Trobrianders

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Jonathan U. Smith
Anthropology
Article 8
When Brothers Share a Wife

A marriage is taking place in the matter of a few days as Dorje and his yaks cross a 17,000 foot mountain, taking one break because he has a lot to do before his two older brothers Pema and Sonam. They are joining together in a marriage with a woman in the traditional marriage of fraternal Polyandry, common in the Tibetan society.

When one brother chooses to marry a wife, the other brothers get a wife in the process too. One in which they are treated equally among the other brothers, and have the same sexual occurrences with their wife as the older brother does. Even though when it comes time to lay down or sleep the wife will usually find herself laying with the oldest brother. Younger brothers carry the advantage on the wife with their young looks that sometimes attract certain women. When the celebration of marriage comes along, the younger brother is not as much as the center of attention at all as is the older brother, the one taking a women's hand in marriage.

Parents are usually the push behind a marriage, or at least were more so in the past. But it is very rare for the mothers and fathers of a family to not know or to not be consents of a Tibetan marriage.

It does not really matter whether it's one or four brothers sharing a wife, it is anything but unusual to the Tibetan people and they have their reasons for their habits and traditions. A brother is always given the opportunity to leave the family households, but is held to standards of supplementing himself with his own house and his own wife if he prefers. Tibetan do not attempt to find out who's kids were a spawn from who, but rather that all the kids are treated for except this isn't the case with individual wives between brothers. "Father" is usually the title kids give to the eldest brother in the family, and his brothers called "Father's brother".

A variety of marriages are noted threw Tibetan society....
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