Aymara - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Most marriages derive from the choice of the young couple but are regarded as an economic union with binding reciprocal obligations among three households: those of the parents of the groom, the parents of the bride, and the newlyweds. A marriage is entered through a series of stages and wedding ceremonies, earlier mistakenly apprehended as "trial marriages." Marriages are monogamous and divorce is fairly easy.

Domestic Unit. The basic unit is the nuclear family with extended family networks for cooperation. Nuclear families with separate households often live on the same premises as their extended kin. Virilocal or neolocal residence is typically practiced.

Inheritance. Inheritance is traditionally bilateral (i.e., males and females inherit property separately from their father and mother). The equal inheritance rules, legalized in Bolivia in 1953, have sometimes led to extreme splitting up of land, resulting in the bending of the rules in practice.

Socialization. Children are regarded as complete human beings and are brought up with guidance rather than with rebuke or force. They are treated with respect, and, although seldom excluded from any situation, they are taught to be quiet when grown-ups talk.

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