Relative Status of Men and Women

This is a sexually egalitarian culture. Women are more highly valued than men—ideologically as the source of life, and practically for their centrality in the clan and household (see above). Men are responsible for conducting most of the ceremonies, which they view as protecting the village, primarily the women and children. Men also take responsibility for political decisions, but, as we have seen, women are a major power behind the scenes. Nevertheless, women depend on men to fulfill these responsibilities. They also depend on men in a more immediate sense, to farm and provide clothing and other goods for them. Just as men's power is checked by their reliance on wives and sisters, so is women's power checked by their reliance on husbands and brothers. A favorite Hopi expression is pi um'i, meaning "it's up to you." No one should try to control another person, and this applies to relations between women and men as well.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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