Wape - Marriage and Family

Marriage. A person never marries a member of his or her patrilineage. Although marriage within the patrician also is not allowed, this restriction is sometimes violated. Even traditionally, women usually were given some say in their marriage choice. Bride-wealth is still required, but money is now used instead of shell wealth. Plural marriages are permitted but unusual. Postmarital residence is virilocal. Most marriages are amicable and wife abuse is very rare. In the unlikely event of divorce, the woman returns to her village while the children stay with the father's kin. If a woman's husband dies, she usually remarries a man of his lineage.

Domestic Unit. A husband and wife live in a separate house with their children. At or near puberty, boys move to a separate dwelling but usually take their meals with the family. Because the majority of men and women die of disease in their forties, it is unusual for a child to know her or his grandparents.

Inheritance. Inheritance of land and food trees planted elsewhere is patrilineal.

Socialization. Children are gently scolded and rarely struck. A temper tantrum is simply ignored. Today most Children have access to government primary schools with instruction in English but, as the tuition is expensive by Wape standards, some children—especially girls—do not attend.

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