujil children takes place primarily in the home, where they are raised by their parents and older siblings alike. In addition, national law mandates that children attend six years of school. Primarily because of economic and domestic demands, however, fewer than half of Tz'utujil children are able to satisfy that mandate.

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