Relative Status of Men and Women

Men control all aspects of life on the island. While hierarchical status differences give some men more control than others, all have a say in household management and political affairs in adulthood. When the Solomons attained independence from Britain, universal suffrage was introduced, but the men of Tikopia refused to let the women vote on the grounds that matters to do with the outside world were purely male concerns. Equally, the women showed no interest in voting and conceded that it was a male affair. Women are to a degree infantilized by having no area in which they have sole control. This is evident in women's speech which is very concrete, dealing with the everyday, while men's speech is considerably more analytical, allusive, and metaphorical.

Men and women work equally in the gardens; women produce mats and men rope and wooden bowls which are used in gift exchanges. Women have little say in the exchanges. No surpluses as such are produced on the island and there is no access to money unless people leave the island for wage labor elsewhere.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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