Sambia - Marriage and Family

Marriage. There are four types of marriage: infant betrothal (delayed exchange), sister exchange (direct Exchange), and bride-service (delayed exchange), which are traditional; and bride-wealth marriage, which has been introduced since 1973. Marriage is primarily arranged by parents and clan elders. Because of exogamy, intravillage marriage in pioneer villages is absent, but it does occur in consolidated villages. Infant betrothal and sister-exchange marriage accounted for 90 percent of all marriage transactions Traditionally. Father's sister's daughter marriage is approved. Newlyweds establish patrilocal residence soon after marriage in a new hut household. Divorce is rare. Polygyny is ideally preferred but is infrequent.

Domestic Unit. The nuclear family is the minimal Domestic unit. They eat and sleep together. Sons remain domiciled there until initiation, and daughters ideally remain as well until marriage. The extended family of familiarity includes grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and cousins, Usually within the same village. All active adults contribute to domestic labor and children also help. Cowives may reside Together, but typically they have separate residences.

Inheritance. Property is inherited mainly by males, although daughters have use rights to certain garden land. Status and offices are not inherited but achieved, except for mystical powers of shamans.

Socialization. Early infant care is exclusively done by women. Older children are cared for by both parents and older siblings. Independence and autonomy are stressed, but more for males than females. Gender and sexual socialization are accomplished mainly through rituals.

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