Gender Related Social Groups

Daily social life is more segregated by gender for the Beng than it is in Western societies, but far less so than in societies that enforce a virtually complete separation of the sexes. After being married, couples typically live with the husband's family. However, men who work in distant cities may be unable to afford having their wives live with them, or their wives may prefer to remain in the village.

Matriclans and patriclans serve as organizing groups for both men and women. Male and female members of patriclans who are of the same generation see one another as siblings and may not marry. They tend to have an easygoing and comfortable relationship with one another. Men inherit yam fields from their fathers, whom they generally respect and sometimes fear. Male and female members of matriclans who are of the same generation also see one another as siblings, but they are not only permitted to marry, they are often expected or even forced by relatives to do so. In such cases, the couple may already have been living near one another, and the bride's day-to-day life will barely be disrupted by moving in with her husband and his family, to whom she is already closely related. Men (and nowadays some women) inherit fields for cash-producing crops such as coffee, cocoa, palm, and kola trees from their elder brother (in the case of men) or from their mother's brother (in the case of men or women).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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