After a child is born among the Kalinago of the West Indies, the mother is quick to get back to regular household work. For the father, however, the situation is quite different. He takes to his hammock inside his house, and is visited and consoled as if he were ill. He avoids any strenuous labor for some days, and undertakes an extended
I wonder if these traditions aren't also convenient for women on a practical level. Following a normal birth, many women are happy to walk around a bit and fussy about their spaces; they don't want to curl up and lie still. Family attention can also be bothersome. This way, a man performs his social display of concern and creates free space for the wife to "walk it off."
off-topic: Mr. Buckner, I have two questions for you.
1. Have you studied Manvir Singh's work? He makes a (rather convincing) case that contra assumptions that for the bulk of life in the Paleolithic humans were in small tribes no higher than a few hundred at most, humans in lands as diverse as Europe and Africa actually lived in societies that could support well into a thousand inhabitants provided they lived sedentary with the required food sources. I buy into it myself since unlike the small insisters it addresses events like the extinction of the Neanderthals at the hands of their cousins and significant amounts of fauna like the mammoth getting wiped out.
2. Do you have any data on suicide statistics among foragers, horticulture practitioners, and pastoralists?