Tanaina - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Marriage was moiety and clan exogamous in the past and to some extent today. Cross-cousin marriage, especially of a male to his father's sister's daughter, was preferred, but there was no strict rule regarding village endogamy. Brideprice or -service and polygyny were practiced. Residence was matrilocal in some instances, but particularly after wealth and prestige became significant, avunculocality was practiced. After about 1900, neolocality and bilaterality with some patrilineal emphasis began to appear. Divorce was simple, but apparently not common in traditional times.

Domestic Unit. By the nineteenth century, the residence unit was a lineage segment headed by a "richman" composed of two or more generations of matrilineally related males and their families. Today, the nuclear family predominates.

Inheritance. Inheritance was matrilineal with regard to affiliation and clan property, but personal property was often destroyed or placed in the grave. Recently, except for certain kinds of clan paraphernalia, inheritance has become primarily bilateral within the nuclear family.

Socialization. Children raised in the extended family were socialized by the residence group, but people were generally permissive. Ridicule was a common means of highlighting unacceptable behavior.


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