Choctaw - Marriage and Family

Marriage. In the traditional marriage system, exogamy applied to the matrilineally based moieties. Marriages were Usually monogamous, but polygyny was permitted. Marriage required the consent of the bride and her mother, and involved a ceremony involving members of both kinship groups. Divorce was common and could be obtained easily by either party.

Domestic Unit. Until this century extended families were common. While the nuclear family predominates, three-generation families often occur because of poverty and illegitimacy.

Inheritance. Traditionally, all property except individual personal property passed through the female line. After the abolishment of Choctaw governments in Mississippi in 1830 and Oklahoma in 1906, patrilineal patterns of inheritance came to dominate.

Socialization. Children are raised permissively with little direct punishment or direct orders. Ridicule, ignoring, and threat of external forces are used to discipline children. Direct aggression and hostility are discouraged. Parents encourage their children to continue their education, but such encouragement rarely is expressed directly or forcefully.

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