essay

The social position of the woman among the Eastern Bororo

Ensaios de etnologia Brasileira, by Herbert Baldus101 • Published In 1937 • Pages: 112-162, 323-330 , 16 plates (9-24)

By: Baldus, Herbert, Lillios, Ivana.

Abstract
This essay has two purposes. In terms of the data, it seeks to demonstrate the social equality of Bororo women. In terms of method, it attempts to point out that our interpretation of a situation may be faulty if it does not include how the natives understand it and their reasons for behaving as they do. Baldus discusses infanticide, sexual behavior, sexual division of labor, and mythology to demonstrate the falsity of the European conclusion of a slavelike female status. Using brief comparisons with other cultures, he points out for instance, that female infanticide may be interpreted in two ways. It may show that males are more valued (and hence increases their proportion) or that females are (the fewer there are, the greater their value). So the reasons must be understood. He also mentions that contrary to other statements, female infanticide is not a Bororo institution. Thus his essay is both a description of social relations among the Bororo bolstered by evidence from a number of areas (values, sex, labor and myth) and a cautionary essay on interpretation.
Subjects
Birth statistics
Ornament
Division of labor by gender
Gender status
Clans
Moieties
Sexual intercourse
Abortion and infanticide
culture
Bororo
HRAF PubDate
1996
Region
South America
Sub Region
Eastern South America
Document Type
essay
Evaluation
Ethnologist-4,5
Analyst
Martin Malone ; 1975
Coverage Date
not specified
Coverage Place
Eastern Bororo; Sao José, Sangradouro, Coraçao de Jésus, and Meruri, Mato Grosso Province, Brazil
Notes
by Herbert Baldus
Male-female relations have been indexed for Gender Status (562).
Translation of: A posiçao social da mulher entre os Bororo orientais.
The original Portuguese text is not included.
Translated from the original Portuguese for the HRAF files by Ivana Lillios
LCSH
Bororo Indians