On Parricide

The customary repertoire of motherese among the semi-nomadic Penan Geng of Borneo includes what is, to our Western ears, a rather grotesque element. Penan Geng mothers regularly coo to their babies and small children such epithets as “no-mother,” “mother-dead,” and “decomposing mother.” In the unfortunate event that the mothers should actually die, these macabre names [...]