Marriage of the She

 

The main characteristic of the She marriage it is the relationship of the songs with the wedding.

In all and every step that leads to the marriage, the songs play a paramount function.

Before the wedding, the bride must join a singing match in her maternal uncle's village; the bridegroom will do the same in the bride's village, singing during two nights.

The same day of the wedding party, they use to show that nothing is ready. In this way the bridegroom, singing different songs, must ask for the chopsticks, the wine, the food, making each thing appear before him. At the end of the party, he will sing the songs the other way around again until the table is cleaned. Then they say good-bye, also singing, to the bride's relatives, and to their ancestors, and they go away singing under two parasols to the bridegroom's parents' house. When they arrive there, the bride also must sing.

Singing gatherings serve as a escape valve for a society where most of the marriages were arranged by the parents. There were many people who do not love their couple. During these singing gatherings the people can met whom they really love. Sometimes these gatherings ended up in the forest or the mountain, far from the sight of the people. Sexual relations before marriage were very common.

Along the year there were several musical meetings: the 1st day of the sixth lunar month, the 7th of the seventh lunar month, the 15th of the eighth lunar month, the 9th of the ninth lunar month. During this meetings, hundred of young She meet outdoors, to sing during the whole night.

They don't like to marry with people of the same name. Between them there are only four family names: Pan, Lan, Lei and Zhong.

In their weddings always intervenes a matchmaking, who can be the bridegroom's uncle or a singer. A priest is also need to fix the date of the wedding ceremony, according to the birth dates of the lovers.

In the weddings numerous gifts were exchanged. That forced some of the poorest families to celebrate other types of marriages that alleviated the economic pressure of the weddings, as the adoption of a girl as daughter-in-law or a boy as son-in-law.

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