Courtship and Marriage

According to Basso (1973) and Gregor (1977) there are two forms of marriage. The first is called "bringing up one's bride." In this form, the newly adolescent girl is brought to her future husband's house, where she has to spend the time of seclusion. This implies high payments to her relatives and is held to be very prestigious (Gregor, 1977, p. 282). In the second form the hammock of the future husband is publicly carried into the house of the girl. Before the second form of marriage, Mehinako boys and girls have considerable freedom to engage in sexual experience. Lovers give each other presents such as fish, belts of glass beads, or little carvings in the shell of the coconut. Ideal marriage partners are cross cousins. Sometimes marriage is arranged by the parents to discipline their children's conduct. If the young man, for example, does not accept his parents' choice, he refuses to sleep with the girl and does not give her any food to eat. To resolve the conflict, either the boy has to abandon the village or he marries the girl and later takes another wife of his own choice. Polygyny (mainly sororal polygyny) is accepted within the "chief" family. Husband and wife can equally initiate divorce.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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