Parental and Other Caretaker Roles

Parents are the mother(s) and social fathers (i.e., legal husband of the mother) of any given child. In the past, no child would have been born to an unwed mother, and a genitor not also the pater had no parental rights or responsibilities, but these customs are now changing. Nurturance is a major Mardu value and children are cherished. An infant is the center of attention and has all its wants satisfied by a range of close kin, so the social parents, including cowives, are not the exclusive child-rearers. As mentioned above, grandparents are among the kin most heavily involved in nurturant and instructional activities. Men keep away from the birthplace (today, this is usually a hospital), which is a female domain, but once the child is brought into the camp they involve themselves in parenting and show a great deal of love and affection towards their offspring. Clearly, infants and children spend more time in the care and company of mothers and other women and children, but men play caring and nurturing roles. Gender-based differentiation is not apparent in adult behavior toward boys and girls.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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