Friday, April 20, 2007

First Church Wedding in Chajudaña

This is my husband marrying a young couple in the village.

Traditionally, the Ye'kwana marry very young. Once a girl has her first menses and undergoes the horrific rite involved in that, ( I will post that on another day) she is available for marriage. The young man interested in having her as a wife, will begin to hunt and bring meat or fish to her father's home.

If his gifts are repeatedly accepted, he will have the courage to take it to the next level. One day he will come into the girl's home and tie up his hammock. When he returns, if the hammock is still hanging, he will move in to the girl's home. If he finds his hammock strings were cut by a machete and his hammock on the ground, he will know he is not an acceptable suitor.

This decision will be the father's ultimately, not the girl's!

After this co-habitation in the father's home, the village elders will sit and discuss the pairing of the two. There is much to consider! Are either from a line of strong witch doctors? If both are, the mating will be forbidden as it would produce a VERY strong witch doctor and that much power is too scary to contemplate!

Family lines must be reviewed. First cousins may marry but only if they are cross-cousins.
Cross-cousins are; The female cousins of the groom who are daughters of his mother's brothers,or daughters of his father's sisters! And the exact opposite for the bride.

This wedding was of Jeremias and his 13 year old bride who wanted to marry before God and the church. We had a reception of rice and sardines. Everyone brought gifts, such as, toilet paper, matches, candles, cans of tuna, fruit. Whatever anyone could spare.

A little different than our weddings, but a blessing to see them choose to honor God and making a vow before the church. The kiss was usually awkward or eliminated altogether, as indians do not kiss! For real! They do not consider it loving in any way and actually think it is GROSS!

So...all you married folks who are reading this... go gross out your spouse!!!:)


The Preacher's Wife said...

What a wonderful story!...I always get an education when I come here!

Pat said...

Love to learn about customs!

Don't think I could have married at 13!!

And, they don't know how good getting grossed out is!!

Abouna said...

Almost sounds like a Vietnamese ceremony. Traditional native customs are truely beautiful.

FreeCyprus said...

God bless the happy couple!

Amanda's got Baby Bangs said...

That was really interesting. I can't even imagine what I would have been like as a 13 year old bride!

groovyoldlady said...


I have two more girlies to marry off (man, MANY years frrom now!); Sardines and rice would greatly simplify the reception plans. It would probably also considerably shorten the guest list!

serendip said...

How wonderful. Thanks for sharing.