Ojos

Ojos
Item# m-11

When Mayan women discover that they are pregnant, one of the first things they do is inform the community leaders. The leaders then pledge their community support for the baby. Soon afterwards, they begin looking for godparents in case the parents die. Three couples will be present at birth. They should be the mother and father, the village leaders, and one of the couples sets of parents. Very few Mayan women give birth in a hospital and Mayan women do not believe in family planning. Pregnant women take baths with natural fragrances like orange and peach leaves. At the time of the birth, the baby's hands and feet are tied. Girls have their ears pierced at the same time the umbilical cord is tied. Also, a small bag containing tobacco, lime, salt, and garlic is tied around the baby's head. The first eight days, the newborn stays in a special place in isolation with the mother, where only visitors can come to bring food. At this time, two sheep are killed, one on the day of birth, and the other at the end of the eight day period. At the end of eight days, the baby's hands and feet are untied.