Marriage is always a great celebration that must be prepared with a lot of time and patience, but in the Amazon it is the simplest yet most emotional event you can have: the Achuars perform an important and moving ritual that will complement you during the rest of your lives together!
No matter the culture or beliefs each person may have since their childhood or during their adulthood, every human being needs someone who becomes a good company through their lives: this is not a different fact for the Achuars, who believe in marriage as much as they believe in the spirits that guide them in their daily routines.
Despite this fact, in the Achuar culture there is not a big wedding such as the ones performed in the Western world. Discover here how this indigenous community bonds relationships with their families.
Achuar marriage: Traditions and importance
In the Achuar families, a warrior or hunter is the most appreciated groom. The sons of famous warriors are also very important, since they will constitute the ideal next generation within the tribe. They can marry a young woman from any family, but it is possible for second cousins to get married.
- Polygamy is also allowed, as long as the man is able to love and maintain each woman and the children they will have, providing the same resources to every one of them.
An Achuar man can also protect a widow if her husband was his brother. This is possible even when the groom is married. Nonetheless, it is a better possibility if he is young and single. Orphan children have to live with their uncle, too.
- If the deceased husband had more than one brother, all of the brothers will have a meeting where they decide who should take care of the widow. The same situation happens with the children: they cannot be abandoned; it is a code of honor among the Achuar.
To ask for a wedding, when the man truly wants to get married, he asks the bride’s father or a representative elder male member of her family to let him marry her.
- As Achuar elders have the Guayusada ritual at 3 in the morning, the elder member or the father can ask for a particular man to marry his daughter, too.
Men who want to get married accompany the bride’s family on performing daily tasks such as hunting or fishing, to show his true abilities to grow a family and protect and maintain his future wife. This is how future grooms demonstrate that they are the best option for their daughter, even when they haven’t accepted him as a groom.
Achuars do not believe in weddings as a celebration where people eat and dance, as we see it in our Western civilizations, but they perform a ritual for us to have a clue of their customs and traditions.
As you may see, marriage is crucial for the Achuars, who believe in family and union as much as they believe in nature. Even if some of their traditions are strange or unlawful according to our customs, just as it happens with polygamy, their marriages are magical and transmit a sensation of peace and love that will make you remember this day forever.