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Marriage was essential for the mature man or woman. Its importance is well indicated in folk tales where incidents relating to it are usually unduly stressed. A man without a wife was only half socially and economically potent.
He had no one to cook for him, no one to bear him children, no one to gather and prepare wild foods and agricultural products, and he was therefore greatly to be pitied. The same was true of a woman without a husband, for she had no one to hunt for her, no one to bring her horses and other booty from raids, and no one to give her children.
It was said that men and women could not get along without each other. Failure to marry was rare and considered decidedly abnormal. A widow or widower still young enough to remarry and produce children might choose to remain single, but rarely did this happen. The material obtained on sex knowledge and play among Apache children is exceedingly limited. It seems inconceivable, however, that children, living in a society where life-crises are taken as a matter of course and where animals such as dogs, burros, horses, and cattle were continually present, could be long ignorant of facts concerning reproduction.
Today, births are freely discussed before younger members of the family, and children may hear talk concerning sexual intercourse, although this is usually in the form of joking or gossip. The ages at which children begin to comprehend the meaning of such things may vary. She thought that the animals were fighting. Her family, particularly her maternal grandparents, laughed until they cried, but they did not give an ex planation to the little girl beyond saying comfortingly that the strange burro would do no harm.
Small children of opposite sex played together up to the age of eight or nine, but, by eleven or twelve, boys and girls were usually playing separately. At twelve to fourteen, girls reached puberty and began to Women want sex Bylas an interest in the opposite sex. Youths showed a similar interest at sixteen or seventeen. From these ages on, girls and youths had social contacts which might grow into courtship Women want sex Bylas marriage. Youths usually married between twenty and twenty-five.
Old people often mention the period of their lives just before marriage and recall the good times they had. The extreme self-consciousness of youths and girls begins to show itself a year or so before puberty and on up to the time of marriage; a year after marriage much of it has disappeared. Girls seem bashful in the presence of the opposite sex, particularly strangers. If addressed by a man or youth, a girl may refuse to answer or to look at him.
Girls often refrain from eating in the presence of the opposite sex when not members of the household and in company may be reluctant to perform a household task if they feel that it will call attention to themselves. When passing a group of young men, they may look down or in another direction and may avoid facing a young man when touching him on the shoulder in invitation to dance.
But personalities vary, and some girls can be even flippantly bold and quite composed in the presence of men. Youths are still more self-conscious and may even be restrained in the company of older men.
When spoken to with strangers about, they may be slow in answering or even fail to make any response. They often show unwillingness to do something which would make them conspicuous, such as getting up and fetching an article, even when their parents ask them. At first, this gives the impression of sullenness, but it is really self-consciousness. In former times youths often refused to eat in the presence of strangers. When together, young people of opposite sex even refrained from scratching their bodies, and both especially boys would rather sit in great discomfort than excuse themselves to urinate.
It is said that some waited so long that they were made ill. Youths often dislike to enter a crowd where there are girls they know, and John Rope tells how, as a boy, he sent a relative into a throng to get his ration ticket for him, rather than go himself, because he saw some girls there he knew. In the old days some girls and boys avoided working in the fields for fear of getting their hands rough and red and being seen thus by young people of the opposite sex.
Anna Price mentioned working in the fields with youths and girls all day under the hot sun and being too embarrassed to leave for a drink of water. Both boys and girls avoid looking at each other while dancing, and some boys are very reluctant Women want sex Bylas dance at all.
The extremely self-conscious who consent to dance may do so with bowed he and dragging feet. On the other hand, some youths show little self-consciousness at such times and dance gracefully. One young person who is not self-conscious may be made more so by another who is. Thus, a girl with an embarrassed youth for a partner is likely to drag her feet just as does he, whereas she would not if her partner danced with assurance.
Closer acquaintance does away with some of the self-consciousness between two young people of opposite sex, but, at best, their public contacts would seem restrained in comparison to our own. No wonder, then, that the lack of restraint with joking cross-cousins of opposite sex comes as a relief. Self-consciousness is a normal characteristic at this age, and we find it considered so by the people themselves, who point it out with some amusement.
Training to overcome it is apparently thought unimportant, except for children of wealthy parents, who, in former times, were at least taught to show assurance with older people. Sometimes older people played Women want sex Bylas the self-consciousness of youths and girls purposely to embarrass them and now often delight in telling instances of youthful discomfitures. Some of the social dance songs contain ribald lines alluding to a boy going off in the bushes with a girl, and one song has as a theme the necessity for washing gee strings, stiff from long wear.
These songs may be sung with glee by older men, who well know the embarrassment they are causing, and young people sometimes leave the dance in confusion until the song is over. The following examples of embarrassing situations were invariably told as funny stories:. A shaman was conducting a curing ceremony. Several youths and girls were in the crowd helping him sing. They carefully followed him, but in one of the songs a word occurred which they accidently mispronounced, giving it an entirely different meaning: to pull the foreskin back from the penis.
Immediately the shaman shouted at them, telling them they had made a mistake. Realizing what they had said, they became very embarrassed. The shaman pretended to be angry, though he keenly enjoyed the situation. One day an unmarried youth went into a clump of bushes to defecate. He brought with him a new buckskin on which he was working. As he squatted there he had the buckskin spread in front of him. Just as he had finished and before he could get up, he saw two girls approaching who had already seen him.
As he wanted to conceal what he had been doing at all costs, he remained squatting, pretending to work on the buckskin. They asked him what he was doing. He said he was working on the buckskin. They pulled one way and he the Women want sex Bylas. They were too strong for him and pulled him halfway up on his feet. Then they let go, and he fell back into his own feces. The girls grabbed the buckskin once more and pulled him up only to let him go. He fell back again. After doing this several times, they must have realized the situation, for they abruptly turned about and walked off without saying a word.
The youth carefully avoided them for several months afterward. In later years he used to tell the story on himself. Once on East Fork, long ago, two boys and two girls were drinking tulibai together. The two boys drank a lot, and soon they had to urinate. Both of them started off up the hill to where there was a juniper tree. The two girls heard it, and the boy knew they did. When he got behind the juniper tree, he just kept on going he was so ashamed. The other boy soon returned, and the girls called to his mortified companion to come back, that he had done nothing wrong, but he paid no attention.
He remained away for two months in order to avoid meeting the girls. A boy was sitting in a wickiup. It was evening and he heard someone approaching outside. He was so embarrassed at his remark that, when the girls walked inside the wickiup, he rolled over on his bed, face to the wall, and remained there, without saying a word. Once when I was a big girl, a cross-cousin of mine was courting a girl. This girl had come over to our camp to visit me and was sitting just inside the door of the wickiup. The youth did not know she was there. He had a popgun and was planning to scare me by jumping inside the door and shooting it off.
This was because I was his cross-cousin.Women want sex Bylas
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