Relative Status of Men and Women

While arranged marriages were previously the norm, men and women currently have personal control over their sexuality, marriage choice, and divorce, but family members offer input and advice to help guide personal choices on all such matters.

Grazing and farming rights are passed through the matrilineal line. When a parent dies, however, both sons and daughters can and do inherit ceremonial paraphernalia, jewelry, or grazing and farming rights to a mother's customary use area. Matrilocal residence results in men commonly living in situations wherein the house, household furnishings, fields, and most of the livestock belong to the wife and her family. In-marrying men bring only personal clothing, tools, vehicles, and weapons, when first married. Over time, they bring their livestock to the new residence. Only these possessions are taken back to the man's mother's or sister's house if divorce occurs.

All adults living in a collective unit have input into decisions regarding family matters—what type of help will be sought for an ill family member, who will take a child to college, what will be taken to a relative's ceremony, or what household repairs will be completed— but the matriarch (the eldest woman in the parental generation of the extended family) makes the final decision on all such matters. In some cases, even today, she determines how each adult member's earnings from silverwork, weaving, or paid employment will be used for the collective good.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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