Cubeo - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Postmarital residence is virilocal. Marriage is prescriptive; the kinship vocabulary designates the category of possible mates between lines of opposite filiation and implies the exchange of sisters among exogamic groups. There is a preference for marriage with a cross cousin; however, supplementary formulas permit marriage with more distant cross cousins, deferred marriage, and unions with new allies. Marriage is thus between members of different phratries and affines. Marriage with real and classificatory consanguineal relatives, with "mother's children" (persons related to Ego by virtue of a maternal aunt's marriage to a man of a group that is unrelated to Ego through either parental line), and between different generations is prohibited. Couples most frequently separate because of failure to produce offspring. The woman is considered to be at fault; she is returned to her parental home, and the man demands another woman. Repeated infidelity is another cause for divorce, in which case the man will claim paternity over the children.

Domestic Unit. Formerly, the domestic unit was made up of a group of nuclear families of a clan. Occasionally, consanguineal or affinal relatives lived in the same house. The new residential pattern is the mission village in which nuclear and composite families live in a house near those of other relatives, beside or around the school and other buildings such as the health center.

Inheritance. Land is the most important property and is passed on from father to son. Cultivation of a plot by a man and by his ancestors before him establishes ownership of the property. Paraphernalia and ritual flutes and trumpets are inherited by the lineage. Belongings that were exclusively used by a woman are passed on to her daughters, and those of a man are passed on to his sons.

Socialization. Traditional cultural learning is through observation, imitation, and comparison with the norms of behavior transmitted by the domestic unit. During infancy, children remain in the mother's care. Once they have reached the first stage of childhood, girls are bound even closer to their mother and other female relatives, whereas boys accompany their father and close relatives in the performance of male tasks. The permissive attitude and lack of physical mistreatment are noteworthy. Sanctions are related to cultural control, which is a product of the belief system. Nowadays, traditional informal socialization is complemented by Western schooling.


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