Heritage Site / Ethnography Site / Nakawé / Family Life

Article: Courtship, Marriage and Divorce

Courtship was initiated by the men, it was done when the young man was accepted by the woman's family. To be worthy the young man had to be mature and responsible and be able to provide for his future family. Some courtships and marriages were arranged, but these usually worked because the families involved had respect for each other. There were certain relatives that were prohibited from marrying, uncles, aunts and parallel cousins. It was not prohibited to marry cross cousins, but it was frowned upon, because these people were viewed as family. It was stressed that people marry someone other than close relatives. There was no divorce, if a woman was abused in her relationship, it was her decision to stay or leave. Long ago the women stayed because of her commitment and love for her children. The rate of family break-ups was not high; the partners in a relation ship were devoted to each other and were equal partners in the household