Parental and Other Caretaker Roles

Fathers and mothers are generally concerned about their children and care for them lovingly. Mothers are more important in the first few years, as are grandmothers who take significant decisions when the mother herself is young. Children are reared in close contact with the mother and babysitters. When men are at home they spend much time playing with their little children, as do other members of the extended family. Grandmothers often care for the previous child when a younger sibling is born. Sometimes an older wife of the child's father or an aunt looks after the infant.

Beliefs about conception are essential for the definition of the genitor's role. Children are thought to be conceived during several sexual acts. Thus several fathers can be considered to have cooperated in the creation of a child. As long as the potential fathers are brothers and/or cohusbands they are all considered as fathers. If the men who are thought to have collaborated in the creation of a child are not closely related, the baby might be considered to be "disturbed" or "confused". This could be a reason for infanticide.

Fathers do not play an important role in educating their children. The mother's brother, who is also the ideal father-in-law, has much more authority. Children of both sexes are thought to be closely attached to their mothers throughout life.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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