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Why do Chukchi and Eskimos invite guests to spend the night with their spouses?

The traditions of some peoples may seem strange. But if you dig deeper and understand why this is happening, everything falls into place. Many have heard that among the Chukchi and Eskimos it is customary to invite a guest to spend the night with his wife. We have previously written about strange traditions that still exist in different countries. Now we will tell you why some nations rent out their wives.


A frame from the movie “Myna”

Surviving in the Arctic climate requires not only skill but also discipline. Many life principles are reflected in the epics and lifestyles of the northern peoples. The Eskimos have a legend that if a person meets an immortal old woman after death, she asks him about his children. If the deceased has children, he is allowed to meet with his ancestors, otherwise the old woman’s spirit will drown the childless Eskimo in a bottomless lake.

And although this is just a myth, in reality there are other reasons why northern peoples are particularly sensitive about childbirth. The truth is that numbers are important for the survival of the tribe, but due to the cold, women have very short fertility periods. Therefore, they marry early and try to give birth to the maximum number of children so that the family lineage is not interrupted.

For this reason, men who cannot have children and fathers who only have daughters encourage their wives to have sexual intercourse with other men. It is believed that this thins the tribe’s blood, making the offspring healthy. Whatever one may say, the Eskimos and Chukchi realized long ago that mixing of blood with relatives leads to degeneration. In a settlement, everyone is usually related by blood. Hence the unspoken law of hospitality. After all, the guest is the carrier of other genes that will make his family healthier. Therefore, even refusing to “thin the blood” can be uncomfortable.

A frame from the movie “Shadow of the Wolf”

There is no concept of “marital fidelity” among the Chukchi and Eskimos. They associate jealousy with possessiveness and sharing is necessary to grow. If a man is barren, he does not take it out on his wife, but only invites her to have a child with her brother or a stranger. In addition, the head of the family has to leave for long periods of time to hunt and fish. His wife was allowed to have lovers so that she would not be lonely. He received special awards for the birth of his child. Moreover, children born to a foreigner are automatically considered family members and even receive the “stepfather’s” inheritance.

A frame from the movie “Myna”

By the way, other nations follow a similar tradition. For example, the Koryaks living in Kamchatka widely celebrate an event such as the birth of a child to a stranger. Australian Arunta natives live in isolation, so they also encourage blood mixing with guests to “strengthen the gene pool”.

In the mountains of Tibet, there is even polyandry (a type of polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband – Ed.), so the woman chooses her lovers herself, and her husbands have no right to oppose her decision: they take responsibility for themselves. raising their children. It is believed that a woman who does not know men before marriage is not suitable for family life. The presence of a woman’s lovers indicates her demand. Tibetans also believe that being sexually attracted to someone is the will of the gods. This tradition originated in Tibet due to gender imbalance; There are few women here, so men are forced to fight for their sake.

Source: People Talk

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