Matrimonial Alliances Among the Maronites


Matrimonial alliances

How to Cite

Tohme-Tabet, A. (1). Matrimonial Alliances Among the Maronites. Al-Raida Journal, 43-46.


In the prevailing social, economic, political and religious conditions prior to the First World War, the choice of spouses among the Maronite community in Mount Lebanon was strictly a family matter. As such, it occurred within a vast network comprising the cousins on the father's side as a first choice, but also cousins on the mother's side and members of the village's families or of neighboring villages - the network was thus both socially and geograph ically limited. The configuration of these socially and geographically- confined groups reveals that endogamy was certainly a priority, but that exogamy was not excluded; indeed, the preferential choices of parallel cousins on the father 's side' as spouses that characterize Arab societies in general does form an archetype but without confining it to the family realm exclusively. Although great importance was given to the offspring or lineage and to the social class of the marriageable individuals, this did not exclude the consideration of other lineages' "belongings, knowledge and power".


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