Marriage rituals exist in all types of societies whether it is in today’s society or past societies. Researching this particular topic, the Colombian Kogi Tribe, the role of women and their marriage rituals are very different in today’s post-modern society. This tribe is found in Santa Marta Colombia. They reside primarily in the Sierra Nevada, a place where snow can only be found in this South American country.
Residing in the rainforest the Kogi Tribe migrated towards the Sierra Nevada for lack of salt and was the only tribe that was not decimated by the Spaniards. The Kogi Tribe were a culturally and technology advanced culture. Since they needed salt to survive the Kogi Tribe traded gold with the Spaniards in exchange for salt. The Kogi also view their creator as the Great Mother. They claim, “The Great Mother gave us what we needed to live and her teaching has not been forgotten right up to this day. We all still live by it.” (Falvey).
A girl becomes a woman at menstruation and is right away ready for marriage and love. After the girl’s second menstruation she is placed aside and not allowed to be touched by anyone. A Mama speaks about this process, “So then, we know this, so even today we keep a young woman who has just had her first period in a corner, that woman cannot be touched. When she has had her second period, she has become a woman. Then she is ready to love, and then the Mama blesses the man, orders the man to confess. He orders the young woman to confess whether she has committed any sin without the Mama’s permission of her mother, then she asks for forgiveness and the Mama makes a payment, purifies the person so that she will be cleansed, will have clear mind, good heart, good soul and marries them.” (Falvey) In the Kogi Tribe marriage is considered long term monogamy.
... way others do in their own private communities. In our society, women are beginning to get respect for the things they do ... is always a tormenting experience especially to those with infidelity. Marriage clearly is separated from its fundamental pillars of love and ... are valued more as dowry is considered for marriage; this is because of the women's purity. Publicity isnt a very hard ...
Marriage for love is viewed as a possibility but doesn’t necessarily always happen. Lineage orders must be met to balance the good of society when marriage comes into play, which is why arranged marriages are the basic process for the Kogi Tribe. The nuclear family is the basis for family structure in this tribe. Women do own land and it is usual for them to inherit the land from their mothers. Men also inherit land but from their fathers. “Women rule the house, the domestic arena: men have an exclusive domain in the public arena, the ceremonial house. That is not to say that women have no say in public affairs; there are many stories of lengthy debates in the ceremonial house, lasting several nights, at the end of which a decision is reached on how to deal with some community problem. Then the men go home, tell their wives what has been decided and the following day they reconvene somewhat shame-faced and agree a different solution. But in principle, it is the men who decide.” (Falvey) Divorce does exist among this tribe as well. Women if not satisfied with their mate can leave them by receiving meat as a symbol that they are leaving their spouse and starting a new relationship. It is easy for men to find new wives but if a woman is abandoned she will be allowed to live on the land inherited by her mother and becomes dependant on her parents.
Marriage rituals in this type of tribe are similar to the ones discussed in class but it seems that women in this society have a bit more freedom. Although they are not allowed to choose whom they will marry they are at their own leisure to leave the marriage if they are not happy. Like we discussed in class the work done by the women is of more substance than the men. They are the ones that cultivate the land, plant seeds and make clothing while the men hunt and clear the land for their wives to cultivate. Overall it is surprising that after so many years this type still preserves their culture and has a great appreciation for La Madre Naturaleza, (Mother Nature).
... for the crisis was the different definitions of marriage held by men and women. Men viewed marriage as 'a fact, a state of being, recognized ... by the court as non-negotiable' (Allman, 201). Furthermore, the men ...
Falvey, G. “Status of Women in Kogi Society,” Tairona Heritage Studies Centre