Husband Wife Relationship

In the ideal, husband and wife grew up to love one another as brother and sister, a familial amity that diffused among all members of the husband's home. Mead described the young wife's attitude towards her young husband as, one of complete trust and acceptance. No constraining taboo marks the ease of their relationship. He is just another older male to whom she looks up and upon whom she depends. She is to him another small girl, his special small girl, whose hand must be taken in rough places on the paths.

In practice, as noted, there were many shoals on which betrothal founded, but there was no formal hostility, antagonism, or aloofness between spouses. The family usually ate and slept in the same hamlet and spent considerable time together there before and after the day's labor.

Polygyny was practiced and commonly was the consequence of widowhood; a man would take his dead brother's wife in marriage, principally to care for her and his brother's children. As a result, cowives were often well known to one another, they had long-standing affection for one another, and got on very well together. Cowives called one another megan, "a term of affection and confidence." Not all polygynous relationships fared so well; in particular, if a husband took a second wife from afar, the relationship between cowives could be rancorous.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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