Pregnant Ladies

One afternoon, women and girls on their way home from the gardens paused for a rest in Koinambe Grove together with the kids.

139-00:     The women: Weu and At’ema.       The kids: Arum, Mbuk, Mat’a and Goli.

Everyone enjoyed the shade and the huge roots that crisscrossed the path.

139-16_17: Tukume and her mother, Kwingn, sort leaves, while Weu and At’ema chat.

Out on the overgrown singsing ground beyond the shade, boys were playing in the grass.

140-14: A game of catch on the singsing ground.

Pint’ was too old and Arum and Mat’a were a bit too young to get into the rough-housing.

139-14: Pint’ waits for her mother, Komba who is nursing Mbuk.  Later they will carry home the small bundle of firewood and the bamboo food tube.
139-9_10: Arum and Mat’a stand at the very edge of the grove watching the big boys chasing each other.

The mothers thoroughly enjoyed watching the kids play.

139-24_25: Weu (on the left) is expecting her first child.

139-26_27: At'ema (on the right) is expecting her second child.

139-27_28:  Both women enjoy a joke.

139-37_38:  Weu exclaims at the antics of the boys.

Pint' had settled down to be deloused by her mother, Komba.

139-18_19:  Komba, her youngest child in her lap,  delouses her elder daughter, Pint’.

Eventually,  people prepared to leave.

141-11: Apogi brings a bundle of leaves to Weu.

141-21:  At'ema hoists her full garening bilum up to her head.

141-24: Weu knots together the two ends of her bilum.

141-28:  Apogi shifts her bilum so it will be more comfortable.

141-30: Weu sets off,  passing by Komba who is still sorting greens.

141-27: Arum emerges from the leaves she has been playing with.

And the little procession started toward home.

141-32: Women set off toward Tenegump from Koinambe Grove.

We counted ourselves fortunate that three of the women with whose families we had already spent a lot of time were pregnant. We knew that childbirth was something anthropologists were supposed to pay special attention to. We were impressed at the ease with which these women moved in spite of being 6 or 7 months pregnant and we hoped we would be able to be present when the babies were born.

Composed in August, 2011


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