Guahibo-Sikuani - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Although the tendency is predominantly toward endogamous marriage between bilateral cross cousins, Sikuani mobility frequently leads to marriages with distant groups. Especially common are marriages between Sikuani and Piapoco.

Domestic Unit. The Guahibo residential unit varies according to its phase of development. It is initially made up of a mature nuclear family in a neolocal home. Later it develops into an uxorilocal extended family by incorporating sons-in-law, who are required to render bride-service for several years. Eventually, constituent nuclear families become more independent and build their own homes either in the same village or further away. In the case of chiefs, some of the sons remain in their father's home and bring their wives to live with them virilocally, because the sons generally inherit social status within their community of orientation.

Inheritance. The scarce goods a man possesses go to his sons, and those of a woman to her daughters.

Socialization. Children are educated with affection and permissiveness. They learn different kinds of work by collaborating with adults. Moralistic tales tell of the punishment that awaits those who violate social norms. Formal education has been established since the middle of the twentieth century, first in the missions then in community schools with indigenous teachers. In the 1980s programs were developed to protect indigenous language and culture.

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