The Status of the Mongolian Bride
(55th Meeting, 2012)
According to the Mongolian tradition of patrilocal residence, the bride is supposed to leave her father’s camp after the wedding ceremony and start living in the in-laws camp. In the new clan she enters by marriage, she has two essential tasks. The first and the most important is that of contributing to the perpetuation of her husband’s lineage and the second is her working force given to the new family. The wedding itself has to follow a long and complex ritual. A part of the ritual is dedicated to the bride and preparation for her new status. First of all the in-laws are using all the means in order to chase the spirits belonging to her own clan and accompanying her to the groom’s father’s camp. She is supposed to be purified by the fire before she enters in the yurt of her new family. This ritual is meant to purify her from the influence of her ancestral divinities and to introduce her under the influence of the ancestral divinities of the new family. The prostration in front of the fire when the bride enters for the first time in the yurt of her in-laws, marks the start of a great number of taboos and constraints she will have to observe henceforth.