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“Why do the church bells ring so often?” the author inquired, “it’s nothing, just another little angel gone to heaven” replied Nailza. Reading that sentence makes me queasy; to think women know that a baby child passed away and no one blinks an eye. The women of Alto really acquired a new sense of maternal philosophy because in the earlier years, the women had eight
to ten children, fresh vegetables, great winters and lots of rain. There was food for nearly everyone to kill their hunger; no one was hungry then as they are today. (Scheper-Hughes, 1992; 33) One woman believes the reason for these “punishments” (hunger, poor conditions, and dying children) are the evils women created and forced on the doctors – abortions and rubal ligations. (Scheper-Hughes, 1992; 33) Most noticeable maternal philosophy is “A child diedtoday in the favela. He was two months old. If he had lived, he would have gone hungry anyway.” (Scheper-Hughes, 1992; 268) Mother in Alto are not bothered at infant child death or any child death at that manner. As stated by one Alto woman, babies need food to live. Many babies require at least two cans (four hundred grams each) of powdered milk a week. People of Alto can only afford one can, which leaves the babies to die slowly of hunger. Since the babies only receive one can of powdered milk, they get filled up with water, and do Alto women, babies blood gets replaced with that water and then they die. (Scheper-Hughes, 1992; 313) In Brazil, one million children die every year, which gives this country the highest infant mortality rate. With reoccurring and continuous death of infants, the women become desensitized to death of their offspring. When Alto women see other women crying and being emotional over a