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Chapter Summary

Han people referred to matchmakers as 'gods of marriage'. After the Republic of China was constituted in 1911, some wealthy Kam people started to follow the customs of the neighbouring Han and invite a respected middle-aged woman to act as an intermediary in the whole matter of arranging a marriage. Only then did matchmakers appear in Xiangye. Parents of a boy were always on the lookout for a suitable spouse. An eligible candidate was usually about the same age as their son, from a family with a different surname but from similar economic circumstances. After the mother and father had agreed on such a girl, they asked a matchmaker to go and make arrangements. If the young woman opposed the engagement, she expressed her disapproval by appearing with dishevelled hair and dirty face, and directly confronting her parents and the matchmaker.

Keywords: engagement; marriage; matchmakers; Xiangye



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