Developing Destinies A Mayan Midwife and Town

ISBN-10: 0195319907
ISBN-13: 9780195319903
Edition: 2011
List price: $36.95 Buy it from $30.95
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Description: Born with the destiny of becoming a Mayan sacred midwife, Chona Pérez has carried on centuries-old traditional Indigenous American birth and healing practices over her 85 years. At the same time, Chona developed new approaches to the care of  More...

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Book details

List price: $36.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 4/6/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.430
Language: English

Born with the destiny of becoming a Mayan sacred midwife, Chona Pérez has carried on centuries-old traditional Indigenous American birth and healing practices over her 85 years. At the same time, Chona developed new approaches to the care of pregnancy, newborns, and mothers based on her own experience and ideas. In this way, Chona has contributed to both the cultural continuities and cultural changes of her town over the decades. In Destiny and Development , Barbara Rogoff illuminates how individuals worldwide build on cultural heritage from prior generations and at the same time create new ways of living. Throughout Chona's lifetime, her Guatemalan town has continued to use longstanding Mayan cultural practices, such as including children in a range of community activities and encouraging them to learn by observing and contributing. But the town has also transformed dramatically since the days of Chona's own childhood. For instance, although Chona's upbringing included no formal schooling, some of her grandchildren have gone on to attend university and earn scholarly degrees. The lives of Chona and her town provide extraordinary examples of how cultural practices are preserved even as they are adapted and modified. Destiny and Development is an engaging narrative of one remarkable person's life and the life of her community that blends psychology, anthropology, and history to reveal the integral role that culture plays in human development. With extensive photographs and accounts of Mayan family life, medical practices, birth, child development, and learning, Rogoff adeptly shows that we can better understand the role of culture in our lives by examining how people participate in cultural practices. This landmark book brings theory alive with fascinating ethnographic findings that advance our understanding of childhood, culture, and change.

Beginnings: stability and change
Chona did not go to school, but her sister did
A combination of destiny and development
San Pedro did not go to school, but now it does
Living culture, across generations
The "box problem"
Focusing on cultural practices
Shifting cultural constellations
Changes in constellations of cultural practices in the United States
Spreading cultural constellations
Changes in constellations of related cultural practices in San Pedro
Participating in communities
Meeting Chona and San Pedro
The paths of generations
Greetings in a new tongue
Becoming familiar with Chona and her life
A daughter sits on the floor
Weaving a family story
Paper with a mouth, recounting the developing destinies of an iyoom and her community
Preserving a record of a sacred practice
Communicating across time and place
Writing notes
Born to a spiritual calling, across generations: cultural heritage and resistance
Vitality of spiritual threads
Chona's mother's heritage and resistance
Mayan and Ladino practices and relations
Combined ancestry in San Pedro
Risks: Chona's father's warning
Resisting a risky destiny
Accepting spiritual persuasion and instruction
Childhood and where babies come from
Taboo topics for children and youth
Where do babies come from?
Avoiding reference to pregnancy and birth with children
Avoiding reference to pregnancy and birth with young adults
Menstruation
Sexual intercourse
Chona grows into her role
A becoming young woman
An unsuitable suitor
Courtship
Plans to marry
Chona did not choose her husband
Bearing children and sorrow
A long history of loss
The sorrow is still fresh
Changing memories in changing practices
Translation issues?
Confusion of ages?
Difficulties in remembering the distant past?
Adjusting the account according to who is listening?
The meaning of being an iyoom has changed
Entry and prominence in a sacred profession
The first births
Harrowing events and convincing supernatural visits
An iyoom of renown
Ripples across generations and nations in Mayan pregnancy and childbirth
Longevity of the goddess of midwives, childbirth, water, and the moon
Conception
Requesting an iyoom's services for pregnancy
Protecting pregnancy
The iyoom's work during pregnancy
Birthing
Chona's own births, as learning experiences
A San Pedro birth connecting with pre-Hispanic Aztec practices
Spiritual aid during the delivery-Catholic and ancient Mayan
Ripples across generations and nations in birth destinies and postnatal care
Reading signs of the future
The responsibility to unveil special destinies
Care of the newborn, the placenta, and the umbilical cord
Care of mother and newborn during the lying-in period
Ajtuuj: One who uses the sweat bath
Medical and spiritual attention to the newborn
Purification and protection ceremony to conclude the lying-in period
Safeguarding the baby's muxu'x and the baby's future
Concluding the lying-in ceremony
Continuing care after the lying-in period
Ways of learning across times and places
Didactic medical instruction or collaborative discussion
Learning through destinies shared across generations
Learning through observing, listening in, and contributing
Access to the range of activities of the family and community
Opportunities to learn by observing and listening in
Learning by pitching in
Keen attention to ongoing events and initiative in learning
Narratives and explanations in the course of action
Learning via dreams
Learning through simulations in play
Traditions and transformations
Destinies and developments in the course of individual lives
Individuals contributing to transformations of cultural practices
Developments and destinies of communities
Interesting Notes
Acknowledgments
References
Quotation credits
Index

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