Tauade - Marriage and Family



Marriage. About 10 percent of men have more than one wife; relations between cowives are frequently hostile, and only men of high status succeed in maintaining stable, polygynous unions. By far the greatest proportion of divorces occur as the result of men taking second wives. First Marriages are arranged by the woman's father or brother, and the ideal form of marriage is sister exchange, though this ideal is uncommon in practice. Infant betrothal was customary and the marriage was completed when the girl attained maturity. Bride-wealth was paid at this time and continues to be an important feature of marriage. Adultery is extremely common, and compensation is often offered and accepted by the husband, but some men attack adulterers if they catch them in the act. Patrilocality is the dominant form of marital Residence, but it is normal for a man to live with his wife's relatives for several years to establish good relations with them. Only about 20 percent of marriages are within the "tribe" (see the section on social organization), and while some of these marriages are between members of fairly hostile tribes, Intermarriage tends to be inhibited by a high level of hostility.

Domestic Unit. The basic unit of production and cooperation is the nuclear family.

Inheritance. There are no bounded plots of land that can be treated as private property; houses are impermanent; and a man's pigs are slaughtered at his funeral feast. Pandanus trees are the only real property of any significance that can be Inherited. Normally this inheritance is through the male line—though men may also inherit use rights through their mothers—but if a man has no sons, his trees may be inherited by a daughter.

Socialization. Parents are kind and indulgent to their Children, and relations within the family are close and affectionate. In the traditional society, boys at puberty were subject to seclusion for a few months, during which they were beaten to make them fierce. Some children now attend the mission or government schools.

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