Why do the Eskimos do with their wives "aredirect"?

Eskimo custom of "aredirect", that is, the exchange of wives at the time, is rooted in antiquity. Scientists believe that it originated in the days when Eurasia and North America were connected by the isthmus and Chukotka were integrated with Alaska. Why Eskimos has varied spouses?

Why do the Eskimos do with their wives "aredirect"?

Recently "aredirect" practiced by many Northern peoples, but today this custom is almost not found any of the peoples of Siberia, or the Inuit of Alaska and Northern Canada. The need to exchange the spouses has disappeared with the advent of civilization to the most remote camps and towns, and gradually the ancient custom has become a part of history.

But recently, in the mid XX century, this exchange has played a very important role in the lives of the peoples of the Arctic. The life of the Inuit is associated with many difficulties. Extreme temperatures, poor nutrition, poor hygienic conditions, lack of medical care — all these factors significantly influence the reproductive capacity of women.

Why do the Eskimos do with their wives "aredirect"?

The period when the eskimo could have children was quite small and procreation eskimo families has always been an important task. In the case that a wife could not give her husband a child, he took a wife rent the other and Vice versa, the woman was able to move on to another man, if you are unable to conceive have turned out to be the head of the family.

This is due to the fact that the families of the Northern peoples was very high infant mortality and every child, especially the boy — the future hunter and breadwinner, was worth its weight in gold. The beliefs of the Eskimos encourage them to procreate — the absence of at least one child in the family was considered a serious misfortune.

The Inuit believed that after death, in the underworld, they are greeted by the spirit, having the form of an old woman. He asked whether the deceased person left on earth offspring, before you depart to another world. After receiving an affirmative answer, the woman missed the soul of the eskimo in the big Igloo, where ever feasting on the fresh meat of his deceased relatives, but if the children of the deceased appeared, the old woman threw him into an icy lake, where he had to suffer until the end of time.

Why do the Eskimos do with their wives "aredirect"?

Another reason for the custom of "aredirect" was the desire to have sons. The boys valued the peoples of the North is higher than girls, as were the future breadwinners. If the wife of the eskimo over and over again gave birth to his daughters, they had to give her to a neighbor who had no sons, and therefore was more successful in conception.

In this regard, practiced inter-settlement exchange of wives — eskimo imprisoned his wife in the sled or kayak and took away tens of kilometers to trade for time on the woman of another kind, and provide a burst of fresh blood in the camp. With these goals in the old days, Eskimos, Chukchi, and Evenki previously offered their wives to strangers visiting the village. A sense of possessiveness toward the woman and jealousy was unheard of luxury in polar regions to ensure the existence of the camp could only be young, strong and healthy hunters and Housewives with a good set of genes.

Exchanged spouses as fraternization. Giving their wives for each other, and especially having children by them, men-the Eskimos had tied the knot, was sometimes stronger than kinship. Often, wives were exchanged repeatedly, after which he formed the so-called "group heart", brings together several families, men, women and children of all ages in a kind of community.

Why do the Eskimos do with their wives "aredirect"?

It should be noted that the functions of "wife in exchange" is not confined to procreation. The woman did all the usual for the hostess job: sewed and repaired clothes, gear and weapons, cooked food, cared for children and the elderly.

The more the man had a "fellow-wife", the more weight it had in society. Ignore the custom of exchanging wives looked in the eyes of the countrymen of strange, and was often the outcast and the constant target of ridicule.

Today "aredirect" has outlived its usefulness. Powerful snowmobiles, boats, radios, and the Internet has made the world of the eskimo is more compact and now the guy do not need to risk their lives and spend weeks on the way to Woo a girl from another camp. Also seriously affected the customs of the Northern peoples to Christianity, which superseded in many parts of the local pagan cults.

Keywords: Alaska | The far North | The family | The tundra | Chukchi

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