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The Wedding of Maonan

The marriage custom of Maonan ethnic minority has the following features. Young women and young men like to sing to each other in antiphonal style on festivals or at nights of slack farming seasons; uncles in the father side enjoy much right and when a girl gets married, her family should give her uncle(s) gifts; the etiquette of marriage is quite complicated and features traditional flavor. Today, influenced by its neighboring Zhuang and Han people, it is also prevalent for Maonan people to intermarry with people of other ethnic groups.

Parental Betrothal

In the past, early marriage and even parental betrothal were prevalent in Maonan ethnic minority. In general, parents of both sides decided whether the two children were suitable for marriage through fortune telling when they were just six or seven years old. If yes, the parents would entrust a matchmaker to make a proposal, set the marriage date and determine the specific amount of dowry. On the day of engagement, the boy's family needed to arrange a banquet to treat guests and sent part of gifts to the girl's home.

Send Cotton Strips to the Bride

After the engagement, the girl and the boy can get married when they are about 20 years old. After marriage, the bride does not stay in her husband's home but goes to live with her own parents from the wedding day. Later, she visits the bridegroom's family accompanied by one or two young women once in the auspicious month that is fixed when they are married. The bridegroom's family will present some cotton strips to the bride, which means to wish prosperous offspring. In the following years, the bride only returns to the bridegroom's home in busy farming seasons. She does not settle down in her husband's home until she gets pregnant or gives birth to a baby.

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