Chuvash - Kinship, Marriage, and Family



Neither tradition nor early written records corroborate the existence of extended Chuvash families. Although monogamy is traditional, sororal polygyny has occurred in rare cases. Brides were selected by the groom's parents, who paid the purchase price as the redemption of the dowry. Bride-theft was a common practice. There was no ethnic endogamy among the Chuvash. Today the basic family unit is the nuclear family ( semye ) , in which the parents (mother, anne ; father, atte ) and the children (daughter, xer , son ival ) live together. The other members of the consanguinal family are the elder brother ( picce ) , younger brother ( sallara), elder sister ( appa ) , younger sister ( yamak ) , the grandmother ( asanne ) , the grandfather ( asatte )—their names are not different on the mother's side and the father's side—the uncle ( muci, tete ) , and the aunt ( manakka, inke ) . Affinal relatives are the father-in-law ( xun', xun'asa, pavata ) , mother-in-law ( xun'ama, pavana ) , son-in-law ( y'isna ) , daughter-in-law ( kin), sister-in-law ( xer pultar, appa, xun'aka ) , and brother-in-law ( pultar, payaxam, eskev ) . Traditional marriage practices have disappeared; only those related to fertility have survived into the twentieth century, but these were ended by the Orthodox church and replaced by Soviet ceremonies. Divorce traditionally did not occur, but it has been allowed since the beginning of the Soviet period.


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