Meni Mbugha, a Congolese man, has launched a career in Kinshasa designing fabrics based on the traditional art of the Mbuti, which they draw on bark cloth fabricated from trees. He learned about the traditional bark cloth art from his interactions with the Mbuti, and in return he is attempting to assist them in more […]

The central, organizing spirit of the highly peaceful Batek society, at least in the mid-1970s, was a moral commitment to sharing any and all foods with everyone else who happened to be in camp. This “moral unity,” as Karen and Kirk Endicott so evocatively put it, required children to be constantly scampering about carrying meals […]

In traditional Fipa society, infants slept with their mothers until they were weaned, which, for younger children, may have been delayed until the age of five or so. In a recent article, Kathleen R. Smythe, a professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati, describes the traditional Fipa pattern of raising a baby, called an umwanche uncheche. […]

Amish farm kids have different types of accidents from other country children, according to a recent study published in a pediatrics journal. Five authors at the Hershey Medical Center of Penn State University studied the records of 135 admissions of Amish children to the trauma center at the Children’s Hospital from January 1997 through November […]

Research conducted in America has shown that spanking children may foster their aggressive tendencies, but a recent investigation indicates that the cultural context of discipline is quite significant. In the current issue of Child Development, Jennifer E. Lansford from Duke University and a team of 14 co-authors report on the results of their study of […]

When Douglas Fry studied two neighboring Zapotec villages in the 1980s, he came up with some fascinating data about peacefulness and violence. In both villages the people articulate ideals of cooperation, respect and equality and they disapprove such antisocial actions as stealing, adultery, and physical violence. However, the residents of the more violent community believe […]

The “helpers-at-the-nest” theory, at least a variant for humans, may apply to several agricultural societies but it does not hold true for the traditional Ju/’hoansi. The biological theory suggests that female animals of breeding age, such as some bird species, can pass along their genetic fitness just as effectively by assisting their parents—by acting as […]