Husband Wife Relationship

Waorani marriages were characterized by mutual respect, economic interdependence, and affection. Traditionally, men and women slept in hammocks with their children. For several years after a child was born, men and women slept in separate hammocks on opposite sides of the communal house and were supposed to abstain from sexual intercourse. Family groups usually ate together, although there were no prescribed meal times. Tepw was always available throughout the day, and women would prepare it for men, children, and guests. Divorce was unknown, but separation was possible. Both sexes were free to leave their spouses, although this was not common. Many polygamous households were maintained in precontact times, although currently those in polygamous marriages tend to live primarily with their youngest wife. The other wives either live in the same community or have separated from their husbands and live in other communities. Since the cowives were often sisters, this helped maintain cohesion. Children usually remained with the mother after separation or death of a husband. Today, marriage patterns are similar, but younger people have more say in whom they marry and when, and if married unawares they can choose to stay in the marriage or return to their former homes. Polygamous marriages still occur.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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