Tofalar - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Traditional marriage was clan-exogamous and was usually concluded early in life after a preliminary courtship, an agreement between the parents, and the payment of bride-price (Russian: kalym ) to the father of the bride. The wedding, as a rule, lasted three days, and the feast was accompanied by special rituals, songs, and dances. Three days later the young husband took his wife away to his nomadic camp, where they set up their own tipi and began to live as an independent family. If the bride had premarital children, they remained with her father and were considered his children. Today marriages are entered into in accord with the general norms of Russian society. Mixed marriages are common.

Domestic Unit. The family was and remains the basic unit in Tofalar society, consisting, as a rule, of husband, wife, and children and also, quite possibly, surviving parents. Unmarried adult children continue to live with their parents.

Inheritance. Upon marriage older sons customarily separated from their parents, forming independent families. From their parents they received property essential for raising a family. The youngest son, as a rule, remained in the paternal tipi and inherited the paternal home. Customary levirate did not exist among the Tofalar, but after the death of a husband his brother usually gave material help to the widow, who continued to live independently and could marry according to her wishes. The widow inherited all the property of her deceased husband.

Socialization. The Tofalar traditionally did not practice corporal punishment in the raising of their children, who grew up under the severe conditions of nomadic life and early on joined in the work of the group. By age 16 boys and often girls were hunting on a par with adults. From that age on boys were obliged to pay a tax in furs. Girls were married at age 15 or 16. At present Tofalar children, like the children of all the nationalities of the extreme north, enjoy privileges and are under governmental guardianship. They are raised free of cost in nurseries and kindergartens and receive free secondary and higher education. Even today the Tofalar are characteristically respectful to their children, treating them as members of the family with their own interests and wishes.

Also read article about Tofalar from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: