Foi - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Betrothal is arranged by the fathers of boys and girls at an early age. Upon the presentation of bride-wealth (consisting of pearl shells, cowrie shells, meat, and currency) by the groom's father and mother's brother to the same relatives of the bride, a girl takes up residence in her husband's house. Bride-wealth payments are often made in installments that stretch out for years after marriage. When a person dies, the spouse's clan makes funeral payments to the father's, mother's, and mother's mother's clans of the deceased. These payments effectively cancel any residual claims of outstanding bride-wealth. Divorce is infrequent. Polygyny is practiced by a small number of men.

Domestic Unit. A man has one or more bush houses in various parts of his territory where he and his wife or wives process sago, garden, and care for pigs. A man and his grown sons often live close enough to each other for their wives to cooperate in subsistence tasks.

Inheritance. A man passes on his wealth, land, and other property to his sons, real and adopted.

Socialization. Children stay with their mothers in the women's houses until about age 2, when boys move into the men's house with their fathers. Foi children learn by trialand-error imitation rather than overt instruction and reward/punishment.

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