Taos - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Marriage is monogamous with freedom of choice in the selection of partners. Little was made of the marriage ceremony, which has been celebrated with the sacraments of the Catholic church since conversion. Secular Marriages and common-law unions have increased in number in recent years. Postmarital residence is typically neolocal, although the importance of the bilaterally extended family may influence the couple to live with one family or the other for the first few years of marriage. Ideally, this group of kin remains a source of continual security throughout life. Separation and divorce have increased, but given the influence of the Catholic church they are still regarded as unfortunate decisions. Instances of intramarital conflict resulting in such things as child support claims, formerly taken to the Pueblo governor for resolution, are today more often handled by U.S. courts and social control agencies outside the Pueblo.

Inheritance. Land, houses, and personal property are bequeathed at will. Fractionalization of the land base has occurred with the increasing population even though there is no rule or strong tendency toward equal inheritance for offspring or others.

Socialization. Children are greatly valued. Given the strength of the extended family, very few children have ever been given up for adoption. The importance of wage work drawing most young adults of both sexes out of the Pueblo has strengthened the role of grandparents and other older relatives in the early socialization of many Taos infants and young children. Older Indians, particularly women, have often been the primary socializers of even three or four Generations of their descendants. This has contributed to the perpetuation of the Taos language as well as many other older traditions.

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