Pawnee - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Marriages were arranged and negotiated primarily by the mother's brother. First-cousin marriages were prohibited, and village endogamy generally prevailed. Polygyny was practiced and as a rule was strictly sororal. Residence was matrilocal. Strong emotional ties generally did not exist Between husband and wife, and though divorce was rare, it could be effected by either party.

Domestic Unit. Although nuclear families occasionally lived alone, most often several such families lived together in the earthlodge.

Inheritance. Traditionally, property passed to the oldest male. Theoretically, women had no rights to property, but, in fact, were generally considered to be the owners of lodges, tipis, and their own tools and utensils.

Socialization. Traditionally, early childhood training was in the hands of the grandparents, with strict discipline and harsh punishment the norm. Youths were allowed considerable sexual freedom until puberty, after which time separation of the sexes was enforced until marriage. A mother's brother's wife often served as a sexual partner for a young man from the time of puberty until he married.

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