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Changes in Developmental Trends of Caregiver-Child Interactions among the San: Evidence from the !Xun of Northern Namibia

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Title

Changes in Developmental Trends of Caregiver-Child Interactions among the San: Evidence from the !Xun of Northern Namibia

Subject

African study monographs. Supplementary issue (2010), 40:
155-177

Description

The San have been the subject of extensive research with respect to their foraging lifestyle that is assumed to date back to antiquity. I conducted field research among the !Xun San, who have had close associations with the neighboring agro-pastoralists, in order to deepen understanding in this area. As anticipated by previous studies on the influence of sedentarization, !Xun children were increasingly engaged in the care of their younger siblings or cousins. These studies also predicted early weaning from breastfeeding. Indeed, the transition from breastfeeding to solid baby food occurred primarily during the second year after birth, regardless of the mother's next pregnancy, among the present-day !Xun. However, several findings did not meet the expectations raised by previous studies. Despite the difference in subsistence patterns, the trend toward parity among sedentary !Xun women was quite similar to that of nomadic Ju|'hoan women. The developmental transition involving touching and holding by the mother was similar among the Ju|'hoan and the !Xun. Gymnastic behavior preceding unaided walking of children persisted, even among the sedentary !Xun, mediated by differences in folk knowledge regarding such gymnastic behavior. Based on this evidence, I reconsidered the relationships among ecology and subsistence patterns, parental ideology, and patterns of caregiver-child interactions.

Creator

Akira TAKADA

Publisher

African study monographs. Supplementary issue (2010), 40:
155-177

Date

2010

Contributor

Bernard C. Moore

Format

PDF

Language

English

Type

Journal Article

Files

Collection

Citation

Akira TAKADA, “Changes in Developmental Trends of Caregiver-Child Interactions among the San: Evidence from the !Xun of Northern Namibia,” Namibia Digital Repository, accessed October 18, 2018, http://namibia.leadr.msu.edu/items/show/281.

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