Sunday, 25 September 2011

#2 Conception with two fathers, how does that work?

FACT OF THE DAY: In many Amazonian cultures, people believe that a child can be fathered by more than one man

This is such a brilliant find – I just love it. It’s so different, and as you will see, it seems like a very rare example of an occasion where women have got one over on the men.

I first came across a few passing comments to this belief in a book by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy and have now  managed to follow up some of her references to find out more.

It’s not a strange one-off, it is found far and wide throughout the Amazon in hunter-gatherer cultures living thousands of miles apart – for example the Bari and Yanamami of Venezuela, the Canela, Mehinaku and Awawete of Brazil, the Ache of Paraguay and the Matis of Peru.

The exact details differ depending on the specific group but the basics are the same – they believe that any men that a woman has sex with around the time of conception are that child’s fathers, plural!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

#1 Pregnant or breastfeeding for 30 years

FACT OF THE DAY: Some women hardly have a period their whole life because they are constantly pregnant or breastfeeding

I have been reading a book about a group of people called the Gusii who live in the Western highlands of Kenya where the rain falls abundantly and the soil is rich.  The book is written by a husband and wife team who spent many years living in Kenya getting to know the Gusii people. They were particularly interested in how the Gusii looked after their babies and brought up their children.