Tolai - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Traditionally polygyny was an important feature of Tolai marriage, but it is only rarely encountered nowadays. A proper marriage has always required bride-price in the form of payment in tambu, and this practice continues even today. Postmarital residence is expected to be virilocal, but there is no strict rule in the matter and a certain proportion of unions will be uxorilocal or involve some other arrangement. In legal terms, divorce in the case of customary marriage is easy; in practice marriages are very stable, though recent evidence suggests things may now be changing in this regard.

Domestic Unit. The basic domestic and economic unit is the household, ordinarily composed of a nuclear family.

Inheritance. Inheritance is in the matriline, but nowadays there is increasing pressure to recognize the claims of a man's wife and children in respect to personal property and money.

Socialization. In the upbringing of children Tolai lay great stress on obedience, and those who disobey are punished in a variety of ways. Schooling is another major concern of parents. Large numbers of Tolai children have received their education away from home, thus affecting their knowledge of village ways and local culture.

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