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Author: Janice Stockard

This book describes an extraordinary traditional marriage system, 'delayed transfer marriage', that is virtually unknown in the ethnographic literature on Chinese Society, though it was widely established in the Canton Delta. In striking contrast to the orthodox Confucian form of marriage, brides in delayed transfer marriages were required to separate from their husband shortly after marriage and return to live with their parents for at least three more years. During this customary period of separation, brides were expected to visit their husband on several festival occasions each year. Idelly, brides became pregnant about three years after marriage and then settled in the husband's home. The area in which delayed transfer marriage was the customary and dominant form of marriage encompassed the rich silk-producing district of the Canton Delta as well as adjacent rice-producing areas. The book analyzes the effect of economic change on the practice of delayed transfer marriage in the silk district.

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