Home Discussion Forum Is a wedding solemnized by a shaman considered legal?

Is a wedding solemnized by a shaman considered legal?

Supposing you and your beau are vacationing in the Amazon jungles and you decided to get married and have asked a shaman to do the rites. Would the union be considered legal? Does the shaman have the authority to wed couples?


  1. Marriages in other countries (and even other states) do not have to be recognized by any foreign nation, though they usually are. Whether or not the marriage would be recognized by the US depends on if the marriage was performed legally abroad, so if you married in the Amazon, for the sake of argument, let’s say Brazil, and that marriage was legal in Brazil, than the US Government would likely recognize that marriage unless there was an extreme circumstance in which fraud or abuse was suspected. A noteable exception is same sex marriage or civil union, which is recognized only by a select number of US states and not by the federal government. In that case, you would need to check your state laws and possibly contact the clerk at your circuit court to find out if the state would recognize the marriage, and even if they did it would not be recognized by other states or for the purpose of federal taxes. I don’t think this is an issue with the Amazon since I don’t think those countries recognize same sex marriage either, so it would not meet the legal in country performed requirement.

  2. i’m not sure, but even if it isn’t officially recognized, go through with the ceremony…then when you get back home get a marriage certificate at your county courthouse.
    you don’t need a priest to get married, you just need a judge to sign your marriage license.

  3. are you talking about the rocker of the white stripes and his supermodel British girl? Well they did it and I assume its legal. Maybe they had to sign papers when they got home or something. But if the shaman is ordained to marry people, and in the Amazon I am sure he is, then its legal. But I am sure they had to sign a license or something when they got home to make it a true contract honored in the home country..

  4. The ceremony can be done by a hobo on the street IF you get the paperwork filled out at City Hall first.
    The paperwork (by my understanding) is the actual marriage. The ceremony is all religious ceremony.
    Now, I don’t know if you can get the paperwork done in a foreign country, but, I imagine, the American Consulate might be able to help you there IF you are both US citizens.

  5. The legal definition of “register” is to “give up ownership to another entity”. The legal definition of “apply” means “to beg”. The legal definition of “license” is to obtain government approval for something that would otherwise be illegal. Therefore when you “register” your marriage with the state and “apply” for a “marriage license” you are begging the states permission to marry your spouse then giving up ownership of yourself and spouse to the state. So essentially a marriage license marries you to the state, not to each other.
    You are a free flesh and blood human being. You don’t need anyone’s permission to get married.
    Great move getting married by a shaman though. My fiance and I are doing the same thing :). No marriage license or any of that non-sense. The state needs to stay OUT of our business.

  6. Got high in desert of AZ in the 70’s a shaman married us paid $25. She left shortly after. Am I legally still married to her? How can I find out?


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