Parental and Other Caretaker Roles

During infancy, mothers are generally attentive to their infants, but also take them on extensive hunting trips that stress both mother and child. Nomadism was such a necessary part of Yuqui survival prior to contact that trekking on a daily basis was a normal part of an infant's life. Carried snugly in a baby sling made of imbai, an infant traveled quite comfortably and could suckle at will. During rest periods or at night when the group camped, infants slept in the hammock between both parents. The child would also be passed among both male and female relatives, and would be scrutinized for injuries or abrasions. The mother or another female relative would use these occasions to pluck brow hairs to make the infant, male or female, "pretty."

Both men and women take care of children. Men may be seen with small children in their hammocks playing with them or watching them while the woman prepares a meal or is engaged in some other activity. Once children are considered self-sufficient, usually by the age of about 4 they are shown little attention or affection by either parent, particularly if another child has been born who now occupies the mother's time and interest. From the Yuqui perspective, the act of giving food to young children is a show of kindness and affection.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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