Mohave - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Marriage involved neither formal ceremony nor significant property transaction. Clan exogamy prevailed in the choice of spouse, but beyond that individuals were free to arrange their own marriages. Polygynous marriages were permitted, but not common. Postmarital residence was either matrilocal or patrilocal, depending on personal preferences and individual circumstances. Divorce was a simple affair, involving only the separation of the couple at the will of either partner.

Domestic Unit. The nuclear family was the basic unit of Mohave economy and society. Extended family members sometimes cooperated in farming activities.

Inheritance. No personal property was inherited since Personal possessions were burned at death. In the twentieth Century land was loosely inherited through the male line. Theoretically, daughters had a claim on their father's land as well, but rarely exercised it.

Socialization. Parents were indulgent and permissive with their children; discipline was mild and rarely physical. The young were allowed considerable sexual freedom and were encouraged to enjoy sexual pleasures. As knowledge and skills were thought to be obtained from dreams, education and instruction were informal. Girls were secluded for a short period of time at their first menstruation; dreams during this period of seclusion were considered to be important omens.

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