The chapter records changes in Waorani marriage as acculturative forces reduce the power of young people’s parents to decide whom they must marry. With the arrival of missionaries, oil workers, anthropologists, and tourists, the social world has expanded; new possibilities for marriage have been presented and indeed encouraged by non-Waorani; new residential patterns and ways of making a living have reduced the influence of parents. There are more love matches, more extra-marital pregnancies, and fewer planned alliances between families. Most ethnographers who have worked with indigenous populations have probably noticed that with contact and acculturation, one of the first things to weaken is the authority of the older generation over the sexual behavior of the younger. Because of the dramatic history of the Waorani and the ethnographic attention they have received, this case is particularly well documented and instructive.
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