Sirionó - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Marriage is most commonly monogamous. Polygyny is primarily the prerogative of chiefs. Only some men who put up a fight succeed in marrying two wives. Chiefs may have up to five wives, who place their hammocks around that of their husband, according to a specific order. In some instances, because of a lack of women or simply because of friendship, two men share the same woman, who practically has the status of a wife of both men. Wife lending occurs in the case of an elderly man incapable of hunting for himself. A younger man who hunts for him is given sexual access to the old man's wife. This often ends in the divorce of the woman from her old husband. Niemondomóndo entails wife swapping for extended periods of time. Of forty families in Eviato, twenty have engaged in this kind of exchange, some ending in lasting, rather than transient, arrangements.

Domestic Unit. The nuclear family is the most important social group.

Inheritance. The only item that kin traditionally inherited were the fleshless bones of their ancestors, particularly their craniums.

Socialization. Young women between 10 and 15 years of age undergo an initiation ritual called iratóse. Married men around the age of 18 submitted to the dshyarási initiation ritual under the tutelage of the chief and the old men of the group. The initiants have their arms pierced with a stingray point and their legs are scarified.


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