Women in both rural and urban Uruguay are often confronted by barbecues, which are social situations where their skills, maturity, kindness and respect to men’s tasks are thoroughly examined by other women. The examination is particularly demanding for the new female if she is presented as The Bride, given that in this event older women are not only studying the ability of the new woman to fit into their group, but also her willingness to start a family with the young fertile male and her suitability as a new member of the clan. In order to restrict this study we will focus on this particular situation.
When I started to study Uruguayan Barbecues as a gregarious phenomenon where the established clan decides whether to accept a new female member or not, I met an old lady (Martita) who accepted the idea of having me in her brothers’, sons’ and son-in-law’s barbecues, so far as I didn’t interfere with the construction and deconstruction of their ties –although Martita stated this request in a different (and altered) way, asking me not to have sexual intercourse with any of them. Shame.