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The Couvade

    Naturevolume 150page734 (1942) | Download Citation

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    Abstract

    IN the recently published September issue of Folk Lore, Mr, L. F. Newman discusses the curious but widespread and ancient custom named 'couvade', which consists in the illness of the husband during his wife's pregnancy, parturition and puerperium.He classifies the theories as to its origin in three groups according as they are held by (1) the classical school, who follow Apollonius Rhodius, Strabo, Plutarch and the other early writers ; (2) the historians, who base their views on authors such as Marco Polo, Bacon, Butler and others ; and (3) the anthropologists, who are influenced mainly by scientific data and records -from the life of the more primitive peoples. Mr. Newman comes to the conclusion that a number of quite diverse customs have been grouped together under the name of the 'couvade', and that many are not different types of one definite custom, but are survivals of recorded instances of separate customs and are of multiple origin.

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    https://doi.org/10.1038/150734c0

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