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      Among the social institutions, marriage appears to be the most important one. It is practiced almost universally by the tribal people, the only exception being the hos of Kolhan. The extreme cupidity of fathers of kolhan brides and their high sense of family dignity have made them to demand an unusually high price for the hands of their daughter in marriage.

Maiden aged 40 to 50 are a common sight in Kolhan villages. However, recently young man and women began to arrange for their own unions without the knowledge of their parents and went through the operations of mock capture of the bride. The father of the bride in such cases demanded a higher price but not with the hope receiving any payment.

      The tribals of India have more advanced views regarding the age of marriage of the young people than their advanced neighbours. The practice have come under the influence of Hindu culture. Among the Gonds, Kulis and Bhumias in Odisha, child marriage was said to be common, because of the influence of Hindu culture.This lae has yielded place to marriage of adults. The Souras, Koyas, Kondhs, Gadabas and Bondas of Koraput district marry at a fair age and infant marriages are unknown among them. The groom is generally older than the bride in the tribal area.

      There is enough opportunity for the satisfaction of sex impulses outside marriage among the tribes of India. Pre-marital sexual chastity is not very rigidly insisted upon in a large number of tribes. Among the Murias of Madhya Pradesh, for instance, it is a custom on certain days of the week, for those boys and girls of dormitories who are prefects to spend the nights with each other and have sexual relations. Half a century ago each oraon bachelor had a sweet heart in the spinsters house. If the girl refused to accept a lover, she was cut of by the older girls who refused to dance with her till she accepted a paramour. Before marriage love affairs and even intimate relationships are permitted and widely practiced among the Bondas, Koyas, Gadabas and Soura women in Koraput region. Even after marriage on some festive post-marital laxity is also found among Hos and Oranos, during important festivals, when men and women freely indulge in sex relations. However, sex activity is not the only objective of marriage. Economic co-operation as found in the division of labour between husband and wife seems to be another important consideration for marital union among tribals.

      The selection of mate is an important affair even in primitive tribal society. The rules of endogamy, exogamy, hypergamy, preferential mating and prohibited degrees operative simultaneously and there by considerably restrict the freedom of choice. Among the koyas and kondhs marriage with the maternal uncles daughter is prevent and is preferred to marriage with others. However, among Bondas this custom is absent. More>>

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