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Tswana Sex, Love, & Marriage
People of Tswana practice monogamous marriages, but do accept polygamy, although it is rarely seen. Most all of the marriages within this village are predominantly arranged by the families. It is not very common, but for some reason if the couple absolutely does not think it will work, a negotiation can be made. This is not seen very often. Parents start deciding early on mates for their children as many of the marriages occur at about the age of 15 in this area. When parents are choosing who they want their child to marry, they will not let their son marry a woman with the same name as their mother or sister and this is true in looking for a man to marry their daughter.
There technically is not a bride price to be paid, however it may be seen as this. Families exchange consumable goods with each other rather than valuables or land, and it is expected to be about balanced between the two. There is no gift giving, strictly foods or anything that can be consumed is bartered. After the marriage, the husband is required to work for several years for the bride’s parents, which includes hunting and gathering for them and acts as a payback for letting them have their daughter as a bride. In Tswana, no property ownership is transferred to anyone. The land your family started out with will be the land they have forever and will be passed down only in the family and is not to be given to anyone outside of it.
When the bride and groom have settled in their house, the men will take over the hunting and gathering as the women will be in charge of child-rearing and taking care of household chores. When the family has children, because the resources are limited, the children will stay in the same room as the parents as to conserve space. As the traditions are passed down, the husbands train their sons as the mothers train their daughters to grow up to be the best at the specific jobs the genders have. There is a fairly balanced amount of duties among the husbands and wives, but their jobs always stay the same and are never overlapped by each other. They have specific duties that they see as important in keeping the same forever and always.
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/382256 http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=KywNl1WpnW8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR19&dq=sex+love+and+marriage+among+bantu&ots=zf49Ub1rIR&sig=O4NVwI2qDzDBMlgWp8dp1jK2F1E#PPA57,M1 http://www.anthro.fsu.edu/people/faculty/marlowe_pubs/why%20the%20hadza%20are%20still%20hunter-gatherers.pdf
It is a great debate for anthropologists to determine what foragers lives may really look like. Many argue they are mainly virilocal, meaning the married couples lived in the same camp as the husband’s parents. Tswana goes against this mainstream idea and lives with the wife’s parents as the husband works for them to repay them for letting him take their daughter. Very few have argued that this is the way of living among foragers, which is called uxorilocal. Our culture most definitely goes against the social “norm” as they use this type of living. Among the Bantu society, it has been found that if the wife is in great charge of the cooking and preparing meals for her family. It is considered to be a privilege and source of power. If she does not provide the husband with cooked food, this may be a cause for divorce. Also, a husband who has left his wife in anger may often be forced to return and sue for mercy, if he can get no one else to cook his food. In Tswana, the wife is in charge of the cooking, cleaning, and most household chores, but is not found to be on grounds for divorce if she does not cook a meal for her family. There is a little to slim chance the wife would not cook a meal, however, as it is specifically her duty and role in the family. In the Hazda tribe, most men own two wives in different camps but show affection to each of them. It is easy to see the difference among these people compared to those of Tswana. The girls marry about the same time as those in Tswana, but the boys marry at a little older age.
Latest page update: made by cjbryant
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