Mashco - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Marriage between cross cousins was preferred, and customary clan exogamy was still practiced by the Amaracaeri in the 1960s and remembered by the Wachipaeri and Zapiteri. Women were frequently abducted from another communal house.

Clans operate more in a classificatory sense and do not have a specific place in the communal dwelling. They regulate exogamy and patrilineality, as well as virilocal residence. Divorce was quite frequent, given the variety of amorous practices, especially the one associated with the erotic theophany called Atúnto, which instituted the abduction of women in Mashco society.

Domestic Unit. The smallest domestic unit is the nuclear family, but numerous in-laws live in the communal house despite the fact that they belong to different clans.

Inheritance. A dead person's property is completely destroyed.

Socialization. The basic concept of life centers on the idea that each brother owns a branch on the mythical tree called Wanámei, which is a simile of his existence. Male initiation ceremonies contribute to a man's development and situate him in a different phase of his life.

Among the Amaracaeri a male had to go through two initiation ceremonies instituted by two mythical personages, Péimpi and Séki, who appear in the extensive myth of Atúnto. These ceremonies were gatherings in which a boy danced to achieve the status of a young man, ( wámbo ) and a young man to achieve the status of a man ( ombukérek ), that is, an adult. Both had specific apparel, ornaments, painting, and songs.

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