Androgynous parents and guest children: The Huaorani couvade

Rival, Laura (1998) Androgynous parents and guest children: The Huaorani couvade. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 4 (4). pp. 619-642. ISSN 1359-0987. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Despite the current popularity of the post-feminist motto 'gender is the effect of discourse, and sex the effect of gender' which defines sexuality as erotica and ignores its life-transmitting function, I argue that there can be no sound theorizing of sex and gender which does not account for procreative sex. I base my argument on a discussion of the way in which the Huaorani Indians of Amazonian Ecuador conceptualize human sexuality as the channel through which parenthood is created and intimate relationships formed. Childbirth rites (known in the literature as couvade) form an essential part of this process. Having reviewed past anthropological interpretations of the couvade and suggested some modifications to account for the androgynous nature of procreative life-giving in Amazonia, I show that social reproduction among the Huaorani is not primarily dependent on predation and warfare, but on the incorporation of the newborn. Returning in the Conclusion to postmodern views on sexuality, I highlight the limitation of analyses of subjective identity which do not address the beginning and perpetuation of life.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Tara Puri
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2009 20:53
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2014 15:36
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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