sororate

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Latin soror (sister).

Noun[edit]

sororate (usually uncountable, plural sororates)

  1. The custom of the marriage of a man to the sister of his wife, usually after the wife has died.
    • 1967, Han-chi Fêng, The Chinese Kinship System, page 46,
      The sororate was operative during the feudal period, at least among the feudal lords.
    • 2007, Leslie A. White, The Evolution of Culture: The Development of Civilization to the Fall of Rome, page 99,
      The sororate is frequently associated with the custom of bride price; if the husband′s kindred have “bought” a wife for him and she dies, her family or kindred are obligated to replace her. The institutions of levirate and sororate are very widespread in primitive society, and in many instances a tribe will observe both customs.
    • 2010, William A. Haviland, Harald E. L. Prins, Bunny McBride, Dana Walrath, Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge, page 219,
      A related marriage tradition is the sororate (Latin soror means “sister”), in which a man has the right to marry a (usually younger) sister of his deceased wife. In some societies, the sororate also applies to a man who has married a woman who is unable to bear children.
  2. A marriage according to this custom.
    • 1972, Donald Olen Cowgill, Lowell Don Holmes. Aging and Modernization, page 54,
      Sororates had a similar effect of providing for the survivors of a deceased.
    • 1977, P. R. G. Mathur, Tribal Situation in Kerala, page 56,
      Marriage within the same clan is prohibited. However, levirates and sororates are prevalent among the Kurumbas. Widow marriage is permitted.
    • 2002, Kumar Suresh Singh, People of India, Volume 27, Part 3, page 1549,
      Junior sororates are allowed. Age at marriage for males is between 20 and 22 years and for girls two to four years after puberty.

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