Iban Marriage

Topics: Marriage, Family, Wedding Pages: 3 (1147 words) Published: November 16, 2012
A young man may marry at the age of twenty-two, if he is the only child in the family. If he has brothers or sisters, he is likely to marry when he grows older. A girl usually marries at the age of eighteen. At these ages young men and women generally know how to support themselves. If a young man wants to marry he may tell his parents, so that they may choose the daughter of one of their close relatives for him. If he wishes to marry a particular girl, he may tell them so, so that they may think about it in making a final decision. If they agree to their son’s choice, they will send word regarding their intention to the girl’s parents. If the boy’s request is acceptable to the parents of the girl, then the latter may fix a day for nanya bini, when they can discuss formally the rules they will follow at the wedding of their children.

A day or two prior to nanya bini, the young man’s parents will inform their relatives about the coming wedding of their son to the girl he loves. They also request that three men and three women who are very closely related to them join them in meeting and discussing the coming marriage with the girl’s parents on the nanya bini day. The nanya bini meeting between parents of the future bride and the bridegroom may take place either during the day or at night. If it is held during the day, the young man’s parents and relatives will come early to the girl’s room. On their arrival the men are asked to take a seat on the mats which have been spread for this purpose along the girl’s family’s upper gallery, while the women are invited to take a seat in the family room. At about 10 a.m., after the visitors have been entertained with drinks, the girl’s father calls all the people of the longhouse and his relatives who have arrived from other villages to gather at his lower gallery in order to hear his discussion with his visitors. After the people have taken their seats the parents of the bride and the bridegroom inform their friends...
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