Ka'wiari - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Postmarital residence is virilocal. Marriage is prescriptive. Kinship vocabulary designates the category of possible mates within opposite lines of filiation and implies sister exchange among affinal groups. There is a preference for marrying bilateral cross cousins; however, supplementary formulas also present the possibility of marriage between more distant cross cousins, deferred marriage, and marriage with allies. Marriage is prohibited with real and classificatory consanguineal relatives, "mother's children," and between different generations. Couples separate most frequently because of the lack of progeny. Infidelity is also a cause for divorce, in which case the man claims paternity over his children.

Domestic Unit . The traditional domestic unit was constituted by a group of nuclear families of a patrilineage and, possibly, a number of other consanguineal and affinal relatives living in the house. Presently the nuclear family is the key domestic unit. Where communal houses still exist, they are distributed around their respective family hearths along lateral sides of the building. The new residential pattern is the mission village, in which nuclear or composite families live in houses of close proximity.

Inheritance. Land is the society's basic form of property. It is passed on from father to son, along with the knowledge of ancestral places and the origin myths that legitimize it. Landownership is made evident through its cultivation by a man and his ancestors before him. Items of paraphernalia and ancestral flutes and trumpets are the ritual heirlooms of the lineage.

Socialization. Cultural learning takes place through observation, imitation, and comparison, with norms of behavior transmitted within the domestic unit. At about the age of puberty, acquiring knowledge of myths and ancestral narratives, which exemplify, in denotative or metaphorical ways, forms of relating to the society and the environment, becomes an important aspect of the process of enculturation.


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