Marriage was a simple affair. A man would bring firewood to a prospective bride's home and leave it beside the oven. If the woman accepted the marriage, she cooked a meal with the wood and invited him to eat. He then moved his personal belongings to her home and they set up housekeeping. If it were a young couple, the man would take the wood to her mother's home. After four days the womans' family wood cook a feast and invite the new husband's family to dinner. Men would marry around fourteen to sixteen years and girls around fourteen years of age. It did not matter about the age of either mate, for younger men married experienced women with property.
If the new bride had no home of her own, her brothers and uncles would build her one on land assigned by her mother. The man could help, or go off hunting or to war. It was not his responsibility to provide her a home.
All children of a family belonged to the mother's clan. The husband did not concern himself with his wife's children, whether he fathered them or not. He served as father figure to his sister's children, as his wife's brothers did for their sisters' children. The original word for uncle in Tsalagi is Edutsi, an abbreviated form for "mother's brother." When a mother did not have a brother, then other male members of the her family or clan acted as a father figure. If a man and his wife's son became friends, it was not forbidden for the husband to help train or fight along side the son in battle or along the hunt.
To the Ani-Tsalagi, marriage was a contract between a man and a woman, not made in Heaven or in the Tribe's name.
Divorce was even less involved than marriage. When a husband and wife decided to part company, the man merely took his personal belongings and departed. If the wife became angers, she could, without any discussion with her spouse, place all of his belongings outside the door and the marriage was terminated. A newly divorced man could go to hte home of his mother or to one of his sisters. He would remain there, helping them in any effort they requested, until he found another mate. A man and a woman averaged five or six marriages in a lifetime.
Under the strict matriarchal system of inheritance of property, women and children in the Ani-Tsalagi society were always taken care of no matter what happened to the men in their lives. Men did not concern themselves with the fact that they were aiding a woman with children not his own. To a Tsalagi man, all children were his to protect and provide for during their childhood. All men knew that while he was taking care of another man's children, someone else was providing for his.
A child's uncle was his or her most important contact with a man. No one denied a man contact with his own children. In a society as close as the Ani-Tsalagi, a man and his son could not help but be together during their lives. It just meant that sometimes they lived in different houses, or even in different towns.
Incest was strictly forbidden. No member could marry any blood relative down to and including second cousins. It was considered incest for members of the same clan to marry. Incest could cause death to the parties involved.
No man would physically abuse a woman for any reason. To do so meant his death, either by her brothers or by the men in her clan. Her brothers belonged to her clan. If a woman became angered at her husband or any other man, he was to stand and take the beating without injuring her, only raising his hands in personal defense. If she was stronger or as strong as he, the man had better hope that he could out run her and stay out of her way until she cooled off.
Rape of any woman, in their own tribe or that of an enemy, meant a man's death. There was no question asked, there was no repsonse given. It would be done.
[First Town is Formed]
[Building the Mound and Sacred Fire]
[Tribal Government] [Leaders] [Red and White Organizations] [The War Women] [Warriorship and War Titles]
[Diplomacy] [Immunity of Ambassadors] [Marriage and Divorce] [Tobacco Pipes] [The Ceremonial War Hatchet]
[Take Up The Hatchet] [Bury The Hatchet] [Traders and Merchants] [Craftsmen and Industrial Arts] [Games]
[Taboo] [Burial] [Book Main]