Samoan dating customs
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This is called " the money to break the post near the door (used to take hold of in going in and out of the house), to finish her going in and out of the old home." This payment is made to the bride's female relations, who take her by the hand and give her up.The act of giving away the bride is rather curious ; she is lifted off the ground and carried out of the house on the back of one of the women, who delivers her to the bridegroom's father.
It is a painful process, but she suffers without a murmur, for all primitive races train up their young people to bear pain silently.The father seeks a bride for his son with-out telling him.Some time elapses before the boy is told that a girl is engaged for him.Proposals follow before long, and her friends who have subscribed towards the expense of tattooing look forward to repayment when she is married.The higher her rank, the more her parents demand of the suitor ; consequently, needy young men often have to wait a long time for a wife.His parents do not say who it is, but only warn him that he must not go near a certain housefor it is not allowed for betrothed ones to meet.
This is equivalent to informing him that his fiancee lives there.
So skilful is the youths' practice that they can safely send arrows whizzing past the ears of a guest, over his head, between his legs, or even through his hair !
These delicate attentions, however, become a positive nuisance ; and after many forcible expressions of disgust, the men gladly purchase immunity by paying ransom.
At Saa, in the large neighbouring island of Malanta, when children have been betrothed, the little girl, bringing food with her, comes on a visit to the home of her future father-in-law.
In this way the young people get to know each other, for they have frequent opportunities of playing and conversing together.
IN the Solomon Isles (Melanesia), a girl is not sought in marriage until her charms have been enhanced by the tattooer's art.