In view of the interconnectedness of values and their merger in the institution of family, the legal issues involved permeate the social process. This section delineates the discussion of family law to a few categories: marriage, divorce, legitimacy of children, and oﬀenses aﬀecting family integrity. This is one of the areas in which the stratiﬁcations of gender and age are most pronounced.
From what has been said about procreational continuity as a fundamental goal of Dinka society, the importance of marriage will be self-evident. “In Dinka society, continuity of the lineage of the person is not only of primary importance, it is also sacred … in the sense that it is fulﬁllment of the Will of God that the lineage of a person, whether male or female, is not allowed to become extinct.”1 To marry not only fulﬁlls an individual objective, but also discharges a social duty to the agnatic kin group. Since continuity through procreation involves the whole lineage, marriage is not simply a union of a man and a woman, but an alliance between their respective bodies of kin. This transforms the personal desire for marriage into a social obligation. Central to this system is the principle of perpetual identity and inﬂuence as expressed in procreation.