Candoshi - Marriage and Family

Marriage. When a girl reaches the age of 7 she is made responsible for her own garden. When she shows sufficient responsibility, she is ready for marriage. A boy is considered ready for marriage when he can fish and hunt by himself. The marriage of a man and woman who have a common grandparent is incestual. During the war years 90 percent of marriages were polygynous because captured women were kept as wives. War chiefs commonly had five or six wives. About 20 percent of the men now have two wives. Sister-exchange is the preferred marriage arrangement. A man without a sister is required to work for his father-in-law for several years after the marriage. Once the bride's father has agreed to the marriage, the couple are counseled by both fathers and by the mother of the bride; this constitutes the wedding ceremony.

Domestic Unit. The Candoshi domestic unit consists of a husband and wife with their unmarried children. Widowed or orphaned female relatives of the husband may also live with the family, or, less commonly, male relatives of the wife. Married daughters with their husbands stay in the home for a year and then build a house nearby.

Inheritance. Adult sons generally share their father's goods and daughters their mother's goods. If the children are minors when a man dies, his brothers will inherit his goods.

Socialization. The hours before dawn are used for talking among the family and for telling the children stories of their ancestors—impressing on them the importance of family ties and of being wary of others. Grandfathers spend hours telling the children stories spun from folklore. The father is responsible for training his children; discipline is usually done by shaming. Boys are taught to be independent and to work hard. Girls are taught domestic skills and submission.

User Contributions:

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