chapter  2
24 Pages

Creating Gender

WithCecilia McCallum

The proceedings begin with a set of nocturnal invocations, known as pakadin, sung by the male and female chant-leaders with a chorus from the children’s parents. Nixpo Pima marks the first step in the deliberate creation of gendered difference between boys and girls. The spaces that the adolescents inhabit, the words they hear, the sights they see and the substances with which they come into contact, all these shape and penetrate their beings as embodied knowledge. Body yuxins can only be the repositories of gendered knowledge, then, through the activity of the eye yuxin and of the eye. The Cashinahua are famous for their woven textiles, which are produced using techniques similar to Andean ones, but designs characteristic of Lowland traditions. The opposition between male and female as it is expressed within the relationship of marriage underlies the ability a couple has to produce.