For roughly seven hundred years this custom determined the means by which marriages were fixed in rural Ibiza and it constitutes one of the most interesting aspects of island culture. In Ibiza, as in all societies, both past and present, the mating instinct was diverted into a systematic set of norms meant to safeguard the family unit and provide social cohesion. Rather miraculously, Ibiza developed a method of courtship, which was as practical as it was wise.
At the risk of employing an anachronism, it could almost be defined as progressive. For, beyond all expectation, Ibiza possessed a betrothal process which also tried to ensure the happiness of the marriage constituents. A complex set of rules and recourses (today we would call them loopholes) guided the transactions so that, within a standard framework, there was still enough leeway to allow for the unpredictability of human emotion.
Women, especially, were granted a very privileged position in the scheme of things and the law frequently intervened on their behalf, in matters ranging from coercion by an overly zealous beau to the breaking of an engagement vow. The law even defended young women in cases of excessive parental pressure to marry a particular spouse.
Click here for the full article: Traditions of Ibiza – Es Festeig: Courtship in Ibiza
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