The Gendering of Children at Chiribaya Alta


At the site of Chiribaya Alta (900-1350 AD), located in the Osmore Valley of southern Peru, certain Chiribaya grave goods are associated with either adult males or females. For example, females are often buried with weaving tools, and males with musical instruments. It is not possible to estimate the biological sex of children from their skeletal remains. Therefore, children are often excluded from studies addressing gender identities. Here, we use grave goods known to be associated with sexed adult remains to explore the process through which children learn their gender at Chiribaya Alta. Ethnohistoric and ethnographic data indicates that children begin to learn their gendered roles at a young age. The burial goods in the graves of the children at Chiribaya Alta help us to examine at what age and the process through which children begin to learn their expected adult gender roles and identities.

Cite this Record

The Gendering of Children at Chiribaya Alta. Shimaine Clem, Emily A. Schach, Jane E. Buikstra. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430336)

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Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17359