Munda - Marriage and Family

Marriage. Apart from the Asur, Kora, Mahali, and possibly Turi, all Munda groups have positive marriage rules. Among the Koraput groups the prescribed category in Marriage is the bilateral cross cousin (usually excluding first cousins) , but farther north the prescribed category is more usually translatable as a "sibling's spouse's sibling"; often the Indigenous term also covers referents belonging to the genealogical levels of the grandparents or grandchildren (though they nonetheless may be of roughly the same age as Ego). Preferences for a sibling's spouse's sibling usually go with a delay of one to three generations in renewing alliances between the same alliance groups. In most cases (but excluding the Ho and some Santal), spouse exchange is overall symmetric rather than asymmetric. Alliance groups are normally agnatically defined but may be villages rather than descent groups. Indeed, because of the agnatic identity of most villages, Village exogamy is normally required, and negotiations, celebrations, and prestations frequently involve the whole village, not just the principals and their immediate families. Brideprice, not dowry, is the norm. How much choice of partner the principals are allowed varies from tribe to tribe: some tribes have youth dormitories for both sexes, though these do not necessarily take choice out of the hands of the parents (e.g., not among the Juang). There are numerous types of wedding ceremony, some simpler, others more "Hindu." Residence is normally virilocal, though all tribes allow a poor youth to live uxorilocally with (and eventually inherit from) his sonless father-in-law. Monogamy is the norm, though there is some polygyny, especially sororal (wife's classificatory younger but not elder sister). Junior levirate, or the Inheritance of a man's widow by his classificatory younger (not elder) brother, is a commonly recognized and in some tribes virtually mandatory practice. Divorce and the remarriage of divorced and widowed people are normally allowed, even though, like the levirate, these are distinctly low-status practices in India generally.

Domestic Unit. Both nuclear and extended or joint Families are found, though a single family often oscillates between the different forms, as new members are born and old ones die, or as quarrels split them up. For the hunting-and-gathering Birhor, the tanda (band) is the unit.

Inheritance. Irrigated land, use rights regarding swiddens, the family home, fruit trees, and most movables are inherited in the direct patrilineal line. The eldest son receives the most, though not normally everything, as the new head of the Family (he may be responsible for the welfare, marriage expenses, etc., of his younger siblings, for example). In some cases, the sons who have remained at home are favored (the youngest sons among the Sora and some Santal, for instance). In default of sons, the closest collateral agnate or an uxorilocally living son-in-law (the ghar-jawae —see above) inherits. There is some matrilineal inheritance of female clothes and ornaments, but women cannot inherit land, because they marry out of the clan.

Socialization. Infants are brought up by their parents with the help of elder siblings, but it is the former who are mainly responsible for socialization. Other opportunities are provided by children watching and eventually helping with the daily work, and the elders play their part by telling myths and other folktales on ritual and other occasions.

Also read article about Munda from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: