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Mangaian Society

The Household

The Household

The household of a patrilocal family enjoying social status and affluence in food lands might include adopted children, sons' children, and collateral as well as lineal descendants. Members comprising three and even four generations might be present. Retainers and subjugated people who sought protection might further increase the household of a chief. The one dwelling might be increased to two or more, all served by a common cooking house. The composite household of an influential chief spread out into a group of houses which, though forming a center, did not develop into a village. The family and their menials developed the food lands and obtained food from the sea. Through it all, the authority of the head of the household was supreme. As the father of the first family grew old, he relinquished his authority to his eldest son. Matters of family interest were discussed and decisions arrived at.