MAY 8. 1941
Dr. Wagley & Dr. Kardinwr
As I understand I xii2 am to take up part of this session
and Dr. Kardiner will have the second part, so.I =m will go rather
fast. The purpose this time is two-fold. I want both questions from
people who have some doubts in their mind and would like to ask ques-
tions, with the hope that you will bring in questions that will make
me come back with some of the answers--that is, if I can'answer the
questions with my material. Secondly I wanted to describe some person-.
alities. This study was not- done with colleotidn of biographical mater-
ial. Thus I will try to substitute some description of people as people.
The field situation was not right for biographical studies and one o uld
not get autobiographies at all, as it could be done in peasant communities.
First, are there any questions--if you remember the material
as presented in the life cycle I would like to have 'questions.
Question: I don't recall if you have mentioned it but is there
any homosexual play at any time?
I went over that rather rapidly. As a matter of fact in the
Tapirape there has been homosexual behavior. First during the time I
stayed there--I will describe it to you as it came to me as a field worker.
First, for a long period of time I got many myths in which homosexual
behavior was a described, One in particular is the cultural hero who
destroys one of the spirits by S Then I was willing to bet, as
a field worker will predict that the Tapirape did have homosexual behavior.
It came out finally that five years before my arrival one man who was
a passive homosexual had died. Then in describing him--I asked all the
questions about him the people would answer--they described him as a
man of low prestige second, x they did nottdescribe my feminine behavior
for him. He carried a man's role in the society and had been married and
continued to be married though his wife did not want to have anything to
do with him. He was used mostly on trips away from the village.
How going back finally, I got the description actually of a
person and his name--the person had been seen by' one individual in the
village --whose behavior was exactly that of a plains Indian Berdache.
He had completely shifted his role in society and was passive for 'osogamy,
but he had actually married a man. He did not take on women's clothes
because they don't wear anything. But he had taken a woman's role in the
economic part of the society, tying hammocks, cooking, weaving--he sang
with the women in the ceremonies and he sang in a falsetto. The old
man who described him said he sang in a high voice. He stood in a voman'a
position (they showed me where he had stood in the ceremonies), but he
was considered a good wife because in moving down to the plains country
he would carry a tremendous burden of manioo--the man is supposed to carry
it but women did carry it, but he was extra good because he combined the
two, ? . If I can have faith in what they said about jealousy--
they constantly said in great gaiety that his husband was jealous.
iut there is no proof it-took place in the society today.
case I was going to describe of whom I might have some suspicions . .
like two othermen ho lost prestige by being passive in the homosexual
relationship. In descriptions 4 asking about children, they completely
denied straight through that it ever took place between boys or between
older men and a boy, which was what I was looking for.
Questions Was there anything about masturbation in the culture
among boys in the period when there is free sexual play or does it develop
in the period of forced continence?
That they deny.
Dr. K.s There's no need for it
They had a period of continence between ten and fourteen but
there's no proof they carry through that nontinenoe; it's a theoretical
concept. If the set of scratches on the boys arm would give definite
proof of his disregardihg that concept . There definitely is
stimulation. I mean boys go around--I have some pictures, it is very
common to note--boysgoing around stimulating themselves with the zz hand.
Dr. K.i That's masturbation.
Dr. W.s It's a technical point . the definition*
Dr. K. i The definition of masturbation shouldn't be stressed
by the end result but by the intention. Anything with the intention
of producing pleasure.
Dr. W.' I don't worry about words, but then I will say that
the Tapirape denied any masturbation with orgasm, ejaculation.
Dr. Ke. You didn't mention, Dr. Wagley, the stringency of
taboos against women. Which women are taboo in this society, if any?
You say the little boy is permitted sexual play with the girls; are
there any inaccessible to him?
I thought I brought that in at one point. The little boy in
sexual play with little girls must be taught the incest taboo--anybody
who carries the tena sinter, or the term real or close I can
point that out in connection with our kinship system. First, second or
third cousins, real aunts once removed and of course grandmother--and
that's a reality because in one or two oases a young man married an ex-
tremely old woman. Also there were two or three oases here bdys/caught
in sexual play and slapped over the back of the neck hard for breaking
the incest taboo. About which the Tapirape xx& had learned to be obviously
They denied adulterous affairs, because they s aid *a they
would not sleep with that girl because she's my si ster. On the other
hand they fail to make the distinction between sister extended and sister
real. If she is real sister there definitely should be no sexual contact*.
On the other hand there is said not to be sexual contact during menstruation/
of the woman* It'sup to the woman to stop her husband from having
sexual contact. As I understand tho s.. nation, does that answer your
Dr. K. Yes.
Question, Is euioide known?
Questions About what is their intellectual level?
That's a good question. I mean I would say in general it's
about as good as mine or the average, or any fifty people taken at
random in hew York, or rather any 144 people. In some aspects I should
say better. And I can prove It. Not with Sanford-Binet but with
general impressions. Are there any more questions? Well, if not I am
going to go ahead and describe one or two people and some of the things
will come out*
One is-I won't give their names-one is 0. I am not going to
do oribe every 1apirape in order. Bo happens to be the first I laid
eyes on. He was out on the Araguaya river and had been among the
msseax missionaries and spoke a little bit of Portugoese so I could
carry on a oonersation with' him at first. Le was a boy approximately
nineteen years old* He struck me at first as one of the funniest creatures
I had ever laid eyes on. He was very alive. And I had the feeling that
if ell the people of the Tapirape were like this this was going to be
the funniest field trip any anthropologist had ever taken. He had been
18 months,this time/ 6 months, out of the Tapirape country before. He had
gone every morning to the Dominican mission and watched until he oould re-
peat with intonati,:ns perfectly the complete mass, including the Latin
masses and could ohant the rest in Portugese, which he could not under-
stand at all. Also he would minick exactly ,hat the wviest said he
would mimliok Awhat the little girls said and then he would get back and
take 'the part of the priests tone* Be did this every evening and he
woul4 praotioe singing hymns. Several Tapirapel sang hymns and one of
them was "What the Role is Called Up Yonder I'll be There." He would
also take off anybody as s-on as they had left the room and would do a
perfect mimick of them, including an unfortunate mimiek of the. local
captain of a Brazilian ranch who had a crippled wife. He mimicked
her to both of our discomforts; we almost got kicked off the ranch.
His father had been a shamen, a powerful man and had died in
a far village. He had come down to the one village after his father
had died and tied up temporarily with an extended brother of his father's.
he had no one to back him--he was a boy of about 13 years old. He was
more or loss adopted by a man of 75 % prestige, not a .shamen, never a
favorite child and not a household leader. But the boy had the back-
ground of a very important name from his father. So he had a position
in society, yet he was adopted and not treated perfectly so that he
went off the first time an expedition of the priests came. He. was
ouite anxious to leave. He left the first time under the reaction
of one of these "I want to run away" feelings the Tapirape have so much.
He went donm to theAraguaya. He oame back always with a large number
of beads which temporarily raised his prestige, and after the third
tri p, when he returned with me, he had an amazing amount of temporary
wealth. He finally adjusted by placing himself with relatives, with a
sister, but not too close. The first thing his brother- in-law did
was to ask for his dirt. He sold his beads for a few chickens to ingra-
tiate himself with his sister. Within three days he was down to a bush
knife and a large hoe. And he was mxx in a bad place in society. He
then had to marry an old lady who was past the menopause, rather than
marry a child bride to get somebody to cook for him. This boy through the
white contact was definitely xixdta ix He had spent e. great deal of time
outside. He was very soft, in a sense, because outside an Indian travelling
outside doesn't do any work. He eats and sleeps and people give him presents.
There is fear of the Indian in Brazil and you try to treat him beautifully
so that he won't attack your ranch. So that Indians are either
treated very nicely or shot, one or the othor. The women said he could
not walk very far; therefore he couldn't get a wife. Now he decided
that he was going to got a wife and be a Tapirape. The men accused him
of not having any more courage. He didn't attack wild pork. Then he
planted a whole large plantation of only bananas so that when white men
came he could give them presents of bananas.
bow another man--I will have to go fast--was this K. that I
described. He was a man who had been a fm favorite child; he grow up as
a favorite child and became a minor age grade leader, progressing in
prestige and became a minor shamen. He did not acquire the shamenistio
power to make him one of the three or four highest shamens in the village.
Now vAth this he also grouped around him this large household I described
and was probably the key man of the village. Now also when the white men
am oame they asked, as they always do, where is your chief and the people
yx trotted forth this men. Therefore he became known as the white man's
chief. He was the man whom the white men were supposed to,. . .
(stexog missed Dr.W's phrase)
He was traditionally/pro-white and fought with another household loader
who was 'contrary to letting any vhite people in. Once or twice ho aotma ally
arched his back, which is rather rare txm for a Tapirapo to do, you remember
Once the anti-white leader wanted to kill the missionary and K. stood up
and ordered them all to go home and they would have to kill him if they
came by the door. The missionary, recovering so:owhat from his fear,
departed next morning.
At other times, with his relationships with me were very definite.
For instame, he would come every day at meal time to the house I was
living in, beoausehe know he would be offered food, Onoe he was not
offerr-d food and for a month or so he never came back for fear of not
being offered food and of people seeing him not being offered food and
that his prestige would go down. He would also come and at the slightest
slight he would pick up and leave. If you gave people presents and didn't
double the number of presents you gave him he would go home in a huff,
Our relations were constantly on a balance this way because he was
probably the best informant in the village but many times he was not
available because he was mad at me. He would send his wife to say that
anona the Tapirape I had been talking against him. He was insecure
about our relations all the time, yet I constantly showered a very valuable
informant with gifts*
Then there was the wife of a man who was an age grade leader,
called a chief. Let's call her U. And she definitely--was the s second
wife of this leader and she had been married--she had been married
when she was very young, but at puberty she was the wife of the same
man. 6he did not have children. She had a great penchant for pets.
She kept two pets usually and one time when her husband in anger clubbed
her pet ring-tailed coon she cried the rest of the afternoon. Geneologioall)
she was called my sister. She would bring the coon to the house and ask
me how I liked my sister's child," which I was supposed to be closely
related to. She was a very affectionate person, not only with her husband,
as most Tapirape women are, but with people she liked. She was con-
stantly reaching over their shoulder, hanging on to them; her whole aspect
was what we would consider femininity and delicacy. Yet she was strong
enough to carry a heavy pack across jungle paths.
In describing who was the best wife of the village they would
say there aren't any, but then they would come back to this woman. The
r worst wife was the wife of K., who was not liberal while M. was extremely
liberal and gave food away and would go out and work and make food for
otherpeople. Yet the wife of K. who was in the bestposition for a woman,
was considered very stingy. They would constantly s94 she was .not a
chief. Because women who are born in this are supposed to give away to
be people of prestige and if they gave away enough they will also be
called captains, which is the way they 2vm1 mean to say people of prestige
I see I haven't -!ot much time. The two people in the village,
the one man I mentioned that I had suspected him of homosexual behavior
if anybody showed it. In the whole aro of the village he would fall
ikkm into this class if anybody would, was the man I called Antonio.
His name was difficult and I gave him a name. He was extremely, patholog-
ically lazy. You could not get him to go hunting. He would ask you how
far you were going to go x hunting. Never at one time did he finish up
a complete hunting trip with the men. He was strong and quite capable.
He shot a bow and arrow quite well. lie would go with them to the plains
country but then he would hang his hanbiook and go to sleep. He was a
man of prestige by birth. His father had been a shamen and had boon a
favorite child. he had been attached as an orphan t people--one to K.
and another to K the most powerful shamen. When I was there he was
attached to the mostpowerful shamen for whom he was a sort of errand boy.
Dr. K.: Did you say this man was a homosexual?
No, I did not. I had no proof u of it. But after hearing
the description of passive homosexuality anong the Tapirape I immediately
thought of him aL corresponding to that type of behavior. He never had
a garden and was very unhappy. He would come at night and sit; he would
come at tree o'clock in the morning and tell you he had no wife, no
near relatives, he didn't have a garden, he really wanted to go a long,
long way off and that no one liked him here. This happened several times--
I didn't record this at three o'clock in the morning. Once or twice he
came and we cried about it. It's quite cricket for Tapirape men to cry
if you feel like it.
Now the only--I think I have described here the only woman who
didn't have a husband...theonly woman above puberty. The one who fell
out of the hammock and was also an epileptic and because of the l ELr
former she was considered ugly. Also she was lazy they said, so sha
there was an economic reason she couldn't got a husband. So that shewas
the one most often used in the mass rape. Every time she fell in an
Then the most powerful shamen was the tallest man in the culture
and he was also a seemingly very quiet sort of person. He was not over-
aggressive in any of his actions that I ever saw. He had not been a
favorite child but through showing potentiality for dreams he became
gradually the most powerful shamon in the village. He was always azkix g
asked though; they came back to him for advice. He was the nearest to
really controlling tho situation. And the situation there was thistThe
tall man against another man of about equal power producing the friction
i described in the village.
The other best informant I worked with was a man by the name of
0. !lisoutstarndin characteristic was that he could walk farther than
anybody else in the village--i.e., he was very strong. He was excellent
on the hunt and one of the bost.singers in the culture and a handy man
with the women. he was the one I described as chalking off all the ;mon
in the village according to the affairs he had had with them. Hoe knew
many songs, the long epic one that took all night. He was a mana bout 23.
He was the type of person who would not sit down to learn basketry or make
arrows and he would never on going or. the hunt, on which he was sw valuable
to the men, he would alwayspiok up arrows badly pointed and badly put
together and with that he would do better than anybody else in the village.
He was the gay blade. quite often he az would just ax7 simply steal a
couple of arrows from somebody else. He was criticized; it was said, "e
will be a chief but he plays." He did not have the poise that a chief
should have. A xan chief who did not have this poise himself bukiwao
said that if a man did not act like this he wouldd not be a chief; and
yet the man vho was describing C. as not acting like a chief, the first
horseplay that osme along 3 he got into it too. But C. was liked by
most people. He was the man, who then. he got angry was going off into
the bush to live alone for ever, an' -io out down the dance house posts
because they said he brought colds to the village. Are there any other
Did you sny the lady viho was your sister was considered tho
best wife because she didn't have any children?
No, it was based completely on behavior. I think it is inter-
esting that she was considered a good wife though she didn't have any
children. They would point out what she did versus what somebody olso
did. Although she was frankly sad because she didn't have any children;
she blamed the shaken that' she thought had caused one still birth. She
Queston: Has the group any mechanism for making lazy people
work? They don't ridicule than?
They lose prestige, but there's nothing to make a man work
because the fundamental thing about Tapirape is that subsistence economy
is easy. Soneti!aes this man would have to go off and cook fEx his own
food which made him lose his prestige, but I don't think--he was quite
Question: I don't understand what happens to lMalthus's law
in these places where subsistence economy is so easy.
Among the Tapirapo it's infanticide. I mean thoy are--it is
1althus's law without Malthus' ikra tough subsistence. They don't worry
about the subsistonoo. They simply allow only three children.
I would like to begin by asking you a few questions. -hat do
you say is the general character of this culture? Is it a strong cul-
ture or a weak culture; a culture that's capable of survival under diffi-
cult conditions or likely to disappear Kn the slightest catastrophe?
What is your impression? And what are the factors that suggest either
point of view?
I think it wouldd be able to break up pretty fast. They seem
to give up pretty easily and no one seems to take a lot of initiative.
In other words, you subscribe to tho idea that it is a zeak
Going on with that, whenever there is difficulty the idea is to
go mvay and give up.
Any other ideas about it?
I got the idea that the family is not very well oriented since
you shift at any notice. And no one, would assume authority.
*hat's not true (about assuming authority). Anything else?
Lack of anxiety over the decrease in the population.
Well, as a matter of fact, I don't think that's true. Dr.
Wa ley told us there was a great deal of concern about it but they just
don't see to know what to do. But there is a great deal of concern about
the falling population. Now among.the actual factors that are responsi-
ble for the set-back in this society you have to regard a society with
regard to how much resiliency they have against shocks. There is one against
which they have no withstanding at all,
Yes. They have nothing in the growth of the,population to
overcome that, so that whereas the pauciry of reproduction x in
itself would not completely do away with the society this system is not
conducive to a very strong resistance against accidents.
Dr. Wagloy: Is this in terms of the diminishing population?
Because I would like to ask whether or not the basic factor is id= why
they are infected.' That's probably a biological thing.
Yes, that's a biological thing. You find phenomena like that.
You know our society is practically completely immune to measles. But
bringing that to a society like that which has no chrnco to develop any
iru:nity to it means diminishing population. Our society, for instance,
has already developed an amazing immunity to syphilis. This looks like
a dying society.
Dr. Bunzel: This is not the only society. That's true of many
cultures in the early stage of contact and then they seem to reintegrate.
.Dr. K., I wouldn't give that prognosis for this soointy.
(I mentioned that ianmnity to disease only as an incidental shook. There
are other factors-- Dr. Wagley) Oh, yes, there are other factors that
render this society extremely likely to extinction,
Now the second point I would like to asmxysxakizcxix just
for the purpose of general orientation. WAhere is the greatest source
of conflict in this society? . We have heard it repeated so often
the things it is not--it is not the subsistence economy. Where is it?
Dr. Lintons It is very largely located within the shamons.
Practically exclusively with the males. It is a society that
is terribly lopsided in the distribution of hardships and oonfl. iots.
Dr. L.i I was thinking of intra-individual conflicts here.
Yes, but it is localized almost exclusively within the individual
male. There's one other point about which the conflicts (I think we can
use that as a kind of ?watchword), there is a certain type of conflict
that is very common in this society. What is that? It may be axk
about prestige, but that doesn't nuite qualify. You mentioned it so many
timos in the customs that they have. It is all about giving and taking.
The whole t ditk thing is about how much to give and how much to take.
Vow let's omit any cons ideration for the time being about
subsistence economy or prestige economy and let's go immediately to the
life cycle, because I think the character of the individual you get there
and particularly the contrast betvrean a ma and female is so striking,
that the whole thing comes out there. And please watch these individual
itoms with regard to the source and their consequences* You note that
in the life cycle that before the child is born that somebody has already
had a voice in its creation besides its parents and he s the shaken.
Isn't that trust, Dr. Wagley?
Dr. T.: It's generally true; not always*
In order to be able to ans 'or this question as to why this is
true -- we will come to that later, wihy the shamen has all this power
and vi-iat his functions are. .Vj a tataa tremendous over inflation
of all masculine attributes that are possible. He has to do with concep-
tion. There is a compensatory feature in that the child is supposed to
be able to choose his parents. I don't quite get the significance of
that. I don't think the particular rituals of announcing pregnancy have
any importance, unless they are devices on the part of the male to indi-
cate that the woman is already pregnant,but that is not particularly
discouraging because many children are supposed to have two or three or
So that as the first we encounter in connection with pregnancy
is the attitude the parent islikely to have toward'the child and -.hv.
'That changes does it mi~b immediately initiate in the life of the woman
and man. And it does in both. Life does not go -on in an uninterrupted
*.y. frBkzasarSte It interferes with both parents but perhaps most
strikinglyrwith the mrale. The taboos. I don't quite!get the point
about the headaches; are they supposed to have them?
Yes, vhother they do or not,(lir. 7ragley)& M1 don't know.
It is an institutionalized symptom?
Well, a.t's sa start here headaches, she ;diatoly gives
up heavy work.
Dr. W. i I think she gives up heavy work but not immediately.
Who suffers as a result of that? The man. She gives up sex
activity; vho suffers as a result of that? And what is the main thing
that conduces so much to the)stability of the marital relationshipS The
instability of the male. There is a very interesting xxix rationalization
that occurs here which obviously phyx places the whole nutritive function
on the male. The oiM is supposed to graowv with repeated sexual intercourse.
The discontinuation of the intercourse is based on the rationalization
that if he were to continue he would make the child too large and thorofore
the child would not be able to come out. At what point is sexual
activity given up?
Dr. VW.: Apparently in the third month. But the multiple
fathers concept is based upon the fact that during the pregnancy she
has intercourse with several men.
Not in an obl igatory way.
Dr. W.gleys No, but she quite frequently does have. Becauco
of the great number of births who find there are too many fathers. The
child must be buried so that the indication is for many and that she does
not give up sexual activity u'til the very late part of her pregnancy
You mentioned in your notes that that's as soon as the child
begins to grow in her abdomen. (Yes, but in actual practice it's much
later than that.* Dr. Wagley). The danger of death so far as the woman
is cono rned israther high. Butperhaps ith not any higher than in any
other primitive society. Now what about the man. Most of the interest
in the story is in vhat happens to him. He becomes institutionally sad;
just as the's supposed to get headaches, the father is supposed to got sad.
She stops cooking for him, although not immediately
Dr. W.s She stops cooking only in the last days--she will cook
almost up to the end, up to birth pains. That's not heavy work. She
stops carrying water; that's rather heavy work.
She does' stop the heavy work? By the way, how frequent are
abortions here? You didn't note any?
They say so, but the method was by eating a particular ant
hill, vhat's called an ant hill. They say it produces abortion, and also
the bark of a tree.
It's not quinine. The one thing I could have told thomn would
produce abortion they didn't use.
The couvade appears here, but not in a very accentuated form.
The father only goes to bed for a short tine.
Dr. W. *
/I got the impression from the comparison of the region, this
is only an interpretation of course, that the Tapirape have probably the
most attenuated form in the region. The Cqraja, neighboring, have the
couvade in a more rigid form.
What are the principles which govern the couvade? What are the
injunctions, even if they are not stringently followed. The father doesn't
take fluids during the couvade. Or if he does the rationalization is
it will cause the woman to bleed.
Dr. Lintons This couvade (of course I wasn't here lnst time)
does that extend only to the woman's husband or to all the men who are
fathers of the child.
Dr. We: That's the conflict that comes up because theoretically
the ms= men who are also the fathers of the child should follow out the
same conditions. Therefore more than two fathers increases the possibility
of one of them breaking the food taboos during his childhood or birth.
So that if there are.too many fathers to break taboos the child may just
as well be killed anyway. But practically only the husband is apt to go
through the couvade.
Note the number of dangers that face the child even allowed to
be alive. Now those taboos on the husband are privations to be sure,
but I doubt whether they are very serious. That is, he can't take
fluids freely until the wife stops discharging There are a couple of
others that do really hurt the father/--the fact that he has to give
aw-ay practically all his property in the form of giftti, practical
Dr. \:,s I a!sf t6iab vzhat follows as probably the point
the fathers suffer most* The year of enforced diet taboos so that the
child could grow up--that's the period of which I have the impression
of hearing more complaints about.
Look at the systen--all going out and nothing coming in.
Can you expect the father to have a fxi friendly attitude toward the
child. The pleasr es in this society are limited and there is no
chance for substituting one 7,d= gratification for another. And those
privations must be quite severe. Look at the ambivalence engendrod by betwei
the child and its father by virtue of the fact if the Lo4d does not
follow these taboos the child is apt to undergo harm. The father suffers
privations, impoverishment, at the birth of the child. If the father
has intercourse the child will become thin. The mother will get blocd
in the breast and the child will get it .
Then there are a bunch of food taboos: no venison, Dr. ~7ngley
listed about 18 different foods. In other words it introduces an elh'mnt
of nuisance and the father is set apart from the joys of the other mon
who don't happen to be fathers. However, you mentionoa another thing.
The food taboos are observed more frequently in the .
(stenog. didn't get next passage clearly) They have been for same time.
I think this is not a matter of cultural change. I think it is part of
the culture and always has been. I think the couvade in thisform = has
always been the . which sometimes is very strong.
Oxatkans EHow about their feelings of gi guilt about breaking
That I described at one time--
Dr. Bunqel: Oh, I'm sorry.
Dr. W*. No, that's a good xBi~a= point, of the man who ,
what was the expression we used last time, who feels that he can break
the taboos because he isnot pnrtioularly susceptible; he is i.nune.
The taboos for that don't affect the child. "Other people break the
taboos and it causes the child'd death, but I am immune."
Dr. K.: It's another way of saying the father doesn't
care to observe the taboos.
Dr. Wagley: I maybe going ahead, but there is one question.
In view of this--I think I described arnd I remanber quite well--fathers
carrying children around and a great deal of affectti6n of children of
tvo years old, let's say.
I don't quite get the idea of0t --- oh, when I mention
hostility you think it should be right there? . There's not very
likely to be some overt sign. I have never been a father but those of
you who have know that they have a way of winning you over quite soon.
But even in our society, without the oouvade, I have yet to see the father
who does not have the most violent protest against the birth of the child.
These are universal patterns. They all complain that the child is
ugly as hell; they don't like it. It takes them about three months before
they actually develop affection. I have heard the reasons: "I oan't
manage on this income." The principle is exactly the same. Neither do
you see the overt hostility in our society.
Dr. W.s Yet institutionally we give out cigars.
We go even farther than thet; we give feasts. Or maybe that's
gone out of sttle somewhat. But we expect presents in our society.
The father doesn't give presents but gets them, which is much more in
keeping with the privations he is likely to endure! I think in most of
the societies that we have studied so far the father is the recipient
Dr. L., In a good many of them.
In the Marquesans that's true.
Questions How about the offsetting possibility of prestige
from children. Here me have that.
I doubt whether it runs in that direction. lou see the favorite
child here--by the way you made very little mention of how many favorite
children there can be at any one time.
Dr. W.s Theoretically there should be two special males for
dances in a village, hire may be ,t a time one or two female favorite
child and f they go over the necessary number. The females
chlr* gene rallY -
do not have any ceremonial institutional place, yet there must be at any
time two males for the dances.
Dr,* X.: In other words there can be many a family without a
favorite child* The'favorite child is the exception?
Dr. W.: Yes, definitely!
Now the only point of this preliminary discussion is this:
The child comes into the world with a certain amount of hostility already
lined up against him. Now whetherr this has reflections in the subsequent
institutions we have to keep our eyes open and see. ow how about
maternal care? Is it good, irndifforent; conducive to a strong 0oo
foCnation or what? fearing in mind always that the function of maternal
care isto give the child fullest opportunities for further development
and to be synchronized with his further capa city for growth.
Yes, the maternal care in this society is decidedly good. The
child is carried around with the mother; is nursed frequently, and
although it is not alloaod to be nursed by other women except a near
sororal relative, noverheless if it is left alone it is left in the
company of females, so it is not likely that the child suffers from any
maternal neglect. What a contract to Alorese, where the exact opposite
to this occurs! Nowv this is an extremely important thing to note. Good
maternal care means that the child will develop its capacities fully and
completely in accordance with its ago. The child is exposed to some
dangers, which are not verysorious. taxeanxiatiy Occasionally a
child will fall into the fire, which is pretty bad busing ss, but acci-
dents of that kind are not really signal for the culture. Weaning seems
to be timed about right--;hen thechild begins to be able to crawl about.
Another thing in connection with the weaning process is that when the
child is weaned from the mother she has the substitutes of masturbation
to keep it quiet or feeding to keep it quiet. And I can't avoid the
impression that maternal care goes beyond the necessary amount.l This
brings up a point you mentioned, sx namsly that a child for whom life I-s
md made too easy in these early years will develop tantrums lator when
obligations are placed on him. You can never evaluate a cultural trait
by the symptom that it creates. For example tantrums in children are
not necessarily characteristic of one particular society. Here are the
type of tantrums we saw in Alorese, in Tanala--an extremely important
part of the child's behavior, but due to extreme frustration on the part
of the child. Or here, on the other hand, you have a child who is cared
for with great tenderness and then if certain situations are forced on
him in Which he is unwilling to learn, you can get tantrums from a
frustrated child and from a spoiled child too. In each case they are a
reaction against a frustration it cannot meet.
Dr. W.: I have many stories of that. The other thing that
stands out in the notos is not being given something,
Well, you see, not being given something in this child is
already a break in vhat it has hitherto boon accustomed to. What other
deduction can we nake from this very strong, good maternal care and its
tondeiny toward strong ego formation? I think this is a very important
thing because it is one of the things that play an enormous role in the
rivalry situation betwvoon males and tends toward a very strong fixation
upon the mother. The tendency to identify m all good thingsin life vwith
Question: Hoow about the fact that the child before the age of
five calls both parents mother? Is that just a term of affection for both
Dr. g.: I don't ca think so. Do you have any reason for that?
Dr. W.: I think the picture that you have drawn ins that
up completely because it simply means they have spent most of the time with
the mother, whidh is true anyplace.
Dr. K.: This is generally a human trait sid is one of the
cultural features necessitated by the very nature of the human being, that
he is born praaturely and needs smebody to protect him.
Dr. W.s I think it is striking that they have not learned "father" by
the age of 5 6.
Question: Doas the father have any differentiated parental
role imposed? In so many cases .hBs as far as the man's life is
g regarded they have no rE role which differentiates them from the
Dr. K.: No, apparently there is no suao thing because the
father apparently never gets a chamre to get sufficiently intorestod
in the child. That would account for the idea that there's nobody elso,
that anybodyta that's around is a mother. INo.r note here in this very
beginning of the life cycle how the culture is centered about the wonavn.
The woman is the stable element in the society. That is true of the
mrni culture as a wholo. The mn marries into the woman's household--
Dr. fts Which is headed by a man. Of course that's true
But the wman does make the stable Plement in tho society.
So that it is really a collection of pensionss or systemss, isn't it.
So you have an extended family in which tho mother is the stable lo-mo-nt
and the individual identifies all gratifioationsin life, at least in the
formtive years, Ihe mother. This is one of the factors which con-
duces to a strong rivalry situation btvween thomeonwho are trying to get
back to some sa h thing.
Now with.regard to the disciplines I might mention only one thing.
Anal training apparently is not associated with any very stringent
punishments; it is taught by example and at an age where the child is
able to understand what the function is. From kt that time on there is
some insistence on cleanliness and the child who fails is "anacked3" (word
suggested by Dr. Wagley).
Now vith regard--from this point on, from the age of 5, lot's
say, the disciplines that are instituted differentiate; sharply between
male and fcz female.
Dr. W,, Let's put it a little later. I would put it--because
there are children's gangs far.hich are croxsad sex lines between 5 9.
It's after 9 that I see the break, whon the girls begin to do woman's xak
on a small scale in the house.
Yes, but you can't avoid the impression that the males is
subjected to a great many difficulties from the age of nine, let us say,
and after that, whereas the =am voman escapes scot-free and practically
doesn't have to change her adaptation.throughout life. She enjoys a
particularly protected position in that she's sought after and the vomen
in this society retain perpetual capacity to threaten the men.
It im 't universal, however. 4Risigzi I xIsy prestige is
practically all concentrated on the male side and I think the reason why
is that the rivalry situation between males for the women isparticularly
high and therefore they over-valuate enormously all functions and attri-
butes that would be of importance to the women. The enormous emphasis
placed upon phallic rituals, etc., so that the male is very touchy about
his attributes and I think he has good reason to be. He is really in
the dog househere. He can be put out of countenance by the words of a
woman and he is particularly at. their meroy after he gets married.
(sorm thing missed ) (aboutgirfs) because at that age they ban also
be married, can they not?
Dr. W.: I still would put that after nine. Between 4 9 they
do ,.nfea.vory little --ork in therfeily. They are playing at that age.
They have no responsibility at that time.
Nevertheless they are inducted into family activities by marriage.
But they still are ru.mnirg about the village, but after that'
they take more part in the house.
Dr. K.: Thore's no great break though? (She's not subjected to soz
until very much lator: Dr. W.) Look at the importance that thess female
child has in this society. Even as a baby she can wield a great power
over a man by virtue of the fact that she'shis wife. Her mother does
the work. She really has a tremendous importance for the man from birth
Question: Is it true that there are numer'.oally more men than
I can't answer that satisfactorily. At the time I visited the
Tapirapo there was a very important factor that there were more men. The
story of before wvhen there were equal numbers does not seem to vary a
great deal. Althotuh I think an important consideration comes in that
the woman vho is ugly and lazy' does not have a husband in spite of the
fact that some ton have no wife.
Dr* K.: She has to pay sona'.thin:_ for her o e .
Dr. Wo*.1 i Yes, she pays and pays.
I am speaking largely of the psychological security and position'
the woman has in connection vith the man. You mentioned only onevomnan
who was an old maid.
Dr. W. s I mentioned one woman vho was not wanted by men but
who was also taken in sex life under certain conditions. (short dis-
oussion of nature of mass rape) It is an adventure.
Yes, the woman suffers no k privations in her life; she has
a position of security as and has no suffering, she can have sexual
gratification at any time she wants to and is ready for it. At no time
in her life is that associated with taboos, except those applying to
siblings. The only hardship she really is exposed to is Arnx5n= taking
care of the household taboos of childhood and one other, the tatooing,
which, I understand, is not obligatory?
Dr. Vi.s You don't have to go in the draft; you oan go to prison
too. That about describes her position. If you are not tabooed you are
Yes, and here's another interesting thing, to pile P t5-^
on tA 5?rz/, after menopause she has all the privelegos of a man
and she can have . ih the way of prestige.
Dre W. And she can be a shamen.
Nevertheless there is a difference in this society between the
rights and privileges enjoyed by the women in contrast to those in the
Marquesas. The whole situation is pointed up much more sharply in the
Marquesas because there was more competition there: three women to one man,
Here the ratio isanot so great and here despite the fa'ot that there is
no great competition between mon the females nevertheless mn enjoy great
prestige, are comparatively free of conflict and capable of enjoying every
element of prestige in the society at some time in her life, in contrast
to the male, nho after 35 begins to decline.
Dr* L.3 One point I haven't got clear. What's the relation
between mothers and grown sons here. How far can a groin son rely on
his mother to get water eto. for him, to assume the role of the wife in
case he has no wifo?
Dr. W :
I can answer that by cases better. .--there are cases of a man
losing his young wife, one a very handsome xxm young woman and moving to
his mother's house who was married again, not to his father but to another
husband and she would cook for him. Another case of an old, old woman
without a husband being the key person in the household. But she would
carry water for her grown sons, one of whom happened to live in the house-
hold with his wife. As it is set up today a man couldn't count on it, but
it does take place and ix he could say he could go back, and would do so.
I want you also to note that the nominal powers in this society
are vested in males; the actual powers in females. The maleshave all the
show and fanfare, whereass the females have all the power and can trounce
any man at any time and subject him to shame.
Questions I s=x understand the tatooing is done after marriage?
Dr. s.: Yes, before children but after marriage.
Question: What isthe idea of making the woman do it after
she's married? Is it to please her husband?
Dr. K.: It has a certain prestige value. It is just one of
those things. Is there any rationalization for that?
Dr* '1.7: It is talked of by the women when it is going to t ake
place. It is not set and formalized in that it must take place one year
after marriage. I saw women decide not to have it this year, or her
mother decided for her. They say they are not pretty unless they are
Dr. K. The tatooing isoonventionalized, always the' same thing?
Dr. W.s Exactly the same on all. It is stenoo. missed the
fractions and localizations of the moons)
Dr. K*. There's one point you did not mention in your discussion
and this should be really of some value to us. You did nam mention
homosexuality among men; is there any mention of homosexuality among women?
Dr. W. Never.
Dr. K.: The odds are against it.
Dr. W,: Let's keep in mind the difficulties which I described
in the field work. And that it's quite obvious that I had a better
rapport with the men.
Dr. K.: The likelihood is :ortdinly against it bcoausoxnia
At no time in the life of thewo=nn 3as she any hardships in exorcising
,or feminine role. There are no infantile traumas I can identify likely
to render the female child homosxal. ior access to men begins at ths
Dr. W. i There is a very important point in this very important
first few years which we have outlined on the board, so far as I oni toll
thore is no differentiation between 1 and 5 or 1 and 7; thero is the
sano warmth, oto.
Correct. Now here's a little problem I would like you to think
Eforotofore .w have been accustomed to studying societies whero frustrations
go straight. through like in Trobriand they are intormittent--the child
starts with having no sexual restrictions or aim; suddenly it at ton it
is olampod down upon; then ak 14 onit is unrestricted straight through.
So you soe there is a break here which is likely to have an important
influence, not the same as h our society where taboos hold from birth
to the time of marriage. And I will tell you what the difference is
likely to be. There is likely to be a deanAEsa great intensification
of' rivalry, tremendous rivalry among men, both for prostige and for
women. Now whenever tho differentiation between male and female begins
the males have an uninterrupted series of conflicts and hardships that the
females do not. Presti:-e factors begin very early. Some of these
probably spread in the females too, because women are favorite children
too. But whether or not you are a favorite child begins to pl'-y a role
and prestige and status are greatly emphasized. But once you are a
favorite child your position in life is more or less guaranteed. He is
Uimune from certain obligations.
Dr. W.: On the other hand I don't think he is as free of anything.
He takes more azxc1-mxzon his shoulders. On the other hand he doesn'thavo
to rustle for food. He is supposed to load a sednntUry life. Early he
has to stand out and dance with the men. He is more highly decorated. In
one case he stood in the middle of the plaza and cried. He didn't know
how to dance. He was decorated within an inch of his life. He finally
danced the end but he didn't know hoa. It places on his shoulder a
load and 9ess not guarnatee continued increasing presti-e. But he's
more likely to be a chief.
And therefore he's more likely to have a claim on certain women
and more likely to have his wife's fidelity protected by the other men.
The wife of the chief is relatively free from affairs fra with other
men. What other points are there in the prestige conflicts of the little
boy? Well, he is inducted at a very early age to act as subaltern to
older boys, run errands, etc. By the way I didn't get the point whether
the female child is just as much subject to punishments as the boy. Is
that so? Your emphasis seemed to fall on the boys?
Dr. W.: My emphasis did. As I recall, it strikes me that boys
wore purnihed much more frequently, except going back to girls of five
who also could not walk and were punished because of tantrums--they would
fall flat because they didn't want to walk across the plaza. But girls
of nine--I don't raemeber very aany being punished.
The entire process of socialization for the men ismuch more
complicated. Another thing I would like tmc3mda you/think about
for next time is, what is the significance of the moiety systems?
The last difficulty that the boy is subjected to in his
socialization is the process of initiation, where he is isolated from
women in the dance house, scratched by his father, etc., and has km no
free sex play. He is scratched if he has sex play or if he is disobedient
to elders. I cannot avoid the impression that the sexuality of the boy,
although it is given free play in early childhood isconstantly reminded
by his elders that he mist not do that thing. Sexual play is discouraged
by the old men whenever the boy is likely to become a rival.
Dr. W.: You must remember that the first part of it is scratching
and isolation but at the end of it is the highest point of decoration in
his life. So that it all ends up in a blaze of glory which the women never
Dr, Burqelt It is a very phoney blaze of glory, isn't it?
Dr. Wa. Oh, no. people say, "I was very beautiful when I danced
He never enjoys the import a again in his life unless he
beooces a chief or a shaman.
Dr. W.: It is an import point in contrast to the women who
are never that beautiful. Womon nev have occasion to dress up like
Dr. K. that// But let's not stress only the difficult features of the boy. He
has no economic responsibilities until he is.16. After initiation a
great deal of pressure is brought to bear on him to marry booause
contingent upon his marriageLa large aspect of his status is insured.
A man could be humiliated if he isn't married. And it is on this
account that the young girls are in such high demand for marriage at
this time. That is the prestige of the man apparently follows with
age and prestige as he grows older is much harder to get and very
much harder to maintain. In other words, what I want you to carry
away tonight from the life cycle of the individual, the conflicts are
largely in this .society in the rivalry situations between men culminating
in one of two ways enormous enhanoemcat of male prestige; conflicts
between men for women; and finally the note you added tonight that
is of such importance, that there is such a thing as passive homosexuality,
That is just what you would expect from severe =s rivalry between men
for women, that xaa some of them saocumb to the feminine role.
Well, now, with this as a groundwork, we will take up the
other features and see what correspondence there is between features
of the life cycle and the remaining features of the social organization.
We shall especially stress religion and finally the myths*
MATERIAL PUT 3ON THE BOARD
1. give up easily run away
2. shifting family
3. factors that diminish population --infanticide
I. Location of greatest conflict
3. giving and taking
Life oy le
1. Shamen has to do with conception
2. gives up heavyymvork
S3. gives up sex activities
4. danger of death
stops cooking (late months)
doesn't take fluid--
cause woman to
has to dispose of property*