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Marriage Times Three

In Hong Kong the other day I saw an exhibition of photographs taken by Sebastian Salgado. Some of them were photographs of women in the Zo’e tribe in Brazil.

Reading about them reminded me a time when I worked at SLAC in one of the summers of either 1975 or 1977. There was no internet and you couldn’t get the New York Times locally, except on Sundays when it came in by air at about 2 pm. I used to read what was probably the San Francisco Chronicle, and one day there was a column on male-female relations by one of their humorists (it might have been Herb Caen, but I’ve never succeeded in finding the column or a reference to it on the internet). Taking account of apparently increasing promiscuity, he suggested that society change to legalized serial monogamy according to the following ingenious scheme:

  1. Men of age 20 marry women of age 40. Women of age 20 marry men of age 40.


  2. Twenty years later they are forced to divorce. Then:

    Men of age 40 marry women of age 20. Women of age 40 marry men of age 20.


  3. Twenty years later they are again forced to divorce. Then:

    Men of age 60 marry women of age 60 and vice versa, for the remainder of their time on earth.

Something vaguely like step 1 above is apparently what the the Zo’e do.

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