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Labor Support Scarves

Interpretive Art

These labor support scarves have been inspired by the amazing Mexican rebozo. I am not an indigenous Latina, and thus these scarves are but artistic renditions. In creating these, I have endeavored to bring my love for ice-dyed textiles together with my passion for birth work and the tools we utilize, including the rebozo. These scarves can be used in the same ways as the authentic rebozo.

History

Rebozo is a handwoven shawl used in the Mesoamerican traditions for many purposes, and it’s a vital companion in different life transitions especially for the women.  The journey together with the rebozo starts in Mexico as early as in the womb, as the mother uses it to cover and comfort herself, to tie the belly, and to receive manteadas (rebozo massages). 

In birth it is used to ease pain, to work with the pressure waves in birth, to relax and connect with the body and the baby and to build birth space and privacy.

There are both simple rocking and sifting movements used to help to ease muscle, ligament and joint pains and to relax and make room for the baby in pregnancy and to ease the labor process. These are quite easy to do and fast to learn, soft movements. However the practicant should be aware about the birth process and situation and to know which areas she/he is moving to achieve balance in the mother-baby.

 

By rebozo weaving many of the ancient techniques have stayed alive to the present day culture. Rebozos are still woven by indigenous people in Mexico, and our rebozos are made by the Zapotec artisans. Rebozo can be seen as a symbol of the indigenous resistance, the capacity of adaptation and self sustainability, and as a tool to transmit and maintain local economy, and traditions.

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Thanks to traditional Mexican midwives like Angelina Martinez Miranda and Naoli Vinaver the rebozo was introduced as a cultural exchange element to midwives, doulas and active mothers around the world especially in conferences led by midwives.

Cultural exchange is explained as a broad definition given to any mutual sharing of information, usually cultural, between two or more countries for the purpose of improving friendship and understanding between them.​

The wisdom of using a rebozo has traditionally been passed from midwife to apprentice, from mother to daughter, from grandmother to granddaughter and so on. It’s based on oral tradition and ancient wisdom that’s been taught by observation and practice, by repetition and guidance to achieve integral balance to the mother-baby unity.

From "The Rebozo: Cultural Backgrounds" Antama Textiles

From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997

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