Endogamy Marriage Definition Essay

Endogamy is the combination of two Greek words. Endo means “within” or “intra” and gamy means “to marry”. So, Endogamy is intra marriage or inside marriage. Therefore, endogamy is the type of marriage which takes place within the some group class, caste, family, religion, tribe etc. both the partners belong to the some class or caste. Endogamous marriage is that which is controlled by the some group.

Definition of Endogamy Marriage

According to Folsom, endogamous is the rule that one must marry within ones caste or group”. In endogamous, marriages with the same families are prohibited. In India the inter caste marriages are not socially approved and discouraged hitter also declared the marriage of Aryan and Jewish as a criminal act.

Causes of Endogamy Marraige

Following are the main causes of endogamy.

  1. Policy of Separation. Some people does not want to live with other people of outside group. They considered themselves pure while others impure. They want to live separately and so they practice endogamy.
  2. Accumulation of wealth. Some people practice endogamy the sense that the wealth do not go waste but remain within the same family. If a woman married in the same group will bring all the dower and her children to that family or group.
  3. Sense of superiority and inferiority. The people of one group considered themselves superior and others inferior. That sense of people made them to marry within the same group.
  4. Religious Differences. Religious differences also compel a person to practice endogamy. The people of one’s group considered their blood purity while that of others impurity of blood. So, they do not want to mix with them because they are religiously prohibited our religion does not allow a Muslim to marry with a Non-Muslim.
  5. Racial and cultural difference. There must occur some racial and cultural difference b/w the two groups or castes. Everyone have close relation to its own race and follow the same culture. So, these differences allow a person to practice endogamy.
  6. Geographical Separation. The people of two different groups living at a distance from one another. They are not ready to marry away from his ancestral territory which cause endogamy.

Advantages and Disadvantages Endogamy Marriage

Advantages of Endogamy

  1. It maintains the unity within the group and crates we-feeling.
  2. It maintains the purity of blood.
  3. No superiority and inferiority of the two partners upon each other.
  4. Do not leak out the economic secret.
  5. Women feel satisfaction due to the prior understanding in that family and have no new situation.
  6. The wealth goes into the same family.

Disadvantages of Endogamy

  1. It breaks down national unity and creates jealousy.
  2. The choice of partner selection is very limited in endogamy and in pukhtoon even boys are compelled to marry with their abnormal relatives.
  3. Number of relatives are limited.
  4. It creates hatred and jealousy with other groups.
  5. It creates ethnocentric behavior.

Forms of Endogamy

Generally endogamy marriage has the following forms

  1. Divisional / Tribal endogamy
  2. Caste endogamy
  3. Sub-caste endogamy
  4. Class endogamy
  5. Race endogamy

Essay on Exogamy – Exogamy is almost the opposite of endogamy. Exogamy is a rule of marriage in which an individual has to marry outside his own group. It prohibits marrying within the group.

The rule of exogamy insists that the so-called blood relatives shall neither have marital connec­tions nor sexual contacts among themselves. Near relatives are not supposed to marry among them­selves. But the degree of nearness differs from community to community. In Malenesia and Austra­lia among some people, a son may marry his father’s wife if she is not his direct mother. Similarly, marriage of cousins is allowed among Muslims.

Forms of Exogamy:

Exogamy assumes various forms in India.

(i) Gotra Exogamy:

The Hindu practice of one marrying outside one’s own ‘gotra’ is gotra exogamy.

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(ii) Pravara Exogamy:

Those who belong to the same pravara (uttering the name of a common saint at religious functions) cannot marry among themselves.

(iii) Village Exogamy:

Many Indian tribes (Example: Naga, Garo, Munda) have the practice of marrying outside their village.

(iv) Pinda Exogamy:

Those who belong to the same ‘Pinda’ (or sapinda) cannot marry within themselves (‘Pinda’ means common parentage).

Causes of Exogamy:

Various factors must have caused exogamous marriages.

1. The desire on the part of a few to show that they are distinct from others must have encour­aged exogamy.

2. Some people feel that they become very cheap and insignificant if they marry within the known circle of relatives and friends. Hence, they want to go out of the group to select their life- partners.

3. The practice of female infanticide must have compelled a few tribals to go out of the tribe to find out mates for them. Due to the shortage of girls they are forced to do this. Some used to kidnap girls belonging to other groups.

4. The belief that close in-breeding would affect the biological quality of the offspring’s, has also added to the practice of exogamy.

It may be noted that endogamy and exogamy are not mutually exclusive. In some societies both the rules may coexist. For example, in India both are practised by the caste Hindus. Castes and subcastes are endogamous in nature. But ‘Gotra’- a small unit of subcaste is exogamous. Such rules differ from society to society.

Today there is a greater trend towards exogamous marriages. Endogamy is said to be conserva­tive. It is widely criticised. Exogamy is appreciated as progressive and more scientific. Exogamy has brought peoples of various castes, races, religious groups, tribals together. It can effectively reduce social distance among peoples and encourage and support social solidarity and communal unity.

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