This monograph consists of three papers on Bhutanese marriage customs. All these papers were based on oral sources. I have tried to maintain the structure of papers to best convey the ideas as expressed to me by the respondents.
A paper on sergamathang kothkin gives an account of cross cousin marriages prevalent in eastern Bhutan. One’s sergamathang (female cross cousin) is conceptually regarded equal to gold. It is considered a privilege to marry one’s female cousin. However, with new ideas of love and romance, new legal concepts and medical reasons, this custom is slowly declining.
A paper on ngenzhung describes a marriage custom of lower kheng in Zhemgang. A wedding ceremony is long and complicated. It involves lot of sacrifices for a groom and his family. The groom has to contribute three years labour service to his bride’s household. During his three years trial, his in- laws assess his intention, integrity and capability. It requires for the groom’s parents to supply plenty of drinks and meats for a wedding banquets.
A paper on jomongengi is an account of a wedding ceremony in Merak and Saketeng. Marriages take place between cross cousins (tsho-khruma) or someone outside one’s kinship group (ngenlam gorma). This tradition was believed to have come down from Ama Jomo. A wedding ceremony is extensive and last for more than three days.