Maya Children : Helpers at the Farm
Karen L. KramerISBN: 0674016904; 9780674016903;
Book Description Among the Maya of Xculoc, an isolated farming village in the lowland forests of the Yucatan peninsula, children contribute to household production in considerable ways. Thus this village, the subject of anthropologist Karen Kramer's study, affords a remarkable opportunity for understanding the economics of childhood in a pre-modern agricultural setting. Drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives and extensive data gathered over many years, Kramerinterprets the form, value, and consequences of children's labor in this maize-based culture. She looks directly at family size and birth spacing as they figure in the economics of families; and she considers the timing of children's economiccontributions and their role in underwriting the cost of large families. Kramer's findings--in particular, that the children of Xculoc begin to produce more than they consume long before they marry and leave home--have a number...