A woman's wish reigns supreme.

BY and large, primitive societies are rather tolerant as far as sexual relationships and marriages are concerned. Several tribes can also be considered promiscuous by the Victorian standards of morality.

There are several types of marriages prevalent among the tribes. One of them is Marriage by intrusion. This is usually resorted to by married women. An unhappily married woman may enter the home of a particular man she likes. She will stay there and refuse to go back to her husband’s home and express her wish to be married to the man of her choice. When such an incident occurs, the panchayat is called and a certain sum of money is paid to the husband, and the woman is then married off again. The usual procedure for such a marriage is that the woman who wants to marry another man first goes to the village headman. She tells him of her intention. The headman then informs the man she has chosen and, subsequently, takes her to his house and leaves her there. Later, matters are sorted out with her first husband in an amicable manner. Sometimes unmarried girls also resort to this practice. They enter the home of the boy they wish to marry and stay there. The couple is then married by both sets of parents.

The widows in the tribal societies are not neglected. Widow marriage is extremely common. When a woman is widowed, she takes off the bangles that she had worn in her husband’s name. After the various funeral ceremonies are over, she is asked whether she would like to marry any one in particular. If she expresses her choice, the consent of the particular man is taken and he gives her metal bangles to wear. She then becomes his wife. In case the man whom she chooses does not want to marry her or when she does not have any particular choice, she is asked to wear bangles in the name of her husband’s younger brother. In case she refuses, she is asked to wear bangles in the name of any one of her husband’s male relatives. If she still does not agree, she is asked to wear bangles in the name of her son’s son. If she still refuses or does not have a grandson, as a last resort she has to wear bangles in the name of her husband’s house. This means that she will never leave the house. Sometimes after wearing bangles in the name of a particular person, the woman marries again. In such a case, the new husband would have to pay a sum of money to the previous husband. But if she had worn bangles in the name of her husband’s house, he does not have to pay anybody. However, she can wear bangles in the name of someone only after all the ceremonies involving her dead husband are taken care of. Sometimes, due to lack of money, this can take a long time, and until then the widow has to remain unmarried.

Dont u think that the women of the tribes are much better-off than their so-called advanced sisters in the city ?