Parental and Other Caretaker Roles

Both fathers and mothers played a significant role in parenting, as did other extended family members including grandparents of both sexes, siblings of grandparents, and siblings of the parents (i.e., aunts and uncles). There were no differences in child-rearing strategies between the sexes, except for those related to teaching children traditional male activities associated with hunting and raiding, and traditional female activities associated with gardening and cooking. Children were not usually disciplined in any way, and were free to do as they chose. Family members spent much of their free time together except when the men were away hunting or raiding. Young children accompanied their mothers to gardens and to the river to wash clothes and dishes or to fish. Older children spent much time playing in groups. Affection was lavished on children of both sexes by both male and female family members. These patterns of child-rearing remain largely unchanged today, although most children now attend school at least through the sixth grade and thus spend considerably less time with their elders. The secondary school is located in the largest Waorani community, Tonapadi, and children from other communities wishing to attend must board in this community. The modern necessity for schooling and literacy is eroding the traditional way of life by limiting the time Wao children spend with their elders learning traditional subsistence activities (Rival, 1996).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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