Other Cross Sex Relationships

The importance of brother-sister ties has been discussed in the previous sections on "Cultural Overview" and "Husband-Wife Relationship." While more information is needed in this regard, some feelings of reserve and shyness between adult sisters and brothers, and between various in-laws of opposite sex, probably limit the frequency of contact and work between such individuals (D. M. Smith, 1982, pp. 20-25). On the other hand, avoidance behaviors, as between mother-in-law and son-in-law, appear to be neither as formalized nor as stringent as among some Athapaskan peoples of the Yukon and Alaska. Themes in Chipewyan folklore suggest that strong feelings of self-sufficiency and dependency create a fundamental tension in personality which applies to both men and women (Cohen & VanStone, 1963). Interethnic lore and imagery portray the Chipewyan as more reserved, but also more provident and enterprising, than their Cree neighbors, but again there is no apparent variability by gender (Brumbach & Jarvenpa, 1989).

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