As I have said, many households do not have a proper balance of resources between land, people and animals. But the household is flexible enough to meet this too. Labour that is redundant can be sent away to work, if only for the seasons of agricultural lull, from April to June, and from late August to the first snow. In a family, one brother usually remains a farmer, often the eldest who was called upon to help his father as he grew up, and the others become regular migrant craftsmen. In a few cases, brothers maintain a joint household on this basis after their father's death; there was one such household in Sakaltutan, and I came across several in other villages. In other cases, brothers may separate, but maintain special collaboration, often through share-cropping arrangements. Two men who were at the same time father's brothers' sons and brothers-in-law, and were both migrant plasterers, took it in turn to stay at home and look after each others' household and to do each others' farm work, while dividing both the crop and their cash earnings between their separate households.
Unless well provided with land, small and especially defective households are much less resilient and flexible. A man with young children and barely enough land to work single-handed has no margin for misfortunes. If he goes away to work, his wife and children are likely to suffer in his absence, since his wife alone cannot cope with both her own work and with the care of the land, let alone with crises such as children's illnesses - one man who had been away for two years returned to find his eldest son had been drowned in the village well. Yet if he stays in the village, he has nothing for medical and other special expenses, and no resources against the inevitable years of famine which will leave his household hungry. A widow with young children may be in an even more difficult position.
Planning ahead for a household economy is not a matter of setting a more or less predictable income against more or less regular outgoings. Most households have capital resources; expendable resources in the form of animals, non-expendable in the form of land. Against these they have to set debts. Income arrives not in small weeKly amounts but in windfalls. Villagers