Husband Wife Relationship

Although generally dominated by Yuqui males, Yuqui women have always had a great deal of control over their own lives and sexuality. Women exercise control over men by witholding sex, the threat of killing male children at birth, humiliating the spouse in public, refusing to prepare meals, or by untying the hammock cord so that the man falls on the ground when he tries to rest. Women also will abandon the conjugal hammock and begin living with another man if the husband fails to provide adequately for her and her children, or mistreats her often. The missionaries have attempted to instill in Yuquímen the idea that the man should be the head of the household, maintaining control over his wife and children at all times. In reality, this attempt to influence Yuqui marital behavior has had only limited success.

It is also common for women, just as men, to initiate extramarital relationships and engage in physical fighting with their husbands if these relationships become troublesome. Spouses may also temporarily swap partners as noted above, and if done with the consent of all, is seldom cause for comment by anyone. It is also Yuquícustom for a man to have sex with his sister's daughter the night before she marries. Although the Yuquíhave curtailed some of what is viewed by the missionaries as promiscuous sexual behavior, they have mostly learned to be more circumspect in exhibiting or discussing their sexual activities in front of outsiders. However, when illicit sexual behavior, now also defined in terms of missionary moral codes, is observed or discovered, it is still likely to cause upheaval in the group and occasion days of arguments, recriminations, silence between partners, and other reactions that create turmoil that may escalate into violence.

In the day-to-day relationships between spouses, men are expected to spend much of their time procuring food in the forest or fishing in the river. A woman may decide to accompany her spouse into the forest to assist with the hunt and help to transport larger animals back to camp. She also makes these trips in order to engage in sex with her husband, eat fresh-killed animals before they are subject to being shared, and to be certain that other women are not trying to seduce her husband while he is in the forest.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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