Wamira - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Lineage excgamy is prescribed. Because women move to their husband's land after marriage, matrilineal groups are geographically dispersed throughout the village. Marriage ceremonies now often consist of two events—a traditional wedding, with the appropriate exchange of taro and pork, and a church ceremony followed by a European-style feast that includes such things as bread, butter, and jam. Adultery was, and still is, fairly common. Divorce may be initiated by either spouse and usually occurs when one simply moves away from the other.

Domestic Unit. The domestic unit usually consists of a husband and wife with their offspring. Occasionally an Elderly parent or an unmarried sibling of the husband or wife lives with the nuclear family.

Inheritance. Inheritance is through the father and the mother. Residential and horticultural land and some types of garden magic are passed from father to son. Other forms of magic are passed down from mother to daughter.

Socialization. Cultural virtues valued by Wamirans include empathy, respect, politeness, and generosity, all of which are taught to children at an early age. From the turn of the century until the 1960s, schooling was through the mission, but it is now run by the government. It is not unCommon for large families to keep one or two children out of school to teach them "village ways."

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