Keres Pueblo Indians - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Keresan marriages have always been Monogamous, and they have traditionally occurred in accordance with the rule of clan exogamy. Upon marriage, each spouse retains his or her affiliation, and children belong to her clan. As noted above, the wife changes to the kiva of her husband if she is not already a member of the same kiva group. Children take their kiva affiliation from their father. Occasionally, when a clan is numerically strong, a marriage between clan members may occur; here, the rules of Catholicism concerning incest are followed. Most marriages are performed by a Catholic priest, with native rites usually following. With Catholicism present in all villages and observed to varying degrees of faithfulness by families and individuals, divorce tends to be unusual. When it does occur, it is commonly a matter of the couple no longer living together rather than any formal procedure. The man often leaves the village and takes up Residence elsewhere.

Domestic Unit. The nuclear family continues to be the basic domestic unit. In addition, within the household, there are often unmarried siblings of the couple, usually the wife, present. Single grandparents are often included. Extended family units may occupy adjacent or nearby houses, although this practice is being followed less and less.

Inheritance. The passing of real and/or personal property from one generation or individual to another continues to be somewhat traditional. There is, however, an increasing tendency to pass possessions on by sex and by more personal considerations than strictly adhering to traditional ways.

Socialization. In contrast to the pre-World War II period, when most children were born at home in the pueblo with the aid of midwives or, in difficult cases, the assistance of Medicine men, such births are almost unknown today, the mother being able to reach the hospital in most instances. Upon arrival in the pueblo, infants today experience varying blends of traditional and modern practices. Cradle boards are still used, but cribs are sometimes favored by mothers or families with a tendency to emulate modern ways. Young children are Commonly raised by the extended family, the members of which still enjoy participating in feeding, watching, and generally caring for and interacting with these newest members of the household.

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