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Each island has its own chief, called a Sahila, who is elected for life. There are positions of elders who assist the chief in governing matters. In the past, young people did not choose their own partners. A girl's father and mother chose a young man, based on his ability to work, and made arrangements for the marriage, usually without the knowledge of either young person. Today young people usually choose their own partners. Couples may "marry in the hammock"—a short ritual that is considered the "traditional" form of marriage.