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In pregnancy prohibitions and instructions of this kind frequently have the force of
taboo, a term derived from a Polynesian word which means 'to forbid' or '
forbidden'. This concept exists in one form or another all over the world. It is '
She is also supposed to eat okra, a vegetable which has a very slippery interior,
to make the baby slip out easily. Taboos can be very powerful. In the Andaman
Islands a name is given to the baby before birth, and from that moment on until it
also taboo before hunting.18 The Mbuti depend on hunting for food, so
prohibition of intercourse before birth and before going out on a hunt stresses the
importance of these two activities. Moreover, pregnant women are not allowed to
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A leading social anthropologist examines what being a mother means to a woman as a person, using examples from societies all over the world, and concludes that a great deal of what we call "maternal ... Read full review
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