Relative Status of Men and Women

As noted elsewhere, today the Yuquiare sensitive to the expectations of Bolivian national society and greatly desire to conform to acceptable behavior as defined by their Bolivian peers. In addition, missionary teachings stress traditional Western male-centered gender patterns. Men are expected to be the dominant members of the group, be the cultural brokers between the Yuqui and the larger society, hold public positions of power, and be the head of the household. This pattern is further reinforced by patrilineal and patrilocal traditions in Yuqu i culture, which were historically undermined when they became a small band of foragers. Food insecurity, constant imminent danger of being killed by outsiders, and the small size of the group created a situation where women became more vocal and involved in decision-making. As a consequence, at the time of contact, women, or at least Saya women, were relatively powerful and held sway over the opinions and decisions of men. Because of the physical exertion of being constantly on the move, women were also in good physical condition and so freely engaged in physical violence with men and other women, making them forces to be reckoned with. Of the few Yuqui who reached middle age, most were Saya women, and if not infirm, were often quite powerful in their own right.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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