The field of study dealing with the individual’s personalities and identities within a particular cultural context is called psychological anthropology (Honigmann, 1961). This field of study argues that the individual’s personalities and identities are shaped by his or her…
This culminates a lifetime series of gift exchanges between the father’s clan and the child. The newborn’s first three months are spent on a cradleboard in a supine position (as cited in Honigmann, 1961). Afterwards, the cradleboard is used only as a sleeping place. Finally, the cradle is discarded between six months and one year.
Around two years of age, the child finds weaning with ease. Gradually, cleanliness or hygiene is taught to the child. The matrilocal household acts as the “agent of socialization” for boys up to age six and for girls virtually throughout their youth. Five-year-old Hopi children are more relaxed and carefree compared to the older Hopi children. Boys attain freedom by breaking away from the matrilocal-household family around five years of age (as cited in Honigmann, 1961). In this period, they spend more time in the fields, on the range, and in a religious structure known as kiva.
The character of the early Hopi life is generally permissive (as cited in Honigmann, 1961). However, the limitation of their freedom lies in the interest of their bodily safety. Contrary to girls, the adjustment of boys to such restriction or limitation is quite difficult. This can be revealed through their reaction or behavior: to name two, thumb-sucking and temper tantrum (as cited in Honigmann, 1961). The underlying reason here is the difference of freedom given to boys and girls. Hopi boys are socially permitted to break away from their family while Hopi girls are confined within the walled house. The role of girls is restricted to staying close to home in performing their household tasks. Eventually, young men will marry and assume a “marginal position” (as cited in Honigmann, 1961). Women, on the other hand, will remain in their mother’s house even after marriage. Transition from childhood to youth is marked by the initiation of “Kachina cult” (as ...
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