Ghost marriage

For ghost marriages in China, see Chinese ghost marriage.

In Sudan, a ghost marriage is a marriage where a deceased groom is replaced by his brother. The brother serves as a stand in to the bride, and any resulting children are considered children of the deceased spouse. This unusual type of marriage is nearly exclusive to the Nuer tribe of Southern Sudan, although instances of such marriages have also occurred in France.

Nuer women do not only marry deceased men to continue bloodline. In accordance to Nuer tradition, any wealth owned by the women becomes property of the man after the marriage. Thus, a wealthy women may marry a deceased man to retain her wealth, instead of giving it up after marrying. Interestingly, among the Nuer, a ghost marriage is nearly as common as a marriage to a live man.

See also


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