Sex ratios are slightly skewed in favor of men in the marriageable age groups, but the practice of fraternal polyandry creates an artificial surplus of eligible women. While the importance of women as laborers is characteristic of both, the principles, norms and values which govern marriage, family structure and, by extension, the composition of the productive unit centered in the domestic group, are quite different among Hindus than among Chumikwa. Chumik's unusual marriage patterns cannot be understood without taking into account the system of socioeconomic stratification. Without taking into account social stratification as it affects access to property, labor, marriage and legitimate reproduction, the relationship between fraternal polyandry and widespread nonmarriage appears to be merely a demographic one. In conclusion, Tibetan marriage customs are not a manifestation of women's high status.