Callahuaya - Marriage and Family



Marriage. The Callahuaya follow the Quechua system of bilateral descent in that both sons and daughters receive inheritance from fathers and mothers. Exogamy is observed in that men of a particular elevation of an ayllu choose spouses from that of a different elevation. The wife moves to the husband's level but maintains property on the level where she was born. It is likely that her daughter will marry someone from that level to claim the inheritance.


Domestic Unit. Households consist of extended families often including married sons, their wives, and children. Large families are desired but many children die because of acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, and malnutrition. Although the family is the basic unit of production, members of the ayllu exchange work tasks, a practice called ayni.


Socialization. Until they are weaned, Callahuaya children are carried on their mothers' backs. When they begin to walk and talk, their hair is cut in a ritual ceremony, and they begin wearing adult-style clothing, herding, and doing farm work. Education is informal, by imitation and practice. Aspiring herbalists accompany skilled herbalists to learn the trade. Children are required to attend primary and secondary schools, where they are taught Spanish and receive a Western education. This has resulted in less use of Aymara and Quechua, as well as in the migration of children to cities.


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