Marriage Play : The Life And Words Of A ! Kung Woman

1151 Words5 Pages
Nataliia Nehra
Introduction to Anthropology
Professor Robert Booth

Marriage plays an essential part in lives of !Kung women. Marjorie Shostack in depth describes each step of Nisa’s life in her book “The Life and Words of a ! Kung Woman”. Nisa, a fifty year old !Kung San woman, tells about her numerous marriages, husbands and lovers. Nisa vividly described the relationships between men and women. Furthermore, she states that children become aware of sex at a young age because the children share a single hut with their parents. In the !Kung society, first marriages are arranged by the parents. Girls at this point are rather young, whereas males are twenty to thirty. In order for a boy to get marred it’s necessary for him to gain a hunting skill. These marriages are called “trial marriages.” The outcome of the first marriages is usually a divorce, initiated by the girls due to pressure from their husbands to have a sexual intercourse.
Nisa’s first marriage ceremony was a beautiful and at the same time unpleasant event. She wore numerous beads and decorations, as well as other girls. Then her and grooms parents built a hut for newlyweds where they can live and spend the nights together. However, Nisa ran away every night after her husband would fall asleep back to her parents hut.
Her first marriage was arranged quite early when she had not even menstruated yet. Nisa was scared of her first husband Bo and she kept running away from him. However when she found out that Bo

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