Can You Describe The Family Life Among The Tarahumara Indians?


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Steve Theunissen Profile
Tarahumaras have peculiar viewpoints on marriage and morals. If two young persons develop an attraction for each other, a celebration is arranged. In attendance are the couple, their parents and the siríame, or local governor, who effects the marriage. Very rarely do Tarahumaras go to a city to legalize their marriage in a civil office.

Couples united in this way live together as long as they desire. If individuals no longer wish to remain with their mates, they split up. When meeting another person of the opposite sex that is appealing, they can unite again. As to sexual offenses, if a Tarahumaran violates a girl, he must pay a dowry to the girl's father. In such a case the father sets the price.

This tribe recognizes the authority of Mexico's federal and state governments. In addition to these, however, they have their own local administration, one that combines both pre-Hispanic and Colonial Jesuit characteristics.

Each town has an assembly composed of residents of the town. The siríame presides over this gathering, and is assisted by lesser authorities. The assembly meets each Sunday to hear and resolve problems of the community. As a symbol of authority, the siríame bears a sacred staff known as a disora.

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