Haida - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Marriages were arranged, often by the parents when the betrothed were still children. Polygyny was permitted for chiefs but was rare. The preferred partner was someone in one's father's lineage, and there is some evidence of bilateral cross-cousin marriage.

Inheritance. A man's property went to his younger brothers and nephews. The widow was usually left with little more than her own property. A woman's property went to her daughter.

Socialization. Girls were evidently preferred as they guaranteed the perpetuation of the lineage. Much of child rearing involved formai instruction, with boys being taught male tasks and behaviors by their fathers and mother's brothers, and girls taught female tasks and behavior by their mothers. The puberty rites for girls involved seclusion, food restrictions, and various taboos. There was no comparable rite for boys.


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