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photo of Chijani, chaqui taqllia, work on terrace (ISB_00829)

Chijani, chaqui taqllia, work on terrace (ISB_00829)

Gender figures prominently in rituals, such as Yapuy, Navidad, and Herranza. During the Yapuy planting ritual, an adult father plays the warmi, the woman who plants. This symbolic woman dresses in women's clothes with her face covered. She plants the plaza with symbolic seed (fermented corn) carried on her back. During the Navidad ritual in December, a single male dancer representing a llama or alpaca is pursued by a dancing group of women and girls who capture him, symbolizing copulation. During the Herranza ritual, an adult woman who has given birth is essential at several points. A ritual "marrying" of young animals expresses reciprocity between human and animal fertility.

Gender is also reflected in agriculture: Men do the plowing and women plant the seed.

painting of Birthing scene (ISB_01376)

Birthing scene (ISB_01376)

Birthing is notable due to the direct participation of the father in the birth. In the birthing scene depicted in the Sarhua painting (ISB_1376) it appears visually as if both parents are giving birth. A child is not given a name until it can sit up and support its weight. Gender identity is confirmed when a child can walk. Both sexes are dressed in girl's clothing and their hair is left long until a ritual hair cutting ceremony by which children receive their first inheritance of animals. At that time, boys receive male clothing and haircuts

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Isbell, Billie Jean. "De inmaduro a duro: lo simbólico femenino y los esquemas andinos de género." Chap. 8 of Más allá del silencio: las fronteras de género en los Andes, D. Y. Arnold, compiladora. La Paz: Biblioteca Andina, 1997.
"From Unripe to Petrified." English Version.