Bondo - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Young men and young women are permitted freedom of choice in the selection of mates. The female dormitory serves as the locus in which male-female relationships are established and nurtured. A female dormitory in a village is generally off-limits to the young men of that village. As a result, part of the male courting ritual involves intervillage travel. While parental consent is required, Bondo unions are based upon the mutual affection of the marital partners. Bondo women prefer men several years younger than themselves as marital partners. Elwin cites the desire not to wed an older man, the belief that a younger man would be either a harder worker or a more obedient partner, and the fear of defloration as possible reasons for this. Extramarital liaisons do occur. Such a relationship between a man and his younger brother' s wife is not ritually prohibited. It is believed that the age disparity in Bondo marriages has led to the acceptance of this type of extramarital relationship because the parties involved would be closer in age than those in the marital union. Marital dissolution is rare, though divorce is allowed and may be initiated by either party. The remarriage of widows is not prohibited. Postmarital residence is patrilocal. Polygyny is sanctioned.

Domestic Unit. The typical domestic unit consists of a nuclear family (with limited evidence of polygyny).

Inheritance . Anecdotal data suggests that real property is inherited by sons from their fathers.

Socialization. The socialization of children is shared jointly by parents, though women are in fact the chief agents of socialization. Children are also allowed a considerable amount of freedom from a young age. The ingersin (girls' dormitory) and the selani-dingo (boys' dormitory) are important social institutions. Young men assist at ceremonies associated with life crises (e.g., weddings and burials) and the hunt, while young women prepare cups and platters manufactured from leaves, cook, and prepare rice beer. Of these, the ingersin also serves as a center for mate selection. It is here that young men come in search of spouses.

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