I just finished this book and wrote my review, which I will copy here. I thought it was great and I really felt a deep stirring of longing that more societies had the deeply held spiritual/material/behavioral integrity that the Chillihuani people of Peru are known for. I just wanted to share this book with other people who might be interested in it. Here is my review:
This book is well-written by an anthropologist who was drawn to study and live with the Chillihuani people, an indigenous herding society, descended from the Incas, who scrabble out subsistence in the high Andes of Peru, because she wanted to study their childrearing practices. The children of this culture are astoundingly respectful, dignified, self-confident, integrated into family and community, and they are exceptionally good students, especially excelling in mathematics. They do not experience traumatic or moody adolescence as we know it, but consider it one of the best times in their lives as they come into more adult responsibility. The author explores the childrearing behavior and lifestyle in detail looking for the reasons behind it all. Their childhoods provides a startling contrast to most modern societies, and despite the physical hardships of their lives, they seem to be a truly happy, proud people who are profoundly respectful of all life. I found them to be fascinating and admirable and I wanted to know more about them at the end of the book. This book would be of interest to educators, parents, people interested in creating a more respectful society of our own and people who are very interested in different cultures. In the contrast between our cultures, the book provided me with an intriguing paradigm shift in the way I think about competitiveness, work/play/school dichotomies, community ties and, of course, childrearing. Highly recommended.
Skimbleshanks started this discussion 6 years ago. ( | permalink )