Husband Wife Relationship

Husbands and wives sleep together on a skin on the ground close to a hearth with their young children. Once a child is about 12, he or she may begin sleeping with other similar-aged same-sex groups. Husbands and wives show no outward signs of affection, no hugging or kissing, but they say that they feel love for each other. When they sit together they often talk at length.

Women never go anywhere out of camp alone, except to relieve themselves. They are either with other women, or with a brother, father, or husband. This is probably less because there is any danger of being raped by a Hadza than being raped by a non-Hadza, or even captured and taken off. It may also be partly simply because without bows and arrows, women would be vulnerable to predators. At least when they are in a group and have their digging sticks, they can cooperate to defend themselves.

Women often do not know exactly when they have reached menopause since they are nursing their last child and so would not be menstruating anyway. After a woman is a few years beyond menopause, her husband may leave her for a younger woman. A very low percentage of women over 60 have husbands and some of them express bitterness that their husbands have left them. However, most postmenopausal women appear to embrace wholeheartedly their role as an important provider of food and care to their grandchildren.

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