Hill Pandaram - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Both polyandrous and polygynous marriages have been recorded, but most marriages are monogamous. Cross-cousin marriage is the norm and marriages emerge almost spontaneously from preexisting kinship patterns, as camp aggregates center on affinally related men. There is little or no marriage ceremony and there is no formal arrangement of marriage partners, although young men tend to establish prior ties with prospective parents-in-law. Marriages are brittle and most older Hill Pandaram have experienced a series of conjugal partnerships during their lifetime. A cohabiting couple forms an independent household on marriage, but the couple may continue as a unit in the camp aggregate of either set of parents.

Domestic Unit. The conjugal family is the basic economic unit. Members of a family may live in separate leaf shelters (though spouses share the same leaf shelter) and may form foraging parties with other members of a camp aggregate, but all food gathered by an individual belongs to his or her own immediate family, who share a simple hearth. Only meat, tobacco, and the proceeds of honey-gathering expeditions are shared between the families constituting a camp aggregate.

Inheritance. As the Hill Pandaram possess no land and have few material possessions, little emphasis is placed on inheritance.

Socialization. The Hill Pandaram put a normative stress on individual autonomy and self-sufficiency, and from their earliest years children are expected to assert independence. Children collect forest produce for trade and will often spend long periods away from their parents.

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