Manus - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Village endogamy and patrician exogamy seem to have been enduring marriage preferences (matriclans are not significant here). In addition, other patterns have appeared at different times and places, shaped by political and economic interests. Notable among these is cross-cousin marriage and intervillage marriage (especially among elite families). Since conversion to Christianity, patterns have been shaped by church rules as well. Marriage entails payment of bride-price, which in the past made it susceptible to the manipulation of entrepreneurial big-men and in the Present makes it an important conduit through which money passes from migrants to residents. Patrivirilocal residence is commonly preferred. Acceptability of divorce and illegitimacy vary widely, shaped in part by religious affiliation.

Domestic Unit. The domestic unit is the married couple and their unmarried children. Husband and older sons are no longer expected to sleep routinely in the patrician's men's house, but they may do so occasionally.

Inheritance. The right to make decisions about real property is inherited patrilineally. Personal property can pass from parents to children or from sibling to sibling.

Socialization. The main institutions that socialize children are parents, schools, and churches (the last two at times being the same). As well, certain classes of relatives often have special responsibility for the child's welfare. Parents and other relatives, schools, and churches frequently are seen to have distinct spheres of competence: traditional and village skills, urban and Western skills, and Christian morality, Respectively. Physical punishment of children is expected only in restricted circumstances. While some socialization may have occurred during initiation procedures in the past, these rites no longer exist.

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