Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/453

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THE STATUS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN.

happens with races considerably higher, both semi-agricultural and pastoral. A Damara's wife "carries his things when he moves from place to place." When the Tupis migrate, all the household stock is taken to the new abode by the females: "The husband only took his weapons, and the wife," says Maregraff, "is loaded like a mule." Similarly, enumerating the labors of wives among the aborigines of South Brazil, Spix and Martins say, "They are also the beasts of burden;" and in like manner Dobrizhoffer writes, "The luggage being all committed to the women, the Abipones travel armed with a spear alone, that they may be disengaged to fight or hunt, if occasion requires." Doubtless the reason indicated in the last extract is a partial defense for this practice, so general with savages when traveling; since, liable as they are to be at any moment surprised by ambushed enemies, fatal results would happen were the men not ready to fight on the instant. And possibly knowledge of this may join the force of custom in making the women themselves uphold the practice, as they do.

On ascending to societies partially or wholly settled, and a little more complex, we begin to find considerable diversities in the division of labor between the sexes. Usually the men are the builders, but not always: the women erect the huts among the Bechuanas, Caffres, Damaras, as also do the women of the Outanatas, New Guinea; and sometimes it is the task of women to cut down trees, though nearly always this business falls to the men. Anomalous as it seems, we are told of the Coroados that "the cooking of the dinner, as well as keeping in the fire, is the business of the men;" and the like happens in Samoa: "The duties of cooking devolve on the men"—not excepting the chiefs. Mostly among the uncivilized and semi-civilized, trading is done by the men, but not always. In Java, according to Raffles, "the women alone attend the markets and conduct all the business of buying and selling." So, too, according to Astley, in Angola the women "buy, sell, and do all other things which the men do in other countries, while their husbands stay at home, and employ themselves in spinning, weaving cotton, and such like effeminate business." In ancient Peru there was a like division: men did the spinning and weaving, and women the field-work. Again, according to Bruce, in Abyssinia "it is infamy for a man to go to market to buy anything. He cannot carry water or bake bread; but he must wash the clothes belonging to both sexes, and, in this function, the women cannot help him." And Petherick says that among the Arabs "the females repudiate needlework entirely, the little they require being performed by their husbands and brothers."

From a general survey of the facts, multitudinous and heterogeneous, thus briefly indicated, the only definite conclusion appears to be that men monopolize the occupations requiring both strength and agility always available—war and the chase. Leaving undiscussed the relative fitness of women at other times for fighting enemies and