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Suffer the Little Children: Death,

Autonomy, and Responsibility in a


Changing "Low Technology"
Environment

James Belote and Linda S. Belote

1969 Maria Carmen Guamiui Sbunaula's angel belts as carrying straps lift the coffin and, with
wings are slightly crooked, but the pleated red the two-man band playing, everyone begins the
and blue bandanas are arranged neatly on the three-mile walk to the cemetery.
altar behind her along with the candles and the "You should be happy and celebrate when a
flowers. Sitting on a low wooden bench, the child dies," we are told.
drummer and accordionistplay their music while *
men and women, girls and boys, dance, whirling 1969 "How many children do you have!" mama
and stomping on the dirt floor. [esbuco moves Ashuca asks.
through the crowd with a bottle of contraband "Two," says Linda.
aguardiente and a cup, insistently offering a drink, "How many dead ones!"
"courtesy of taita Manuel," to anyone he can "None."
corner. He fills the small cup and waits until the "Oh, what a pity," Ashuca responds.
recipient drinks, grimaces in response to the un- * * *
diluted power of the raw cane alcohol, flips the 1968 Around eleven in the evening the room
remaining drops on the floor, and hands the cup began to shake. Dust rose from the floor and
back with the thanks, "God will pay you." there was an all-pervasive sound of rumbling and
All night long there is much laughter, drinking, rattling. Instantly we grabbed our son and ran
dancing, singing, shouting, and talking. A few out of the room, down the stairs, and out into
people have left the party afterhaving eaten bowls the street. Roof tiles fell off the cracking buildings
of mutton soup. A few others have passed out, as the earth continued to move violently; it was
drunk or tired. and are lying-covered with pon- difficult to stand still in one place. People filled
chos or blankets-on the floor. the streets, crying, kneeling, praying-anxiously
Now the sun has long since risen above the awaiting the end of the earthquake, if not the
edge of the Andes. Maria Carmen is placed into end of the earth.
the tiny coffin on the table. Children and adults When the tremors and accompanying noises
gather around, placing flower petals and notes ceased, we immediately noticed that there were
on scraps of paper into the coffin. The coffin is few children in the streets and that screams were
closed. The drunk and the asleep are aroused. coming from inside many homes. No buildings
Four brightly dressed young girls usinglong woven had collapsed completely, and no one had been
killed or seriously injured in the Saraguro area.
lames Belote is a research anthropologist, Houghton, The screams we heard were being made by chil-
MI 49931. Linda S. Belote is Associate Professor of dren who had been left behind-locked in their
Anthropology and Dean of Students at Michigan Tech: rooms-by fleeing parents.
nological University, Houghton, MI49931. "Why did you leave your children locked in!"

I!:) 1984 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technolof ~~d4the P;esident and Fellows of Harvard College. Published by John Wiley &. Sons
Science. Technology, eV Human Values, Volume 9, ss ,PP· 5-4B (Fall 19841 CCC 0162.2439/84/040035·14$04,00
36 Science, Technology, ev Human Values-Fall 1984

we asked, barely suppressing our incredulous self- in that society and how these changes have af-
righteousness. fected, or may affect, the place of children in that
"They are only children," was the consistent society. We will not be examining the conse-
reply. "If they should die they would go right to quences of the introduction of particular tech-
heaven. If we should take the time to unlock nological products such as steel axes or
their doors and try to get them out we might snowmobiles" on the place of children in Saraguro
.
die-and if we die we might go straight to hell." society. Rather, we shall investigate the conse-
quences of the growing integration of the Saragumg
Anthropologists have found it worthwhile to view into a more complex technological milieu for those
cultures as integrated wholes, as complex systems children. Although each sociocultural system has
of interacting variables, none of which can be its own concatenation of features, the case pre-
assumed to be entirely separable from each other. sented here has broad relevance to an understand-
This is not to say that any sociocultural context ing of similar processes of modernization in similar
is without conflict, contradiction, or dissonance sociocultural systems elsewhere in the Third World
between units or categories composed of people as well as to the greater understanding of where
or traits as they are integrated into that context. we-and our children-in the developed world
As Marshall Sahlins has said, what may be most are today.
striking about a sociocultural system are the "idi- Approximately 15,000 people known as Sara-
ocies of its functional connections, the irrelevan- guros live and work in the Andean and upper
cies of its structures. III Conflict, contradiction, Amazon basin areas of southern Ecuador." They
and dissonance are particularly likely to be en- are an ethnically distinctive, indigenous group,
gendered by technological change that involves bilingual in Quichua and Spanish, and traditionally
such elements as new systems of production and have been involved in subsistence farming and
distribution of wealth, new systems of health care, small-scale commercial cattle-raising. The main
and new systems of political organization and production units are nuclear family households,
integration. In other words, differential rates of comprised of three to six persons, which own and
change may lead to a lack of fit between various control more than ten or fifteen hectares of rea-
parts of the sociocultural context, "culture lag" sonably good agricultural, forest, and pasture land
is a term that has been used in reference to this and which raise more than ten or twelve head of
kind of situation." cattle." This is not much, to be sure, but it is
Given the contextual nature of the anthropol- enough to put them economically ahead of abOut
ogical enterprise, we cannot satisfactorily examine 90% of the rest of the rural population of Ecuador. 6
or understand cultural features in isolation. Like Their relative wealth greatly moderates for them
snippets from "Ripley's Believe It Or Not," isolated some of the worst features of rural agricultural
facts or observations may be amusing or enter- life prevailing elsewhere in Ecuador. However, as
taining or disturbing, but they tell us almost a distinctive indigenous group, the Saraguros re-
nothing worth knowing. Part truths may lead us main subject to some patterns of abuse and
further from the truth than no information at all. aggression at the hands of nonindigenous members
We must, therefore, place sociocultural traits- of the dominant national society.'
objects, observable behaviors, and mental activ- In the early 1960s, when we first went to the
ities-inta appropriate contexts, to see how these area as U.S. Peace Corps volunteers, most Saraguros
traits are integrated into a natural and human still lived apart from direct contact with many
environment existing in a historical dimension. clements of the modern world, and of modern
Our purpose in this article is to examine the technology and its consequences. For example,
place of children in a particular society that has none of the Sarnguros had watches or transistor
undergone considerable modernizing change in radios, health conditions, especially infant mor-
the last 20 years. Three features-death, autonomy, tality rates, were about as bad as in poorer parts
and responsibility-will be highlighted in order of the Third World, few Saraguros had gone throUgh
to show how the values, beliefs, and behaviors more than two or three years of rudimentary
concerned with children's place in that society schooling. and very few Snraguros worked any_
were integrated satisfactorily into a broader so- where other than on their own family farms. Sar-
ciocultural context. We will then examine some aguros valued their independence and self-suffi_
of the modernizing changes that have taken place ciency and they had a high degree of subsistence
Belote and Belote: Suffer the Little Children 37

autonomy on the family or community levels. it up again, and continues to play-looking at


Using their own land and labor resources, Saraguro the knife, handling it, licking it, rubbing it on
households were able to provide for most of their her small body. Her parents do not stop shelling
own food, fuel, clothing, and shelter needs, and beans to interfere with her activity.
most of what could not be provided by the house- . .
hold was available within the indigenous com-
munity. Saraguros were rural generalists, all having 1963 Six-year-old Manuel is sick. His mother
a wide range of skills; only a few were part-time asks if we will use Our influence with a doctor
specialists in occupations such as curing, weaving, to have him cured. We agree and walk up the
or pottery manufacture, but most of whom served trail to their house. Manuel is in bed and his
only the limited number of Saraguro households mother goes into the house to get him ready to
that did not have these skills or did not have the go to the doctor. Manuel runs out of the house
time to practice them. Saraguros, then, were not and to the top of the nearby knoll. "I won't go!"
dependent, either on a day-to-day or month-to- he shouts. We look at his mother. "He won't go,"
month basis, on outside sources of goodsor services she says, and apologizes for having bothered us.
for survival. Metal tools ILe., axes, knives, mach- .
etes, saws, plow blades, or needles) were the only 1963 Angelina Guachisaca and Pedro Poma are
survival necessities produced outside their area visiting our house with their three small children.
upon which the Saraguroshad become dependent- A tape recorder, cameras, radio and other such
and for the most part these were durable products delicate objects are scattered about the place.
that, once obtained, lasted for years. Such was The children are into everything, investigating
the strength of their self-sufficiency, of their local every knob, button, and dial, until we put them
control of their low technology subsistence econ- out of reach. Angelina and Pedro do not reprimand
omy, that, had they been cut off from the rest of or control their children with any authority.
the world in the early 1960s, the Saraguros could
have maintained the subsistence component of
their lifestyle without drastic alteration-at least 1964 It has been more than forty days since
until all their metal tools became broken or worn she gave birth to Vicente, so Balbina is now able
out," to leave the house and attend mass. We meet
By the 1980s, many of these conditions had her on the street and she has Vicente with her.
been altered radically. We will discuss this change Vicente is swaddled and wrapped, but we can
later. First, we will present a few more repre- see his face. "What a beautiful child," Linda
sentative observations on Saraguro childhood in comments. "Oh, but he is completely useless.
the 1960s, and will examine the way the values, All he can do is eat and dirty his clothes," replies
beliefs, and behaviors regarding childhood fit into Balbina.
the low technology Saragurocontext of that decade.
19605
Two-year old Abel is shooing chickens out of the
kitchen.
Saraguro Children in the Low Three-year-old Mariana is gathering weeds from
Technology Context of the 19608 the cornfields to feed the guinea pigs.
Four-year-old Angel is sweeping the porch.
1964 Jose Maria crawls toward the three-stone Five-year-old Carmela is giving milk-whey to the
cooking fire in the middle of the kitchen. His pigs.
mother, Aleia. continues to spin yarn as she Six-year-old Jorge is watching his two younger
watches him. No caution or command interrupts sisters while his parents are in town selling a
the whirring of the spindle. Jose Maria touches bull.
a hot stone, burns his hand, and begins to scream. Seven-year-old Clementine is on the hillside,
Aleia stops her work to comfort him. tending the family's flock of sheep.
. Eight-year-old Juan is helping his father to carry
firewood down from the mountain forests.
1962 Angela is playing with a sharp knife on Nine-year-old Francisca is chopping weeds out
the patio. She drops it near her bare feet, picks of a potato field.
38 Science. Technology, eJ Human Values-Fall 1984

Ten-year-old Valentin is learning to weave on a seen as tragic events to be mourned by all who
backstrap loom. knew and cared for the dead."
Eleven-year-old Rosa is spinning wool while on The Saraguro acceptance and celebration of early
her way to town to sell cheese for her mother. childhood death can be seen as a psychosocial
Twelve-year-old Joaquin is helping his father to adjustment to its frequent occurrence. Childhood
drive their herd of cattle along the trail to the mortality is so high that if all friends, kin, and
iungle. neighbors were expected to mourn the death of
a child, and to do so for any significant length of
Viewed from the context of American society, time, most Saraguros would spend much of their
these and many similar, representative observa- lives in mourning.
tions made during our years of residence and re- The supporting ideology for this psychosocial
search in southern Ecuador, raise some important adaptation comes from the Saraguro interpretation
questions about the nature of Saraguro society of Roman Catholicism. In this belief system, young
and the place of children in it. Do Saraguros not children [below the age of six or seven I have not
love their children? Do they really welcome the yet reached the age of accountability-they are
death of a child and, if so, is it because they have not in danger of dying in a state of sin. When
too many mouths to feed with limited resources they die, therefore, they will not be subject to
las is claimed by many non-indigenous people in the Judgment; their souls will go straight to heaven
the area)? Or, loving their children, are they merely to be in the presence of God. The deaths of adults,
fatalistic about the course of life and death, pas- on the other hand, engender much uncertainty
sively accepting whatever happens as being the and fear. One cannot be sure of the destinies of
will of God? Do they ignore the welfare of their adult souls in the hereafter; there is no "assurance
living children when they are in danger, and view of salvation" for those in Samguro who have
their surviving children only as objects to be ex- reached the age of accountability.
ploited for cheap labor, giving them little time These beliefs about the deaths of children and
to play, to interact with other children, and to adults arc shared with the nonindigenous [white]
explore the environment? inhabitants of the town of Saraguro and were
powerfully manifested in the reactions of the
whites to the earthquake of 196B, as recorded
Death above." Although indigenous and nonindigenous
people share these contrasting beliefs about the
In the 1960s, mortality was high in Saraguro. consequences of death for adults and young chil-
Nearly one-third of all children died in their first dren, the indigenous belief system contains more
five or six years of life. Birth control was not complex elaborations on the theme of childhood
practiced, thus many were born and many died- death. They arc as follows. The souls of dead
usually of gastrointestinal or respiratory disorders. children exist in the form of angels. These angels
After early childhood, the mortality rate dropped live eternally in heaven at the side of God. This
sharply. This pattern is common in many Third is perceived as good for the children who have
World countries; although infant and early child- died because they will not have to suffer through
hood mortality rates may be more than an order this life on earth and be subject to life's dangerous
of magnitude higher than they are in developed temptations. It is also seen as good for the family
countries, life expectancy for those who survive and friends the dead children have left behind,
early childhood is not much lower than it is for for the child-angels will serve as messengers to
the same age category of people in developed God-the living will have someone with influence
countries," in heaven to work on their behalf. One of the
It is not surprising, then, that Saraguro culture ways to send messages to God and deceased kin
provides coping strategies for dealing with the is to place notes in the coffins of dead children.
deaths of young children that are quite different Saraguro Catholicism adds a further restraint
from the strategies used to deal with the deaths upon the expression of grief. Children die because
of older children and adults. The deaths of young they have been chosen by God to be with Him
children [Including infants) are accepted and cel- in heaven. Furthermorc, Saraguros usc the met-
ebrated by large numbers of relatives, friends, and aphor of marriage-the marriage of the dead chil-
neighbors. Deaths of older children and adults are dren to Jesus Christ-to explain the phenomena
Belote and Belote: Suffer the Little Children 39

that occur when children die, and they express mines what will happen to them, that they have
this metaphor by including certain dances and little control over their destinies, and that therefore
other ritual forms in children's funerals that occur they should accept what comes in life without
elsewhere only in wedding celebrations. Therefore, attempting to struggle against it. This kind of
according to the religious ideologyof the Saraguros, fatalism is commonly attributed to many Third
the death of a child should be a source of happiness World peoples in order to account for behaviors
and satisfaction to the parents. To reject God's such as those we discussed here in regard to the
choice-to grieve over the death of a young child- acceptance of the deaths of young children.
would be to show an unacceptable jealousy of Fatalism of this sort is not, however, charac-
God and His desires. teristic of the Saraguros land is probably not char-
Saraguros, in fact, do love their children. What acteristic of many of the peoples to whom it has
may seem strange to us is that they try to act in been attributedl.P The only fatalism assignable
accord with their beliefs-accepting the death of to the Saraguros in general is that after something
a loved one because they believe that the loved happens then they will accept it as being the "will
one is actually better off. In Saraguro, great love of God" or "fate. II Their responsibility in life is
for children, and the acceptance and celebration to work and struggle for what they want as long
of their deaths, are not manifestations of disso- and as hard as necessary. Success in life comes
nance in the culture, but of consistency and co- to the Saraguros not through fate, but through
herence-of goodness of fit between ideology, hard work and a little luck or supernatural aid.
emotion, and action. But the consistency and co- "God helps those who help themselves," is a bit
herence emerge from a low [health care, sanitation, of Western folk wisdom with which Saraguros
and medicalJ technology context in which there would agree.
has been a tragically high mortality rate among Saraguro attitudes-and behaviors-related to
young children and infants. hard work, luck, and supernatural aid are grounded
The fit is not perfect in Saraguro. Although the on an economic base which, as we have pointed
cultural rule is that people should not feel or out, is quite strong and secure in Ecuadorian rural
show grief upon the death of a young child, parents terms, and which still provides opportunities for
are rarely able to abide by this rule completely, expansion, In other words, unlike the situation
In the midst of the death celebration, the tears in some other parts of the Third World, hard work
and grief of the parents, particularly those whose in Saraguro is likely to be rewarded with economic
child was more than a few months old, do oc- success-and attitudes toward work and toward
casionally burst forth. The point is, then, not the the control one has over one's destiny conform
perfection of the fit, but the fact that the Saraguro to that reality.
belief system helps to reduce the pain of bereave- It is "control over one's destiny" rather than
ment for parents, and helps to reduce the potential "fate" that is linked to the apparent lack of concern
circle of mourners. of Saraguro parents for the welfare of their children.
Saraguros assert that every individual is a unique
and autonomous being, responsible for his or her
Autonomy own behavior and destiny. Ideally, no one has the
right to give anyone orders, in particular, orders
We now have a partial context that indicates how relating solely to that person's own welfare; no
it is that love for children does not necessarily one should wish to control directly the behavior
conflict with the celebration of their deaths. But of others; no one wishes to be controlled by oth-
if parents love their children, and really do not ers. 13 This does not mean that there is no way
wish for them to be hurt or die, how do we account of maintaining social order in Saraguro. Like res-
for the observations that seem to imply a lack of idents of small-scale, face-to-face communities
concern, on the part of the parents, for the welfare elsewhere, Saraguros are subject to powerful means
of their children? Why, for example, do they let of informal social controls. Gossip and ridicule
them play with knives and fire? Why do they not are the negative agents, and praise and social ac-
make them go to the doctor when they are sick? ceptance the positive agents, of these controls,
A possibility that may immediately come to and all together ensure a high degree of conformity
mind is that the Saraguros must have a fatalistic in many areas of life-ranging from moral behavior
orientation towards life-that God or fate deter- and religious beliefs to clothing and hairstyles.
40 Science, Technology, eJ Human Values-FaI11984

But these controls do not include the right of or irrigation canals. Just as important, Saraguros
anyone to tell or order anyone else what to think have difficulty organizing themselves to prevent
or feel or do. Saraguros, then, are autonomous exploitation and abuse at the hands of nonindi-
human beings living in a dense milieu of diffuse genous outsiders.
social controls. Saraguro children are raised, then, in a society
Discussion of two domains-work for others, in which personal autonomy is valued highly on
and community organization-may help to high- an ideal level and where it is guarded jealously
light how the value of personal autonomy is clearly on a practical level. Just as the Saraguros exhibit
manifested in Saraguro life. First, when Saraguros a coherent, logical system in their ability both to
work for other people they insist, where possible, love their children and to accept their deaths, so
on doing so only on a contract (piece-work) basis; do they manifest a coherent, consistent manner
they strongly dislike working for hourly or daily of viewing, and treating, both children and adults.
wages. One who works on a contract basis-say In terms of autonomy, children differ from adults
clearing two hectares of land, or weaving six meters in degree, not in kind-there is no magical age
of cloth-can accomplish the task more or less or phase marking a transition from dependent
how and when he or she wishes to do so. Working child to autonomous adult (except in the spiritual
for wages, however, assumes the participation of realm, as indicated above I.
a "boss" who is concerned that an adequate Parents do exercise some direct control over
amount of work be done for the money paid per the behavior of their children, but this control is
unit of time. The boss in this situation will be gradually lessened as the children grow older. Fur-
much more concerned with giving orders, of being thermore, this control is almost entirely restricted
in a dominant position vis-a-vis the worker. Sara- to two arenas of life: children must not hurt other
guros do not want any bosses around giving them people, and children must contribute to the com-
orders. Preference for piece-work rather than time- mon welfare of the household. Where their own
based wages is probably common among people welfare (the condition of their own person or
who place a high emphasis on personal autonomy. property) is at stake, children are left as free as
Many of these people, such as the Saraguros, are possible to make their own decisions and mis-
members of low technology societies that have takes-and to learn from them. Parents who let
had simple [noncornplex], household-based labor their children play with fire or sharp knives, or
organization." who do not insist that their children receive med-
Second, Saraguros have very weak forms of ical care against their wills, are not neglecting
community organization. The weakness of their their children, accepting fate, nor hoping that their
community organization seems to be associated children die and become angels. They are re-
logically with their strong ideology of individual specting the rights of children to make their own
autonomy. They are suspicious of any organiza- decisions. And under these conditions, children
tional scheme that might give some people au- learn rapidly to make their own decisions, to deal
thority over others; this suspicion extends to successfully and autonomously with the envi-
elected community councils. Although the gov- ronment in which they live. IS At a very early age,
ernment of Ecuador has insisted that rural com- children learn how to handle fire and knives with-
munities organize themselves formally, and the out suffering injury and without hurting anything
Saraguro communities have done so, the people or anyone else, and most are quite willing to seek
of the communities feel no obligation to obey medical care when they feel sick.
anyone on any council-elected or appointed. The nature of the environment in which they
Furthermore, those who are on community coun- live is crucial to this kind of autonomous up-
cils refuse to give orders to anyone-no matter bringing. In the particular low technology envi-
what powers are supposed to be vested in council ronment of the communities of Saraguro, there
positions. Rather, decisions are supposed to be is little that is likely to injure young children
made on the basis of general consensus and where seriously and there is little that they arc likely
there is no consensus those who do not agree with to damage or destroy. They can, therefore, afford
group decisions are free not to obey them. Thus, to learn through experience, and others can afford
Saragurosoften have difficulty accomplishing tasks to permit them this experiential learning. Although
for the good of their communities-for example, childhood mortality is high, almost none of this
constructing and maintaining trails, roads, bridges, mortality is linked to the autonomous nature of
Belote and Belote: Suffer the Little Children 41

Saraguro child-raisingpractices. Children may bum the family welfare. Because of the nature of their
themselves, they may cut themselves with knives, land use and land-owning patterns, this is par-
a horse may step on them, they might get scratched ticularly clear for Saraguros. The nuclear family,
by a spiny bush, they may fall off a rock, and so which is the main unit of production, owns and
on, but they are not likely to be killed or seriously uses land in small scattered pieces. In the highlands
injured from such events. Mortality rates come alone, one family may have plots scattered 15
primarily from childhood diseases and infections kilometers apart, and those who utilize the "jun-
and, over these things, Saraguros-adults or chil- gles" of the upper Amazon basin have holdings
dren-had little control under 1960s' conditions 70 or more kilometers distant from each other.
of knowledge and resources. In addition, Saraguro The-utilization of such dispersed resources is fa-
homes are built with mud walls which will not cilitated by a very flexible division of labor in
bum, and most implements and furnishings in terms of both age and sex. Father, mother, and
the home are simple and strong. Children, then, one or more of the children may all be apart from
are not likely to damage valuable objects while each other, engaged in productive activities in
engaged in undirected activities. separate family plots.l?
All this is quite different from the context of Efficient use of such scattered resources in such
child-raising in modem technological society. a manner is made easier by the two features of
Parents in modem societies cannot permit their child-raising we have mentioned: autonomy and
children to learn by experience not to be run over responsibility. In Saraguro, the simultaneous
by cars in the street. Parents do not usually let management of widely dispersed resources requires
children learn by experience not to be hurt by workers (boys and girls, women and men] who
electrical outlets and appliances, not to be burned can make important decisions on their own, both
by a hot stove or fireplace, not to drown in the under ordinary circumstances and in times of crisis.
tub, etc. Furthermore, the home and other areas Independent decisionmaking is a quality most
in modem technological societies are filled with easily engendered by accepting and respecting the
valuable objects that small children can easily autonomous nature of human beings from a very
damage or destroy: radios and television sets, vases early age. A requirement of childhood responsi-
and dishes, glass windows, and antique furniture. bility does not necessarily also require a degree
The entire home can be destroyed by children of childhood autonomy; responsibility can be ac-
"experiencing" matches or electrical or gas companied by very authoritarian structures.
appliances. Saraguro children are given strong incentives
In a low technology society like that of Saraguro, to accept responsibility (and autonomy). First, dif-
it is easier to be more relaxed about the behaviors fuse, informal social pressure encourages them to
of children as they explore their environments. be known as good, hard workers. Respect and
Parents do not have to be warning their children praise accrue only to children-and adults-who
continually to keep away from that, or don't do are viewed as economically productive. Second,
this, or don't go over there, or put that down, or there are not only social but material rewards as
leave that alone. Nor do they have to devise dif- well for the hard-working child. The Saraguros
ficult alternatives to control behavior (such as ideologically justify hard work and the accumu-
putting all fragile or dangerous objects out of reach lation of wealth as a means to provide a good
of small children, fencing in yards or stairways, inheritance for one's children. All children, male
or creating or learning other subtle psychological and female, share equally in the inheritance they
techniques]. receive from their mothers and fathers. Further-
more, children receive advances on their inher-
itance: cows and sheep which they begin to get
Responsibility after the age of seven or eight and use to start
their own herds; and land, which they receive in
Finally, we come to the responsibilities of Saraguro their late teens or at marriage. Although they will
children. As is true in many parts of the world be chiefly responsible for these animals and land
where the economy is household-centered-where and willbenefit lrom theirproducts; care for them
the main production units are family enterprises- is integrated with the general operation of the
children in Saraguro can be seen as economic family enterprises until they have married and
assets; they rapidly become net contributors to formed independent nuclear households.
42 Science, Technology, etJ Human Values-Fall 1984

Work by children thus contributes directly and passively, hut felt and acted as if they had con-
indirectly to their own present welfare, as well siderable control over their own destinies-and
as to their future welfare as adult members of this internal control was extended to children as
independent households-and to their ability in much as possible. Although there was a critical
turn to provide well for their own children. Under division between infancy and childhood at the
these conditions, "child labor" in Saraguro should age of six or seven, defined in terms of the age
not be viewed as exploitative-and is not so viewed of spiritual accountability and usually marked by
by either children or adults. first communion and gifts of animals with which
The degree of productive responsibility required children were to start their own herds, there were
of children fits well into a low technology en- no other noticeable breaks or stages along the
vironment characterized by gradual childhood dimensions of autonomy and responsibility." Well
learning of adult tasks through close association before they reached the age of six or seven, children
with, and learning from, performing experts such were being brought up to make their own decisions
as parents, older siblings, and friends. Not only and to participate in productive activities. Finally,
do children learn from an early age to engage in these patterns of childhood were all well integrated
productive activities, but they can also take sat- into a particular low technology society in which
isfaction in being contributing members of society. 11) there was a high childhood mortality rate, (2)
Under such circumstances, Saraguro children ex- the nuclear family was the main production unit,
press little doubt about their feelings of self-worth. (3) productive resources were widely scattered,
Furthermore, in this context, children are much and (4) opportunities for economic expansion and
more familiar with the adult working world-its accumulation through hard work were available.
difficulties and rewards, its problems and how
they are solved-than are children in high tech-
nology societies where the worlds of childhood
and of productive work are more rigidly separated.
No doubt, this familiarity greatly eases the tran- Into the Future: Saraguro Children in a
sition from childhood to adulthood in Saraguro. High Technology Context
Saraguro childhood is, of course, not all drudgery
and hard work. The cyclical nature of agricultural Ecuadorian society in general has been undergoing
life, both on an annual and daily basis, gives chil- considerable change since the early 1960s. These
dren time to play, to explore, and to interact with changes were accelerated in 1972 when Ecuador
others, and they engage in these activities with became an oil-exporting country land member of
gusto. Some work patterns themselves provide OPEC) and have included such infrastructural de-
times of nonwork pleasure. For example, while velopments as improved transportation and com-
caring for cattle in the high pastures, older children munications systems, increased construction and
and young adults may take time to doze in the utilization of formal educational facilities, ex-
sun, to talk with neighboring herders, to play panded access to health care and medical services
games, or to engage in courtship activities. and information, and improved electrification
systems. In addition, there has been a growth in
opportunities for some Indians as Indians to be-
come engaged at higher levels in both regional
Summary: The Low Technology Context of the and national political, occupational, and educa-
1960s tional structures. And, nonagricultural wages and
prices have risen dramatically in the country as
In the low technology context of the 1960s, there- a whole as a consequence of the infusions of oil
fore, although deaths of small children were cel- money in the national economy (for example, per
ebrated, Saraguro children were loved. Children capita GNP rose nearly 500% between 1970 and
had considerable autonomy, but not license. Chil- 1980). However, a combination of declining oil
dren were not exploited, but were expected to be production and declining world market prices for
productive, responsible members of their fami- oil has given rise to serious doubts about contin-
lies-in order to provide for both the family welfare uing infrastructural and economic development
and their own future well-being. Saraguros did in Ecuador in the 1980s and has raised fears of
not feel or act as if they should accept their fate instability and severe economic depression. IS Not
Belote and Belote: Suffer the Little Children 43

knowing what the future holds, we can only spec- As this integration occurs, the Saraguros have
ulate (in an educated mannerI on how the Saraguros not shed their ethnic identity. Rather, they con-
will move through the coming years and how tinue to value their status as a unique and dis-
current changes will affect the place of children tinctive people. In holding on to their ethnicity,
in Saraguro society. they do not maintain tradition for its own sake,
In Saraguro since the early 1960s, improved they are willing to modify cultural practice in
water supplies and sanitation, more widespread order to promote, enhance, and defend their ethnic
immunization programs, and greater access to distinctiveness. Continuing Saraguro ethnogenesis
medical facilities have initiated considerable re- is stimulated by a higher technology context of
duction in child mortality rates. Infant and child- increased information flow-of increased aware-
hood mortality is still high but nevertheless con- ness by the Saraguros of what is going on in Ec-
tinues to decline. Formal education has become uador and in the world-provided by the current
more important to and widespread among the Sara- ubiquity of the transistor radio, by the Saraguros'
guros, in the 1960s few went beyond two or three greater participation in formal educational systems,
years of schooling, now many are finishing high and by their travel to other parts of Ecuador and
school and university educations. The possession adjoining countries."
of artifacts of high technology systems has in-
creased dramatically; watches and clocks, radios,
tape recorders, motorcycles, sewing mahines, Death
chainsaws, gas stoves, and cameras are now among
the items to be encountered in Saraguro Declining mortality rates among young children
households. and infants in Saraguro may lead eventually to a
Dozens of Saraguros are now engaged primarily restructuring of the rules and behaviors related
in nonagricultural occupations such as high school to childhood death. If the deaths of children become
and elementary school teaching, bilingual literacy increasingly rare-approaching the mortality rates
instruction, auxiliary nursing, government agency of more "developed" societies-then the accept-
employment, skilled and unskilled labor, and ance and celebration of children's deaths will no
ownership of small businesses. Saraguros have longer play such an important psychosocial role
been pushed into these occupations by a continuing in helping people adjust to the high frequency of
population expansion that has increased pressures childhood mortality. If, in addition, the Saraguros
on land resources and therefore decreased the become more involved in the skeptical, secular
widespread opportunities to expand agricultural (scientific/rational) aspects of the modern world
enterprises; they have been pulled into them by land some of them already have been], the religious
the fact that nonagricultural occupations are much ideology that helps to rationalize the acceptance
more attractive than they were in the past because and celebration of the deaths of children will al-
of higher inflation rates in nonagricultural than most certainly be weakened. Furthermore, as they'
in agricultural prices and wages in recent years become more integrated into the modem world,
in Ecuador. Both the push and the pull factors Saraguros will become more aware of the pre-
have operated in a changing national context in dominance of very different ways of dealing with
which Indians have been freer to seek alternatives the deaths of children. As a consequence, they
to traditional nccupations.i'' may be (or may feel) pressured into changing their
Both directly and indirectly, Saraguros are be- own ways in order to conform to modern ideals
coming rapidly integrated into a world of complex, and values. We suggest, therefore, that as Saraguros
high technology. In the direct sense, they are not experience the likely results of greater integration
so much participants in high technology enter- into a more technologically developed society
prises or users of technology in their productive (lowered mortality rates, increased secularization,
activities as avid consumers of the products of greater pressure to gain acceptance as members
modem, technological productive systems [radios, of an "enlightened" if distinctive group), there
motorcycles, gas stoves, etc.], In the indirect sense, will be a decline in the values, beliefs, and be-
the Saraguros arc becoming more heavily involved haviors associated with the acceptance and cel-
in a national milieu that itself is being transformed ebration of the deaths of children, and the deaths
by growing integration into the modem techno- of children will be increasingly mourned by a
logical world. larger network of kin, friends, and neighbors.
44 Science, Technology, eJ Human Values-Fall 1984

Autonomy in classes that include non-Indians and is probably


due in part to the work ethic with which Saraguro
At least since the Incas and later the Spaniards children have traditionally been raised.
conquered the southern Ecuadorian highlands, In addition to the increasing numbers of Sara-
Saraguros have been forced to deal with non-Sara- guros who arc being assimilated individually into
guro, hierarchical, authoritarian structures in authoritarian educational and occupational struc-
which individual autonomy was suppressed. Doc- tures that arc ultimately dominated and controlled
umentary evidence indicates that in the 18th and by non-Sarnguros, the Snraguros are now involved
19th centuries Saraguros themselves may have in trying to create internal structures that will
also been internally organized into authoritarian enable them to defend themselves from outside
structures. However, by the middle of the 20th exploitation and to promote Snraguro interests.
century at the latest, Saraguro communities had They face a dilemma in that they desire the es-
become organized internally along strong egali- tablishment of organizational forms that, on the
tarian lines, with individual private property rights one hand, will be effective enough to enable them
and personal autonomy being highly emphasized to compete successfully with non-Saraguro in-
features of that organization (or disorganization, terests, but which, on the other hand, will not
as it might better be put)." Thus, although Sara- diminish the autonomous rights of individuals by
guros have "always" had to deal with the hier- giving too much decision making, or implemen-
archical, authoritarian structures (governmental tation, power to others. Activist Saraguros openly
and ecclesiastical] of the outside world, recent recognize and discuss this dilemma. So far, they
generations of Saraguro children have been raised have been able to operate with some success by
in an ethnic group context [where most daily living using consensus-based decislonmaktng and im-
and learning takes place) of egalitarianism and plementation forms.
personal autonomy. But greater educational and As they increasingly move into all levels of the
occupational integration into the national society more diverse occupational structure characteristic
and attempts to organize indigenous community of a national society that is entering the modem
structures more formally for the purposes of pro- technological world, the Snraguros will face an-
moting and defending Saraguro interests arc other dilemma. Although there have always been
bringing nonegalitarian, nonautonomous patterns inequalities within Snrnguro society, the Oppor-
into daily life and learning among the Saraguros, tunity structure of traditional Saraguro society
For example, many Saraguros now work in au- was fairly open to all those who were willing to
thoritarian structures as school teachers, govern- work hard. Under the new conditions, however,
ment employees, or wage laborers. Children and the opportunity structure will probably become
young people now may have formal schooling of more unequal, and social, economic, and educa-
from six to more than sixteen years [compared tional differentiation will probably be exacerbated.
with the two- or three-year maximum of the early Internal divisions along class lines, or between
1960sl. These Saraguros must adapt to new con- educational/occupational elites and nonelitcs, may
ditions of living, learning, and working. It appears, emerge.
at this point, that the rewards of the new struc- We do not know where all these changes will
tures-higher monetary remuneration, training for lead in terms of Saraguro child-raising customs.
greater economic opportunities-have been enough It seems probable that as Saraguros become more
to overcome the reluctance to become involved integrated into a world where egalitarianism and
in authoritarian structures. In spite of their au- personal autonomy arc not much valued in prac-
tonomous upbringing and in spite of the stigma tice, there will be changes toward a less autonomy-
they suffer as Indians in Ecuadorian society, many oriented form of child-raising. The shift would
Saraguros also have done quite well in some of also be pushed along by the changing material
these structures. For instance, most teachers [who components of the environment in which Saraguro
now include Indians, non-Indian Ecuadorians, and children arc brought up. Many of these components
Spanish priests) claim that Saraguro children in arc either more dangerous or more fragile than
general do better work-in school than their non- what was present in the traditional Saraguro en-
Indian peers. This is reflected by the frequency vironment. Now the children face such techno-
with which Saraguro children achieve top ranking logical hazards as motorcycles, chainsaws, gas
Belote and Belote: Suffer the Little Children 45

stoves, and electrical networks and they can also hierarchical, dangerous, and fragile elements, but
more easily damage the consumer goods of modem also one in which it is more difficult to define a
society such as radios, tape recorders, and cameras. useful role for children. No longer are all Saraguro
Under all these conditions, then, it will probably children full participants in a family economic
become increasingly difficult for Saraguro parents enterprise. Thus, while children of teachers, uni-
to maintain a high level of acceptance of the au- versity students, government employees, or some
tonomous nature of their children; there will wage laborers may, and do, engage in activities
probably be a gradual increase in authoritarian that serve to maintain the household in some
relations between parents and children in which ways, they are unlikely to contribute directly to
children will be prepared for incorporation into the economically productive activities (or training
a more hierarchically organized world and in which for those activities) in which their parents are
children will be controlled more rigidly, both to engaged; the nature of their parents' occupational
protect them, and to protect fragile things from engagement makes the participation of children
them. difficult or impossible. Furthermore, as the parents
Some of the difficulties engendered by the new of Saraguro children engage in these new occu-
conditions of Saraguro life are reflected in the pations, and as the children themselves spend
following observations made in 1981. These ob- more time in school, children will probablybecome
servations are fairly representative of many that increasingly disconnected from land unfamiliar
seem to indicate that the Saraguro parents who with) the adult working world. As a consequence,
are most involved in the new conditions of life a well-marked-and potentially difficult-tran-
have not yet developed child-raising practices well sition period between youth and adulthood may
accommodated to the new conditions. develop in Saraguro society."
* Children in the new context of occupational
1981 The parents of Incacbo, a bright and specialization will no longer be likely to learn
curious child of six, are university students living their adult occupational roles smoothly and grad-
in a small apartment in a large city. When we ually, from parent-experts. Rather, these, and many
visit them, we find it difficult to be around In- other children in Saraguro will be more engaged
cache, confined to the small apartment, with little in the formal educational process as the primary
to do, he is constantly underfoot, interrupting training ground for future occupational roles.
adult conversations, running around noisily, or Whether given to children of agriculturalists or
playing carelessly with anything he can get his nonagriculturalists, schooling raises the costs of
hands on. Although they sometimes appear an- children to their parents, and reduces their con-
noyed, his parents do little to controlhis behavior. tribution to the welfare of the family. And, we
The family visits relatives in Saraguro during can speculate, it may begin to affect negatively
university breaks. lncacho doesnot seem to adjust the feelings of self-worth-of being valuable con-
well to country living; he chases the chickens, tributors to the welfare of the family-that has
breaks down corn plants, and does not easily been engendered traditionally among children in
participate in household tasks usually assigned Saraguro society, unless Saraguros deliberately
to Saragtuo children. One day, his grandmother devise some new strategies of chid-raising. We
sends him to take care of the sheep. He goes, cannot speculate further, however, about what
seemingly quite willing to do so. However, the these strategies might be or whether Sara-
family soon discovers that lncacho has tired of guros will be particularly successful in creating
taking care of the sheep and is unconcernedly them.
playing around on the hillside. The sheep, un- None of this should be taken to imply that a
tended, are grazing in the cornfields of the "work ethic" will not remain strong in Saraguro
neighbors. as long as there are opportunities to achieve some
success as a result of hard work (in either agri-
cultural or nonagricultural occupations!. The
Responsibility problem for Saraguro parents is the smooth in-
corporation of their children into this ethic, given
Incacho, and other children like him, are not only the. changing context in which children are now
being raised in an environment that contains more being raised.
46 Science, Technology, etJ Human Values-Fa111984

Summary and Conclusions and use such traditional values as hard work, per-
sonal autonomy, and responsibility in a changing
In this article, we have shown how the Saraguros environment.F'
accommodated to high infant and early childhood
mortality rates and how they raised their surviving Acknowledgments-We thank the Department of
children to be both autonomous and responsible Anthropology, University of Illinois (Urbana-
human beings. We showed, furthermore, how their Champaign), the National Institute of Mental
orientation toward children and child-raising fit Health, the Midwestern Universities Consortium
into a particular low technology environment. We for International Activities, and Michigan Tech-
then raised the issue of modernizing change in nological University for funding that made the
Saraguro society, pointing out that as the Saraguros research reported herein possible. We also wish
have become more engaged in the modern world to thank Mary Buser for helpful criticisms of an
and its accompanying technological complexity- earlier draft.
and the artifacts of that technological complexity-
what "fit" in the past may no longer "fit" so well
into the present, and may not "fit" at all into the
future. Notes
As childhood mortality has declined, as Sara-
guros as individuals and in groups have become 1. Marshall Sahlins, "Culture and Environment: The
more involved in specialized, nonagricultural oc- Study of Cultural Ecology," in Robert Manners and
cupations embedded in hierarchical, authoritarian David Kaplan, eds., Theory in Anthropology (Chi-
structures, as more dangerous and more fragile cago, IL: Aldine, 19681, p. 370.
artifacts of industrial/technological civilization 2. William Ogburn, Social Change (New York: Viking,
1950).
have increasingly pervaded the Saraguro environ-
3. Classical anthropological examples of this kind of
ment, and as children have become more costly study arc Lauristan Sharp's "Steel Axes for Stone
and less economically active, the place of children Age Australians," in Edward Spicer, cd., Human
in Saraguro society has begun to change. We do Problems in Technological Change (New York:
not know how, or how well, Saraguros will ac- Russell Sage, 195211 and Pertti Pelto, The Snow-
commodate to these new realities. Nor do we mobile Revolution: Technology and Social Change
know if the tradeoffs they must make in order in the Arctic (Menlo Park, CA: Cummings, 1973).
to become more engaged with the modern tech- 4. Most research in the area, including that reported
nological world will lead to a more satisfactory herein, has focused on the 3000 or so Saraguros
human condition in Saraguro. On the one hand, residing in the countryside of the parroquia (parish)
for example, greater engagement may mean a de- of Saraguro. The parish scat is a town also called
Saraguro, it is inhabited by 1600 people, all of them
gree of loss of self-sufficiency, of autonomy, and
blancos.
of some cultural traditions, and of greater alien- 5. In the frequency with which they handle large,
ation from the fruits of their own labor. On the mobile livcstock, the Sarnguros arc similar to pas-
other hand, greater engagement will probably lead toralists. It is our impression that the Saraguros
to continued declines in childhood mortality, to have many personality traits commonly found
expanding economic/occupational and political among pastoralist groups. One of the better known
opportunities in a wider system, and to increased studies of pastoralist personality is in Robert Ed-
access to worthwhile products of higher gerton, The Individual in Cultural Adaptation
technology. [Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1971).
Like members of small-scale societies every- Charlene Bolton, Ralph Bolton, Lorraine Gross, Amy
where, Saraguros probably do not have much Koel, Carol Michelson, Robert Monroe, and Ruth
Monroc, in a paper entitled "Pastoralism and Per-
choice about becoming more engaged with the
sonality: An Andean Replication" (Washington, DC:
modern technological world. The question is not American Anthropological Association annual
whether they will be a part of that new world, meeting, 1976l have given a similar analysis of a
but how well they will be able to define their group of Andean (Peruvian) pastoralists.
place in that world; how well they will be able 6. According to the Junta Nacional de Planificaci6n
to prepare themselves and their children to develop y Coordinaci6n Econ6mica [in Division Territorial
and maintain a coherent and satisfactory life within de 1a ReplibJica del Ecuador [Ouito: JNPCE, 1971),
it; and to what extent they will be able to preserve p.61!, 92.1 % of all highland rural agricultural land
Belote and Belote: Suffer the Little Children 47

holdings in Ecuador in 1968 were ten hectares or European origins of the celebration of the deaths
less. James Belote, "Changing Adaptive Strategies of children.
among the Saraguros of Southern Ecuador" (Ph.D. 12. For example, the study by Raymond Buriel and
dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Uni- Lydia Rivers, "The Relationship of Locus of Control
versity of Illinois, 19841 provides an analysis of the to Family Income and Familism among Anglo- and
economic situation of the Saraguros. Mexican-American High School Students," The
7. For details on ethnic relations in Saraguro, see Walter Journal of Social Psychology, Volume 23 (19801:
Schmitz, "Interethnic Relations in Saraguro (Ec- 27-34, finds no support for the common idea that
uador/ from the Point of View of an Anthropology fatalism is a cultural characteristic of Mexican-
of Communication," Sociologus, Volume 27 (19771: Americans. Rather, external locus of control is pos-
64-84; Peter Masson, "Aspectos de 'Cognicion' y itively correlated with extremely low socioeconomic
'Enculturacion' en el Habla Interetnica: Terminos standing.
de Referencia y Tratamiento Interetnicos en Sar- 13. We follow Eleanor Leacock, "Women's Status in
aguro, Ecuador," Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv, N.F. Egalitarian Society: Implications for Social Evo-
9 (1983): 73-129; Linda Belote, "Prejudice and Pride: lution," Current Anthropology, Volume 19(1978):
Indian-White Relations in Saraguro, Ecuador," Ph.D. 242-275, in her use of the term "autonomy" to
dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Uni- refer to the condition where those who make de-
versity of Illinois, 1978; and Linda Belote and Jim cisions are those who carry them out.
Belote, "Drain from the Bottom: Individual Ethnic 14. Preference for piece-work rather than hourly rates
Identity Change in Southern Ecuador," Social Forces, has been noted, for example, by Manning Nash,
Volume 63, Number 1 (1984, forthcoming]. Machine Age Maya: The Industrialization of a
8. See James Belote, op. cit. Guatemalan Community (Washington, DC:
9. For more detailed data on children and health in American Anthropological Association, 1958); see
Saraguro, see Ruthbeth Finerman, "Pregnancy and .also, Gladys Villavicencio, Relaciones Inteietnicas
Childbirth in Saraguro: Implications for Health Care en Otavalo-Ecuador [Mexico: Instituto Indigenista
Delivery in Southern Ecuador," Medical Anthro- Interamericano, 1973), p. 206.
pology, Volume 6(1982): 269-278; and"A Matter 15. See Dorothy Lee, Freedom and Culture (New York:
of Life and Death: Health Care Change in an Andean Prentice-Hall, 1959), for a discussion of childhood
Community," Social Science and Medicine, Volume autonomy in several other non-Western societies.
18 (1984, Iorthcoming]: 329-334. 16. "Transhumance in the Central Andes," by Norman
10. For recent cross-cultural views on death and death Stewart, Jim Belote, and Linda Belote, in Annals
rituals, see Richard Huntington and Peter Metcalf, of tile Association of American Geographers, Vol-
Celebrations of Death: The Anthropology of Mor- ume 66 (1976): 377-397; "Apuntes sobre Dos Mi-
tuary Ritual (Cambridge, England: Cambridge graciones de los Saraguros," by Anny de Tual, in
University Press, 1979); and the book edited by Revista de Antropologia (Cuenca), Volume 61I9791:
Maurice Block and Jonathan Parry, Death and the 117-129; and James Belote, op. cit., present infor-
Regeneration of Life (Cambridge, England: Cam- mation on the dispersed nature of Saraguro land-
bridge University Press, 19821. Such Saraguro fea- holdings and the techniques used to exploit them.
tures of dealing with the death of a child as the In contrast to Saraguro, where dispersed holdings
placement of the dead child on a decorated altar, may be simultaneously managed by individual
of calling the dead child a "little angel," the sending members of the nuclear family household, in other
of messages with the dead child to the other world, areas dispersed holdings may be managed by small
and the prohibition against mourning the death of family units that together constitute an extended
a child are also recorded for a Peruvian Andean family production-organization. See, for example,
community by Oscar Nunez del Prado in La Vida Marshall Sahlins, "Land Use and the Extended
i la Muerte en Chinchero [Cuzco, 1952), pp. 10- Family in MoaIa, Fiji," in Andrew Vayda, cd., En-
13. For Andean views of death as a process, see vironment and Cultural Behavior (Garden City,
George Urioste, "Sickness and Death in Preconquest NY: Natural History Press, 1969). Another alter-
Andean Cosmology: The Haurochiri Oral Tradi- native to the use of child labor is the use of reciprocal
tion," in Joseph Bastien and John Donahue, eds., or exchange labor (mingal. Minga participation has
Health in the Andes (Washington, DC: American declined greatly in Saraguro sinee the 1960s ac-
Anthropological Association, 1981), pp, 9-18. cording to Jim Belote and Linda Belote, "The Lim-
II. In a chapter entitled "The Ritual of Death in Spanish itation of Obligation in Saraguro Kinship," in Ralph
America" in his book, Culture and Conquest: Bolton and Enrique Mayer, eds., Andean Kinship
America's Spanish Heritage (New York: Viking and Marriage (Washington, DC: American An-
Fund publications in Anthropology, 1960), pp. 143- thropological Association, 19771. See also, Charles
166, George Foster points out the Catholic, Southern Erasmus, "The Occurrence and Disappearance of
48 Science. Technology, eJ Human Values-Fall 1984

Reciprocal Farm Labor in Latin America," in Dwight Soviet Union, formal attempts are made to give
Heath and Richard Adams, cds., Contemporary children a high degree of familiarity with the adult
Cultures and Societies of Latin America {New York: working world; see Urie Brofenbrenner, Two Worlds
Random House, 19651. of Childhood: U.S. and U.S.S.R.(New York: Pocket
17. In a survey of the literature on childhood in The Books, 1973), pp. xxi-xxiii.
Intimate Environment: Exploring Marriage and the 23. A number of general works have given insights to
Family, 3rd ed. (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1983), us in our thinking about Saraguro. Lee, op. cit., is
Arlene Skolnick finds that most cultures recognize one of the most important of these. Philippe Aires,
at least one "great transformation," that between Centuries of Childhood, Robert Baldick, translator
infancy and postinfancy, at around five to seven (New York: Knopf, 19621; Skolnick, op. cit.; and
years of age. Other transformations or stages be- Brofenbrenner, op. cit., provide interesting insights
tween infancy and adulthood appear to be culture- into the place of children at various times and
specific. places. Jules Henry, On Education [New York:
IS. Ecuador is a nation the size of Colorado with a Random House, 19661 and Ivan Illich, Deschooling
population of around 8,500,000 people. A good, Society [New York: Harper and Row, 1973) give
short overview of Ecuadorian economic, political, critical examinations of the impact of formal
and social structures is found in a book by Osvaldo schooling on sociocultural life. Thought-provoking
Hurtado and Heman Salgado, Dos Mundos Super- ideas on the interrelationships between technology
puestos, 3rd ed. (Quito: Inedes, 1980). See also Nes- and society are given in E. F. Schumacher, Small
tor Vega Moreno, La Economia Ecuatoriana en la is Beautiful [New York: Harper and Row, 1973);
Decada de los 70 y Perspectivas Puturas (Quito: Erich Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destruc-
La Union, 1980); The World Bank, Ecuador: De- tiveness (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston,
velopment Problems and Prospects (Washington, 19731; Bernard Gendron, Technology and the Hu-
DC: World Bank, 1979); and Ray Bromley, Devel- man Condition {New York: St. Martin's Press,
opment and Planning in Ecuador (London, England: 19771; and Arnold Pacey, The Culture of Technology
Latin American Publications Fund, 1977). Ecuador (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1983) among oth-
has a many-faceted population. The single best ers. Some anthropological views of technology/cul-
source of ethnographic information on ethnic and ture interrelationships are provided by George Fos-
underclass groups as they deal with the changing ter, Traditional Societies and Technological
national context of Ecuador is the book Cultural Change. 2nd cd. [New York: Harper and Row, 1973)
Transformations and Ethnicity in Modern Ecuador, and H. Russel Bernard and Pcrtti Pelto, cds., Tech-
edited by Norman E. Whitten, Jr.lUrbana, IL: Uni- nology and Social Change (New York: Macmillan,
versity of Illinois Press, 1981). 1972). Finally, our theoretical orientation has been
19. See James Belote, op. cit. informed, although not dominated, by the ideas of
20. For more details on Saraguro ethnogenesis in a cultural materialism-the assumption that the
COntext of greater integration into the modem world, material conditions of life have a powerful lif not
see Linda Belote and Jim Belote, "Development in totally one-directional) influence on the values, be-
Spite of Itself: The Saraguro Case" in Whitten, op. liefs, and behaviors of individuals and on the nature
cit. pp. 450-476; and Jim Belote and Linda Belote, of the structures of the societies in which these
"From the Incas to OPEC: A Process of Andean individuals live. This view has been most prom-
Ethnogenesis," 1984, unpublished manuscript. inently expressed by Marvin Harris in such books
21. For a review of the historical data on the Saraguro as Cannibals and Kings: TI,e Origins of Cultures
area since the Spanish conquest, sec James Belote, (New York: Random House, 1977) and Cultural
op. cit. Materialism: The Struggle for a Science of Culture
22. In at least one modem technological society, the (New York: Random House, 1979).