Children of Deh Koh: Young Life in an Iranian Village by Erika Friedl

By Erika Friedl

Within the village of Deh Koh in southwestern Iran, a existence direction is set out for women and boys from their earliest days. whereas little in this terrible rural group comes simply to young children of both intercourse, women basically undergo the higher burden. neighborhood lore has it boy should be well-known in his mother's womb as low as 20 days after perception, whereas a lady continues to be "a formless lump of meat" for 2 months. This skewed standpoint maintains to form their fortunes in years to stick to. so much moms succumb to strain to wean their youngster daughters greater than a yr just before their sons--a calamity in a global the place the breast bargains succor and the foremost kind of sustenance. ladies will be married off once they mature--as early as nine in keeping with non secular edict--though there are fewer baby brides and baby moms as modernization tinkers with village traditions. on the grounds that 1992, the politics of overpopulation have made contraception a nationwide precedence, a sea swap embraced via many married ladies worn down through childbearing. "Only husbands and previous girls wish us to have many children," says a mom of 8, "men simply because they do not know what a bother it truly is and outdated ladies simply because they've got forgotten." Ethnographer Erika Friedl writes a bit of judgmentally at the hardscrabble lives led in Deh Koh, but in addition with perception, verve, and authority. whereas spotlighting the youngsters, she illuminates the times in their parents and opens the reader's biases for query, too. --Francesca Coltrera

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All individual differences notwithstanding, however, "child" (bacce) and "children" (baccyal), in the abstract, exist in the minds and language of the people and prompt adults and children to behave and to relate to each other in certain ways, to expect others to behave in certain ways, and to be disappointed, if not necessarily surprised, if the expectations are not met. This normative aspect we might call the folklore of childhoodthe customs and their rationalizations surrounding child-stages.

In addition, other lengthy interactions between an adult and young children are rare; children mostly keep to the company of other children, they tend to clam up in the presence of strangers, and they play in hard-to-observe places and rarely with adults, let alone a relative stranger like me. As soon as I started to look more closely at children, I realized how little I knew about the emotional and cognitive world they inhabit, despite the fact that my own two daughters had been part of that Page xiv world for several years throughout their childhood.

Play 217 22. Games 234 23. Stick Dance 240 24. Children's Hour 242 25. Playing Teacher, Playing Nurse 246 26. The Devil and the Telephone 250 27. Traders 253 28. Bugs on a String 258 29. Stories Children Hear 263 30. Beauty, School, and Men's Desires 267 31. Amene et Al. 283 32. Lions Worried 289 33. Teen Wisdom 297 Appendix: Naming Principles 303 Glossary 305 Page ix Acknowledgments This book is based on ethnographic research I carried out between 1965 and 1994, during eight visits to a tribal region in Southwest Iran.

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