|East African village|
Alice C. Linsley
Similarly, young men celebrate their approaching manhood by building a small hut next to their father's hut until they take a wife, at which time they build a larger hut.
The mother's house is where women gather to plan weddings and ceremonies for the girls. The father's house is where the elders of the village gather to deliberate. Sometimes marriages are arranged here, but the women are the ones who make the actually arrangements for weddings and the setting up of a new household.
This practice of hut or house building is alluded to in the book of Ruth where Naomi tells her daughters-in-law to return to their "mother's house" so that they can prepare to remarry. Contrast this to the story of Judah and Tamar (Gen. 38). Judah's sons who were married to Tamar die one after the other. He refuses to fulfill the levarite marriage law, fearing that he might lose another son. Judah tells Tamar to return to her "father's house" which is to say, "You will remain a widow and childless."