Quasi-Incestuous Paliyan Marriage in Comparative Perspective

Peter M. Gardner
2009 The Open Anthropology Journal  
Quasi-incestuous marriages of South Indian Paliyan foragers are described and compared with broadly similar arrangements in nine other cultures. Twelve percent of Paliyan marriages occur through pedogamous union with step-and adopted children, some calling this their preferred form of marriage. Paliyan subsistence, households, types of marriage, and pedogamy are described. Although two sample cultures exhibit more aversion to sex in quasi-incestuous marriages than Wolf's revision of
more » ... sion of Westermark's incest theory would predict, the 10 culture comparison suggests that the unions in question may best be looked at as: (a) ways for elders to control marriage to protect family resources, (b) contingency arrangements in tightly structured systems, or (c) products of individualized decision making in loosely structured, un-coercive systems.
doi:10.2174/1874912700902010048 fatcat:cjm4j4uabjbcfaiwltle5lkczu