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Birth and Identity

3:13 min. - Ceremonies during pregnancy play an important role for Mohawks.


Evelyne St-Onge - There's a woman in Akwesasne who told us that ceremonies during pregnancy play an important role for Mohawks.
Katsy Cook - Birth itself is a ceremony. To me, a ceremony is defined by purification, by expanding the blessings of identity. You know, you are going to be seeing your child for the first time, your family identity will change because there is a new being in that identity, defining who that family is. The other, older children will become older brothers, older sisters. And then identity goes beyond even just the immediate nuclear family, but to the community and with the naming. And then the naming related to what's going on in the environment is that baby's being born. You need to pay good attention to that. But there is endless depth to birth. One of my teachers from Guatemala says, like a dream, like a fingerprint, like a snowflake, each birth has its own interpretation. And that interpretation is that child's identity. Your family's identity. And that interpretation carries that baby to go through its life and that's a very powerful moment that way. And already the things that are being imbedded in you, have been imbedded in you. As you've been paying attention to your own identity, as a woman walking on this earth. You know, thank you for the attention that you paid to those things. Because that's where the strength that you're going to need, to get through that moment, when you're going to say to yourself, I can't do this... I don't want... I can't do this, it's hard. Birth involves a lot of pain.
Music - Kathia Rock

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