Puberty and Adolescence

Transition to adolescence is not officially or ritually marked in Aymara communities, but there are new terms for the stage: waynito (teen boy) and tawako (teen girl). Children's work changes into adult gendered tasks with responsibility increasing by age until a person in the late teens is doing all the work of an adult. Adolescents drop the games of childhood and associate more with young people of their own genders. They also begin to attend fiestas splendidly dressed in adult-style clothing. Young people begin to look at each other from afar with laughter and flirtatious looks.

During adolescence, boys often accompany their fathers or other male relatives to seek temporary wagelabor jobs. They may be apprenticed in town to learn a trade such as baking, pottery-making, or bricklaying. Girls may also leave home with a female relative or fictive kin (but usually not their mothers who stay at home) to work or to be engaged as a maid with a family in town. These absences may become permanent out-migrations, but usually begin as temporary.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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