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The Hoopa Language is part of the Athabaskan Language Family. They have a patrilineal descent and the household consists of a man, his wife and children. Brides were purchased from the girl's family. A man offered shell money to the parents of his bride-to-be and if the parents accepted, the bride brought household goods into the marriage. There was no formal wedding ceremony, however, both families had a feast and exchanged gifts. The couple then settled in the husband's village. Polygyny was permitted by the wealthy men. If a man was poor, then he paid "half price" and went to live at the girl's home to serve her parents. Children of half-marriages belonged to the wife's family. Divorce meant the man sent the wife back to her family for any reason he saw fit. The couples had separate sleeping quarters after marriage to limit sex. At menarche, the girl was separated for ten days and had to cover her head when outdoors. In families of wealth, however, a girl's puberty was celebrated with a public ceremony.
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Athabaskan (Na-Dene) Language Family
Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation
Hoopa Valley Tribal Museum Homepage
Native American Authors: Hoopa Tribe
Ordinance of the Hoopa Valley Tribe
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