Chiriguano - Marriage and Family

Marriage. In the traditional marriage system members of the mother's and father's lineage were forbidden as marriage partners. Marriages were monogamous with the exception of two leaders who had the right to several wives. Up to the beginning of the twentieth century, in order for a man to be accepted by a woman, he had to leave a log of firewood in front of her house. If she accepted him she would take the log into the house; if not, she would not touch the firewood. A welcome suitor had to talk with the woman's parents and provide them with game and crops. Uxorilocal residence was preferred; the young couple would build their house near that of the bride's parents. Nowadays, there is no specified residence pattern, marriage is by mutual accord of the couple, and divorce is common.

Domestic Unit. Extended families in three-generation households are still common.

Inheritance. In the 1980s property was passed to all of the sons and daughters. A will was written with specific instructions as to the inheritance of property and possessions. Preference was given to the last-born child.

Socialization. Children are raised permissively. Both parents participate actively in the raising of the children, as do the members of the extended-family group. Grandparents play an important role in the upbringing of children. Overt and direct expressions of hostility and aggression are discouraged. Children are rarely beaten. Modern children attain a better level of education than that of their parents and are learning to speak Spanish as a second language with a higher degree of fluency.

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