Wogeo - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Marriages are made through betrothal, elopement, bride capture, or simply setting up a household. Elopement is most common, except for firstborn boys and girls, whose marriages are arranged by their parents. Marriages are prohibited with members of one's moiety, one's clan, and cross cousins. About one-third of all marriages are polygynous, although few men have more than two wives. These Marriages, effected mostly by older, wealthier men, are described as considerably more contentious than monogamous ones. Postmarital residence is typically patrilocal—to be near the husband's father's gardens—but after two years most couples form their own households. In the early years of marriage, separation and divorce are common, but after the birth of the first child divorce is discouraged. However, adultery by the husband, which is quite common, is seen as a reasonable ground for divorce for wives.

Domestic Unit. The basic residential unit is the husband, the wife, and their children, although other relatives may also be present. In polygynous families, each wife has her own dwelling.

Inheritance. Sons generally inherit land from their Fathers, with decisions about the size of the inheritance made when the sons are still children. Eldest sons generally inherit the most land. When there are no sons, land is left to the daughters, who in turn leave it to their sons. Succession to clan leadership and family magic are also inherited by sons.

Socialization. Infants are raised by their mothers, with Fathers having little to do with their offspring until the children can walk. The mother's and father's sisters have a special relationship with their siblings' children, and grandmothers and unmarried girls often help care for children. Children are indulged until about age 3, after which much of their time is spent in play and assisting adults. Boys' initiation begins with piercing of their ears during infancy, followed by residence in the men's house during childhood, scarification of the tongue at puberty, the first self-incision of the penis after puberty., and finally the wearing of the adult headdress. A girl's first: menstruation is often marked by body ornamentation, feasting, and the planting of extra gardens. Adoption of children is quite common.

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