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The history, architecture and art of New Mexico have strong roots in the culture brought by settlers from Spain, and they continue to be influenced by immigrants from Latin America. Latino and Hispanic culture and customs have a major presence everywhere in our city, from street names to adobe architecture to visual arts, dance and music. A prime example of Hispanic influence is found at historic Old Town, where adobe buildings surround a central plaza, a common feature of Spanish colonial towns.
In Indian marriages, men and women were equals.
For a period of four or five years the young man, and perhaps his brothers as well, would be a junior husband for this woman, creating a temporary state of polyandry. In Indian cultures, marriage was neither religious nor civil. The Pawnee, for example, practiced a form of temporary polyandry. The debate over marriage in American society and the fears expressed by some conservatives that allowing diversity will somehow destroy the institution of marriage is ever evolving.
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Polyandry also occurred as a form of an anticipatory levirate. Among the Comanche, for example, when a man died his wife would become the wife of his brother. Sex was not confined to marriage. This is one of the things that bothered many of the early Christian missionaries, particularly the Jesuits in New France, as they viewed marriage as a relationship in which the woman subjugated herself to the man.
First, however, a caution: at the beginning of the European invasion there were several hundred separate and distinct Indian cultures, each with their own view of marriage. Among some contemporary American commentators, there is a view that there are only two genders: male and female.
There was usually no religious ceremony involved, only a public recognition of the fact of marriage. Legal Disclaimer Farmington, New Mexico Source: Ojibwa, October 4, Polyandry — the marriage of one woman to more than one man at the same time — was found among many of the tribes. Divorce was accomplished easily since the couple did not own property in common. Among the Lakota Sioux, for example, two men who have pledged devotion to each other may express this relationship by marrying sisters and by exchanging wives on certain occasions.
Traditional Native American cultures tended to be egalitarian: all people were equal. It was not uncommon for two or more brothers to set up a t household, sharing their wives and their property. This article discusses Indian marriage in very broad terms and we realize that there are many exceptions to some of the generalizations.
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was not property but a member of a large family and thus had rights. There was a recognition of the feminine and masculine in all people. Among many of the tribes, wife exchange was practiced.
Indian societies were not organized on the patriarchal, monogamous norms of European society. One man might become infatuated with the wife of another and propose an exchange.
Again, the Christian missionaries were shocked by the ease with which Indian couples divorced. It was recognized that people would be together in a married state for a while and then separate. Christian missionaries were deeply shocked and offended by the fact that Indian women were allowed to express their sexuality.
This practice was often not recognized by Europeans, including many ethnographers, as it seemed alien to them. The Europeans, and particularly the missionaries, had a great deal of difficulty in understanding that women had power in Indian society and that they had the right to sexual freedom. In general, sisters tended to get along better than unrelated co-wives as sisters usually did not fight.
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Traditional Native American marriage is one of the unique types that is interesting to explore. While sex was a part of traditional Native American marriage, marriage was not about sex. Prior to marriage, young people were expected to engage in sexual activities. They viewed gender and sexuality as a continuum. In some cases, a man would marry sisters — a practice that anthropologists call sororal polygyny.
In most cases, there was no formal ceremony: the couple simply started living together. They were also offended by the idea that divorce could be easily initiated by the woman. All rights reserved. Each partner simply picked up his or her personal property and left.
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There were in traditional societies male and female homosexuals and transvestites who played important spiritual and ceremonial roles. Polygyny - the marriage of one man to more than one woman at the same time - was fairly common throughout North America. Among the Pawnee, brothers sometimes shared wives. While some American commentators bemoan the negative impact of divorce upon children, in Native cultures each child had many fathers, many mothers, and many siblings. In American society, part of the discussion about marriage is really about sex.
At the same time, many of the European men were delighted by this. While there appears to be some who feel that there is only one kind of marriage, in reality there are many options regarding marriage.
In most Native American cultures, nearly all adults were married, yet marriage was not seen as permanent. This was seen as symbolic of the brotherhood bond. Divorce was neither a civil nor a religious concern - this was a private matter among the people involved. These individuals were seen as being an important part of the community.
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He would continue having sex with her until he married. If this was agreeable, the two men would exchange wives from time to time. Since divorce was accepted and the raising of the child was the responsibility of many relatives, not just the biological mother and father, divorce does not appear to have had negative impact on the children. Anticipating this practice, a man would allow his brother s to have sexual access to his wife.