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Brothers in law

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Thursday, May 4, 2006, 14:56
Drat. This went directly to Yahya...........
Yahya Abdal-Aziz wrote:
> Brothers-in-law > ------------------ > > What if ...? > ... you visited a society where the following four were all different - > > * my brother-by-my-marriage = the man whose sister I married > * my brother-by-his-marriage = the man who married my sister > * my brother-by-our-marriages = the man that my wife's sister married
In a matrilocal society (husband moves to wife's mother's home)-- in the first case, you would join the wife's family, probably subservient to her (unmarried) brothers still living with mama. You might, as a married man, continuing the family line, have more status than wife's unmarried bros, but I really don't know how such things work... In the second case, SiHu would join your family, again probably in subservient status. And ditto in the 3d case. Assuming it's also a matrilineal society, you wouldn't be able to inherit anything. Perhaps not even _own_ anything, certainly not land or a house.
> * my brother-by-her-marriage = the man (not me) that my wife married --- a > co-husband!
Polyandry is passing rare in human cultures, I think. This arrangement would be possible in my Kash society, but it would be most likely that the two men were lovers. Since Kash are basically bisexual, the woman might have relations with both if she desired, or she might just view the extra man as hubby's "special friend", knowing that he's keeping her official husband from straying. (Legally, the woman has to agree to the arrangement; hubby can't bring just anyone home.... Similarly in the case of two women, should one of them decide she wants to have children.)
> > IIRC, & CMIIW, under ancient Judaic law and custom, a man was > > obligated to marry his brother's widow; this may have been partly > for > her economic protection, and partly to give her sons on > behalf of his dead brother, so that "his line" might not die out.) >
So I wonder: in a matrilineal society, if the wife died, would one of her sisters be obliged to married the widower? I'd imagine not, since economic protection, inheritance etc. is already secure in the female line. My guess would be that the widower might simply go away, since he has no more status in that family; any children would be looked after by other female members of the family. Old Spanish proverb: los hijos de mi hija, mis nietos son-- los hijos de mi hijo, lo son o no. :-)))))


Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>