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The Wedding of Evenki

Marriage between young men and women of Evenki ethnic minority are mostly based on free choice. After both sides agree, the young man's family entrusts two matchmakers to take two bottles of fine wine to the girl's family to propose a marriage. The matchmakers comprise one female and one male who are talkative and propose the marriage in the way of the traditional entertainment involving talking and singing.

After the engagement, the fiancé's brothers deliver betrothal gifts, including cows, horses, caribous, pigs, wine, cloth and so on, to the fiancée's home.

On the wedding day, the party from the bridegroom's family to escort the bride to wedding goes in high spirits to the bride's home. After arrival, the bridegroom should pay respects to, say hello to, answer questions from, and open door for eldership of the bride's side. The bride should send smoke pocket, wallet, and new shoes to the bridegroom. Then the bride and bridegroom each have a bowl of porridge prepared by the bride's parents and exchange the porridge with each other. By now, it indicates that the two young people have got to know each other. The bridegroom stays in the home of the bride's parents for that night and returns to his own home together with the bride the next day.

As the wedding day approaches, the bridegroom's family, no matter how far it is, has to move to a place near the bride's family. On the wedding day, the bride should take 10 reindeer to the bride's side family accompanied by his parents, relatives and friends and the bride's side should greet them on the way. When both sides meet, the new couple hug and kiss and exchange gifts. Then all the people attend the wedding feast, which lasts until the night. After that comes the wedding ceremony.

It is interesting that the wedding ceremony is held outdoor. At the appointed time, they light up a needfire on the hirst that has been cleaned up beforehand. Then people sit in a half circle around the fire and an elder announces the commencement of the wedding ceremony.

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