Husband Wife Relationship

The marital relationship is ideally a cooperative partnership geared toward tending the domestic unit and based in part on continued sexual fulfillment and comradeship. However, this partnership is, in reality, riven with some regularity by conflict and violence resulting from the actual or imagined "wanderings" of one's partner.

Couples tend to share the same bed and eat at least one meal a day together. Couples sit in church and engage in some recreational activities together. While labor is generally divided into male and female genres, husbands and wives do sometimes attend to their separate tasks but in each other's presence. They also sometimes help each other out with their respective tasks; for instance, it is not unusual to see husbands and wives cooking a meal together or going off to cut copra together. The degree to which husbands and wives engage in joint domestic decision-making depends on the individuals' personalities.

Prior to contact, divorces were difficult for elites to accomplish (given that so much intertribal business was invested in their marriages), but for commoners cohabitation might cease without any outcry. While the dissolution of nonmarried relationships is still easily and frequently accomplished, the break-up of married couples is complicated by the state and the Church, and the resolution of property rights is also messy. Nonetheless, official divorce is not unusual, while unofficial separation is fairly common (both men and women have been known to initiate the process). In all known cases, one of the partners leaves the valley, the house and children are retained by the partner who remains (usually the one whose family owned the land they settled on), and this partner frequently forms a new relationship though he or she is prohibited from marrying again in church (K. C. Riley, unpublished dissertation).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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