The most common method of contracting a marriage was by working for the wife. Under this custom, the groom had to work from 2-3 months to three years in the family of his future father-in-law, taking part in tending reindeer and other tasks. After the expiration of the work period, the groom performed the so-called ceremony of “catching the bride": the bride ran about in the house, and the groom had to catch her, tear her clothing, and touch her bare body. The bride’s relative’s present at the ceremony tried to hinder this in every way, beat the groom with twigs, bushed him away, and so on.

  • Source: Antropova, V. V. “The Koryaks” in The Peoples of Siberia, edited by M.G. Levin and L.P. Potapov, pp. 851-875. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964.
  • Culture: Koryaks
  • Location: Asia