Leadership in Public Arenas

There were no ascribed leadership statuses in this small society; men (and only men) became leaders as a result of their own actions (see above). These men were strong, aggressive, and feared. Polygyny played a critical role in the achievement of leadership status: multiple wives meant more gardens, especially tobacco gardens for inter-group trade, and multiple wives meant multiple affines with whom exchanges could occur. There were two such leaders in the village of Kinakatem in the early 1930s, one of whom had eight living wives, the other nine.

Although women did not occupy the status of "big man," they were not necessarily quiet and unobtrusive. When matters pertained to them, such as their own marriage arrangements (see "Courtship and Marriage") or an extended period of warfare that went on too long, they were heard and often achieved their desired ends.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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