Guest of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnok Fernea

Good Essays

Marriage is important in human society. Marriage is “the customs, rules, and obligations that establish a special relationship between a sexually cohabitating adult male and female, between them and any children they produce, and between the kin of the bride and groom” (Arenson, and Miller-Thayer 520). Most of the cultures are used to seeing only female and male getting married but looking deeper into the society; we can see there are more to it. There are many different types of marriages. In an ethnography called, Guest of the Sheik, by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, she talks about her experiences in a small rural village of El Nahra in southern Iraq. Ethnography is “comprised of the writings of the anthropologist, detailing the life ways of a particular culture, investigated by means of direct fieldwork” (1). As she gets accepted by the women of the villages, she gets a more inclusive view of the culture. Elizabeth Fernea observed an arranged to swap daughter and son with a brother in marriage. She said, “Bob reported that Ali had family completed marriage arrangements with his brother. Ali’s brother’s son would come to El Nahra, bringing his sister who would marry Hassan” (Fernea 136). This type of marriage is called preferential cousin-marriage, “which is a practiced in one form or another in most of the major region of the world. Unlike our own kinship system, kinship systems based on lineages distinguish between two different types of first cousins: cross cousins and

Get Access