Gender Related Social Groups

Men have some advantages in gender relations because of patrilocal residence, patrilineal land inheritance, and the age difference between husband and wife. The domestic group is frequently a patrilocal and patrilineally extended family household consisting of blood-related men—the father and his sons—and affinally related women—the mother and mother-in-law. Approximately 80% of the married couples live patrilocally for a while in the same house or in adjacent houses on the same plot. Nahua parents exert considerable pressure on their sons to remain in or near the parental family after marriage so that fathers, sons, and brothers may continue to work for the same thing (ce cosa tequitih). Consequently, a bride begins her marital years working under the authority of her mother-in-law, and their relationship is often troubled.

It is difficult to know for sure if mother and daughter-in-law tensions develop entirely from the afinally related women or if women express the conflicts among blood-related men. Tensions among father, son, and brothers can be quite high, particularly if the father shows favoritism and one brother believes he is carrying the workload of the other men and women in the extended family. There is some evidence of favoritism to the youngest son or daughter who inherits the house in Tlaxcala and elsewhere (Robichaux, 1997). The Nahua refer to the youngest child as "the spoiled one" (xocoyote or taxocoyot). Nevertheless, conflict between mother and daughter-in-law does occur, and the Nahua handle it by dividing the kitchen so that the two women can work independently. Dividing the kitchen may occur before the men decide to fill separate granaries and purses.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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