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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Die gewohnheitsrechtliche Praktik der Leviratsehe in Kenia und Uganda
Author:Scheibinger, Lena
Periodical:Recht in Afrika = Law in Africa = Droit en Afrique (ISSN 2363-6270)
Geographic terms:Kenya
External link:https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/index.php?doi=10.5771/2363-6270-2019-2-175
Abstract:The practice of levirate marriage describes cases where, under the customary conception of marriage, a male relative of the deceased husband 'inherits' or 'takes over' his widow. Based on the concept of legal pluralism, the paper analyses different notions of marriage in customary law and statutory law. Within this legal framework the collective character of marriage under customary law and the assumption that the alliance entered by two kin groups is not dissolved by the death of one spouse function as central preliminaries for the levirate marriage. Even though the levirate shows a large number of variables, all these arrangements were initially created as a support system for the widow and her children. Furthermore, it allowed the perpetuation of the lineage and the maintenance of the alliance between two families. By referring to case studies from various ethnic groups in Kenya and Uganda the paper discusses current developments of and challenges for this complex practice that constitutes a field of multiple negotiations especially in its legal-pluralistic context.