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Dolgan family and marriage

The Dolgans always revered having many children for happiness, childlessness, on the contrary, was considered a great misfortune, and for the most part the man was blamed for this.

As the birth approached, the shaman was asked to conduct a special ceremony – kamlat’, and a separate pole or sledge tent was installed for the woman in labor. Before going to the special tent, the woman in labor said goodbye to everyone verbally, without holding out her hands. The woman gave birth, standing, holding on to a pole, tied horizontally at one end to the pole of the tent frame, the other to a pillar set in the middle of the tent. The only food product for Dolgan children is mother's milk. Children are breastfed for up to four to five years.

With the appearance of the first child, the parents were called as a sign of special respect "the father or mother of someone". The Dolgans treated all children, regardless of gender, very kindly. Children were punished very rarely. They tried to protect the child until adulthood by all kinds of means. It was forbidden to lean on the child's head, fearing that he would stop growing, it was forbidden to raise the child above his head, considering it a sin.

Childhood (according to the Dolgans) ends early. 8-9 year old children are considered adults, have their own deer. Girls at the age of 10-12 help with the housework, prepare food and make clothes their parents.

Dolgan children have always treated their parents with great respect; the teenagers came up to them for blessing every day after morning and evening prayers. If children refused to help elderly parents, which was rare, the court of elders ordered them to do so. It was customary to marry children (or give in marriage) by seniority, so that, by separating the older children, thereby remove them from the right of inheritance. Then, after the death of their father, they will not prevent the younger brothers from receiving their inheritance.

Dolgans get married early. Marriages among relatives among Dolgans were usually allowed only in the fourth generation on the maternal or paternal side. Marriages between adoptive brothers and sisters were prohibited, since the sibling and adoptive father were considered relatives.

A young man sends a woman (suorumju) to a girl he likes. The matchmaker must necessarily be an elderly and respected person, lively in words, patient. There were few such matchmakers, they were known in every way.

Upon obtaining consent, business negotiations began regarding the kalym. On the day of wedding, tents of the fiancé’s and the bride's fathers were set near to each other. At each tent, from 1 to 5 deer were killed to treat the assembled guests.

Husband and wife say to each other "E, duo" ("Hey, friend"). Dolgans get divorced very rarely.

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