Salasaca - Marriage and Family

Marriage. The Salasaca are endogamous, and a spouse has to be chosen from the mana nucuchi pura group. It is through the marriage ceremony that members of this group are said to be "made close kin." The ceremony lasts for several days, and there is much celebrating in the salon and in the houses of the bride's and bridegroom's parents. Marriage is sealed by both civil and Catholic acts and by ceremonies performed by the elders of each family. During the ceremonies, the leading roles fall not to the bride and the groom but to their selected coparents. A newlywed is supposed to be given land and a house by his or her parents. Because of poverty and land shortages, however, couples now tend to live with the family of either the bride or the groom. The couple tries to set up their own residence as soon as possible. Divorce is said to be more common now than in the past. This can perhaps be partly explained by the increased necessity of migration to seek wage labor.

Domestic Unit. A household is usually composed of a small nuclear family. Should an aging parent be left alone, he or she will join the household of a son or a daughter.

Inheritance. Among contemporary Salasaca, sons and daughters inherit equally. Traditionally, an inheritance was distributed through a game called huari tullu, which is played during different stages of a funeral. The game is played with a die made from a donkey bone. The deceased is said to influence the game. Today the game is played at every funeral but is no longer considered to affect the division of the inheritance.

Socialization. Children learn the demands of life early; little boys and girls learn their respective roles by taking part in the daily work of their parents. There are six primary schools and a secondary school in the parish.

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