The following are the recognized system (types) of marriage:
1. DA:RO MIDANG :- this is form of marriage is settled by the parents or guardians according to social system.
2. DUGLA LA:NAM:- this is a form of marriage by elopement at the consent of the bride.
3. KUMNA SOLA LA:NAM:- this is also a types of settled marriage, but the performance is not gorgeously done. It is performed only after receiving consent from both the parents or guardians of the bride and bridegroom.
LAWS OF MARRIAGE
Marriage by negotiation is the prevailing practice although marriage by capture is also present. But such a marriage is to be regularized sooner or later.
Child marriage is absolutely contraindicated among them. From the view point of marriage the follow monogamy. But there is no bar to polygamy. Hence is not treated as a break of marriage rules, provided can afford to maintain such a big family. According to their convenience, the other wives can live in the same house or in a separate house. The following criteria are in marriage.
1. Marriage of any kind is strictly prohibited within the same clan or families because they are thought to be originated from the same ‘GUMVN SO:YIN (forefathers). In the same way marriage is usually contraindicated within the sub-clan as seen in mising society.
2. The offspring of a mother with that of her own or closely related sisters are regarded as brothers and sisters. Hence marriage is contraindicated.
3. Intercaste marriage is not advocated though not totally absent. But this marriage is subjected to purification ceremony and approval from society.
4. Marriage of a woman without prior divorce is contraindicated.
1. Usually, a bride must attain atleast 18 years of age and bridegroom must be at least 20 years in age.
2. Marriageable girl from a ‘MITUR’ (From favorable condition)family can be offered to a marriageable boy.
3. Widow re-marriage is advocated. She can marry with an unmarried youth, a married man or a widower.
4. Polygamy is prevalent but polyandry is an absolute contraindication or totally absent.
5. Father is the guardian of marriage. In his absence his sons, in order of age are entitled to act as guardian in marriage of younger brothers and sisters.
6. In absence of father and son, paternal uncle and his sons are authorized to act as guardian.
7. Once a girl is married, she belongs to her husband’s family and the children born of their marriage, in all cases, bear the surname of their father.
PERFORMANCE OF DA:RO MIDANG:
The parents or guardians of a marriageable bachelor, at first send the proposal to the bride’s family on a day fixed already for the purpose. This is known a ‘YAMNC TADNAM’. Sometimes, the proposal come from the bride’s family side, directly or indirectly, and then in may be conveyed through some of their family members or close relatives. After the confirmation of the date and time, which may be many month later according to their convenience, the respective family convene the ‘DO:LUNG KCBANG’ and “MVMBVR YA:MC” for co-coordinated performance of the formal marriage “MIDANG”. The actual marriage is performed in traditional way with some modification of hindu culture. The BHOKOTS, the elder members of the village usually take the upper hand in the ceremony. Finally, the bride is offered by the father or guardian and is taken away on the same day to the grooms place.
The ancient system of ‘MAGBO DUGNAM’ the perspective bride-groom stays and renders manual labour in the would-be father-in-laws house for one or two years which may be extended to more in some families. Marriage is granted only after the probationary period and that also depends upon the satisfaction of the guardian. The impact of education has brought many alternations in the social life of the misings. It is an example of such and absolute system.
The ancient system of “MAGBO DUGNAM” has almost abandoned in the Mising society. Bride price known as “ALVG LA:NAM’ is prevalent in Mising Society. There is no fixed bride price. It may vary according to the status of the grooms family. Formerly, it was paid in terms of goods and animals. At present, don’t insist on the payment of the bride price. It is now seen only in “DUGLA LA:NAM” system.
“GANDHARVA” system of marriage is the widely prevalent form in the Mising society where the couple should be from the families of acceptable of marriage laid down by laws requiring social approval later. The formal marriage system “MIDANG” requires long drawn formalities and huge amount of expenditure. DUGLA LA:NAM is the outcome of love at first when they apprehend doubt about their parents consent to the formal marriage. The socio-culture occasions provide ample scope to the youth to develop love at first sight or meeting.
This is a love marriage in which the lover takes away his beloved in a stipulated night. Next morning, the lover’s relative approach the girl’s parents and if terms and conditions laid by the parents of the girl are agreeable to the parents of the boy then the parents of the girl give consent to the marriage.
It has been observed that divorce occurs seldom in Mising society. It occurs under some special circumstances. The initiation process may be unilateral from either side. Ultimately, it requires approval from the ‘DO:LUNG KCBANG’
The following conditions are considered valid and responsible for divorce.
1. if both husband and wife are mutually willing to end their marital connection. Then the ‘Do:lung Kcbang’ can give approval for divorce. No question of compensation arises in this regard.
2. if husband can not affords maintenance then the wife can leave him or divorce him.
3. if husband marries more than one wife then one of the wives may leave her husband.
4. if husband is indifferent to wife and of loose character, wife can divorce him.
5. if wife is disobedient, dishonest and unfaithful as well as licentious and if she does anything that may bad to physical or mental injury of husband, divorce from husband’s side is considered legal and reasonable.
As mentioned earlier, the matter of divorce should be brought to the notice of DO:LUNG KCBANG. No written documents are needed for the divorce.