Marriage. Marriages were arranged by parents or guardians and involved little formal ceremony. Cross-cousin Marriage was practiced, but not preferred. Polygyny was possible, but most marriages were monogamous. Divorce was permitted and a simple matter to effect for either husband or wife. Remarriage was permitted after divorce and after the death of a spouse following a mourning period of one year.
Domestic Unit. Traditionally, the basic social unit was the extended family. Over time, however, it has given way to the nuclear family.
Inheritance. No single principle of inheritance appears to have prevailed among the Ojibwa. Instead, it seems to have been bilateral and a matter of residence and affection.
Socialization. Children were raised in a permissive fashion and rarely reprimanded or punished physically. The most important phase of a boy's life occurred at puberty when he sought a guardian spirit through a vision quest. The quest involved several days (ideally four) of isolation, fasting, prayer, and dreaming undertaken to contact a guardian spirit to provide aid and protection. Through frequent offerings of food and tobacco the boy could maintain rapport with his guardian spirit and retain its aid and protection throughout his life. At the time of first menstruation the girl was isolated, but not required to undergo a vision quest. If, however, she did receive a vision during her isolation, it was regarded as a special blessing. Among the Plains Ojibwa girls visited by a spirit in this way were believed to possess curing powers.