From Innocence to Knowledge

  • Maya Mayblin
Part of the Contemporary Anthropology of Religion book series (CAR)


It was not yet eight in the morning but already the market was hot and crowded. Seven-year-old Ignacio was leading me through the clatter of trade to his father’s stall. It was difficult keeping sight of him as he zigzagged ahead, leaping nimbly over corners of outstretched tarpaulin piled high with brightly colored lycra garments and various plastic items. “And how do you help your father?” I asked, catching up. “I do everything father does,” he replied. “And at the end of the day, if there are lots of bananas left, he puts half in the wheelbarrow and I go and sell them on the other side of the market where the trade is better.” We had stopped before a wooden trestle piled high with fruit belonging to Josa, Ignacio’s father. Josa was a young man, but liked to dress rather unusually in the traditional checked shirt and smart trilby hat of the older generation. He nodded me a greeting. He was in the middle of shoveling produce into a blue polythene bag for a customer. When he finished he turned to me and said, “So Ignacio has been telling you everything about the trade? I tell you the boy is innocent no more, he is sabido [knowing/cunning], already, like his father.”


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© Maya Mayblin 2010

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  • Maya Mayblin

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