Gender Roles in Economics

Although women and men shared the same ethos, they did not share the same economic obligations, and there was a significant sexual division of labor here. The unusually rich resources of the area allowed women to do most of the subsistence labor while men, responsible for warfare and defense, engaged in planning or executing raids and battles. Men also cleared the land for gardens, cut down sago palms for processing, grew the ceremonially important long yam, built houses, and hunted. Women planted, tended, and harvested the gardens, including the all-important tobacco gardens that yielded the important trade item. Women did most of the fishing, which provided the regular intake of protein. Women were also in charge of childcare, cooking, and household chores (including the relatively onerous task of firewood acquisition). Both men and women made items of material culture, but men were in charge of the construction of ceremonial and ritual items, and both gathered wild products such as greens and eggs (bush fowl and crocodile). Just after pacification, men's energies in warfare were being replaced by indentured labor on coastal plantations.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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