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 ladies and boys from their earliest days. whereas little in this terrible rural neighborhood comes simply to youngsters of both intercourse, women truly undergo the higher burden. neighborhood lore has it boy should be famous in his mother's womb as low as 20 days after perception, whereas a lady is still "a formless lump of meat" for 2 months. This skewed viewpoint keeps to form their fortunes in years to keep on with. so much moms succumb to strain to wean their child daughters greater than a yr previous to their sons--a calamity in a global the place the breast deals succor and the main kind of sustenance. ladies should be married off once they mature--as early as nine in line with non secular edict--though there are fewer baby brides and baby moms as modernization tinkers with village traditions. due to the fact 1992, the politics of overpopulation have made contraception a nationwide precedence, a sea swap embraced through many married girls worn down via childbearing. "Only husbands and outdated girls wish us to have many children," says a mom of 8, "men simply because they do not know what a bother it really is and outdated ladies simply because they've got forgotten." Ethnographer Erika Friedl writes a little 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 mum and dad and opens the reader's biases for query, too. --Francesca Coltrera

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Extra resources for Children of Deh Koh: Young Life in an Iranian Village

Sample text

Tatalu and Beyond 117 13. Boys and Girls 138 14. Talking to, Talking About 150 Page viii 15. Tongue 161 16. The Logic of Children's Miseries 172 17. A Bird Flies Off into a Tree 181 18. Alphabet Philosophy 184 19. "Just a Fine Kids Feeling" 192 20. Tantrum 216 21. 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.

None of the women weavers of nomadic-style tribal rugs and flatweaves used locally has young apprentices, their skills and products are considered old-fashioned. A couple of young women have learned to be seamstresses and practice their craft with varying success. Banks and coops give loans. The very poor get alms as always and some financial assistance from the government or from religious organizations. For now they get by, people say, but what will happen to the children in the future is a big, worrisome question.

Although I have concentrated on the observation of children only during my most recent visits to Deh Koh in 1989, 1992, and 1994, I have been collecting data concerning children since 1965 on topics such as schools, health, projective tests, games, folktales, and other folkloric material. Some activities, customs, and ideas have changed over the thirty years, and the politico-ideological and economic situation has changed dramatically, but on the level at which I am talking about children, little has become obsolete.

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