Courtship and Marriage

Marriage was prescriptively with a bilateral cross cousin, and was arranged by the parents or relatives of the young couple, often without their knowledge. Such marriages usually occurred at drinking feasts at which the unsuspecting couple would be seated in a hammock together and thus married. Second marriages could be contracted at the initiative of the marrying individuals, under the sway of the levirate and the sororate. Marriages were most common within the neighborhood cluster. Both polygyny (usually sororal) and polyandry (always fraternal) occurred, apparently in response to fluctuating neighborhood cluster sex ratios (Yost, 1990). Particularly good hunters or aggressive warriors were especially likely to have more than one wife. Marriages among people who were not ki were not acceptable and were sometimes punished by death. Marriage was universal among the Waorani, although some men married late due to shortages of potential spouses. Widowers and widows who were still economically productive usually remarried. Sometimes these marriages were arranged by the elders, but the older the person, the more choice he or she had as long as the appropriate ki relationship was maintained. Romantic love, in the Western sense, did not play a role in the making of most marriages, although it was sometimes a motive in second and higher-order marriages.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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