Purum - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Marital negotiations are instituted by either the parents of the male suitor or by the male suitor himself. Consent of the parties to be wed and the consent of their parents is required before the union may take place. Once an agreement has been made between the families, the male must work for a period of three years in the household of his fatherin-law. This period of service is called yaun-gimba. Monogamous unions are the norm, though polygyny is not prohibited. When polygynous arrangements have been noted, the usual number of female spouses is two. Postmarital residence is patrilocal once the husband has completed his period of yaun-gimba service to his wife's father. At this time, the married son may choose to establish a separate household for himself and his wife. If he has no younger brother, then he and his spouse must remain in the home of his parents until the parents are deceased. This practice ensures that the son's parents will be cared for in their old age. Divorce may be obtained by either the husband or wife, though all cases must be decided by the village council and the khullakpa (headman).

Domestic Unit. The principal domestic unit is the nuclear family made up of two parents and their unmarried offspring. Extended families consisting of parents and one or more married male children (together with their families) are uncommon.

Inheritance. Upon the death of a father, his property is Inherited by his sons. Usually the youngest son receives the largest share as he has been responsible for caring for both parents during their lifetimes. The youngest son (if married) is also charged with the care of his unmarried sisters upon the death of his father. If the youngest son is not married, his older married brothers must assume this duty. The youngest son is also charged with the care of his widowed mother. Widows and daughters are not allowed to inherit property. A widow is entitled to maintenance from her husband's estate, provided that she remains in the house of her deceased husband and does not remarry. A daughter may be given use of valley land by her father during his lifetime; however, a father may not leave his house, animals, or other items to a daughter as an inheritance.

Socialization. The mother is the chief agent of socialization in the Purum family.


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