Pacific Northwest Coastal Indians - Clans and Marriage Illustration

Clans & Marriage
Pacific Northwest Coastal Indians
in Olden Times for Kids

 
 

Clans: All Pacific Northwest Coastal Indians are divided up into two or more clans. You could not marry someone from your clan. The Haida only had two clans. Everyone was either born a Raven or an Eagle. When a baby was born, it belonged to the mother's clan.

Marriage: When a man wanted to marry a women, he had to pay her father a agreed amount prior to the ceremony. The wife was given in partial payment for this amount.

When their first child was born, the child became a member of the mother's clan. The clan had to pay the husband a sum equal to the marriage contract as for the child. This annulled the marriage. At that point, a woman could stay or leave her husband as she chose.

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