Pume - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Up to 30 percent of nuclear family groups in a village may be polygynous. A polygynous man typically marries two women, but may marry up to four; these plural wives are generally sisters or half sisters. The preferred marriage is to a cross cousin, which for a man would be either father's sister's daughter or mother's brother's daughter. There does not seem to be a preference for patrilateral or matrilateral cross cousins. Marriage may be either locally exogamous or endogamous depending on the availability of partners. New families typically reside with a close relative of one of the partners—usually mother's brother—for one to two years before establishing an independent household. Divorce is not common, but when it occurs children remain with their mother.

Domestic Unit. The nuclear family, comprising three to four individuals, is the basic domestic group that lives together, eats together, and forms an independent economic unit. Although multifamily houses formed of close relatives are occupied seasonally among the Ciri Khonome Pume and year-round in some Bea Khonome Pume villages, households are still only nuclear-family based. Widowed men (who are more common than widowed women) usually maintain their own house, but give any food items they obtain from fishing or hunting to a brother's, sister's, or daughter's family unit and receive cooked food in return.

Inheritance. Personal property is minimal, and upon the death of an individual useful items such as bows, arrows, knives, or clothing are simply divided among surviving family members.

Socialization. Infants and young children receive primary care from their mothers but are also watched over by their mother's close female relatives. Emphasis is placed on independence and self-reliance to the point that children beyond the age of 3 or 4 years are seldom under direct or active parental supervision for most of the day. Physical punishment of children is not practiced.

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