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Tarachow, S. (1946). Henry, Jules and Zunia. Doll Play of Pilaga Indian. [New York: Research Monographs No. 4, American Orthopsychiatric Association, 1944. Pp. 132.]. Psychoanal. Rev., 33(2):252-253.

(1946). Psychoanalytic Review, 33(2):252-253

Henry, Jules and Zunia. Doll Play of Pilaga Indian. [New York: Research Monographs No. 4, American Orthopsychiatric Association, 1944. Pp. 132.]

Review by:
Sidney Tarachow

This is a report of an experimental field analysis of the behavior of the Pilaga Indian children. The Pilag$aA Indians live near the Pilcomayo River in the Argentine Gran Chaco. The Pilag$aA live in small villages between which there are strong feelings of hostility and fear of sorcery. They exist mainly on wild fruit and fish, and for three months out of every year there is semi-starvation. In general, life is not friendly or communal, there is no sharing, no generosity; women occupy an inferior position. There is female infanticide. The husband is important even though he moves to the wife's village. The only sexual taboos are during pregnancy and lactation, none during childhood, adolescence or youth. Mothers engage in mutual masturbation with children. There are many premarital abortions. The only time a child has a claim on his parents for love and care is when he is a newborn infant. With the birth of the next child he is thrust onto the care of the other siblings.

There is no affection but also no discipline. Children become aggressive, hostile, sexually promiscuous and are readily given to tantrums. Oral, anal and genital interests are all on the surface and unrepressed. All these interests are heavily burdened with hostility.

The authors are careful students of Levy's sibling rivalry experiments and their work is heavily influenced by him. The technique used in this study was to supply the children with a set of dolls representing father, mother and children and also plastic material with which breasts and genitalia could be molded and attached to the doll figures. They were also given a turtle which became a convenient vehicle for hostility. The author's conclusions are that (1) given similar intrafamilial relationships in distinct cultures the effects of the relationship will be similar, and (2) wherever sibling rivalry exists the general symptom pattern will be approximately the same. The only difference they could find in this pattern between the Pilag$aA culture and ours was the absence of remorse and self-punishment.

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