Midwifery in Maya Society - Signs At Birth

Signs At Birth

There are many things that the Mayans believe can be interpreted when a child is born. The Maya calendar for divination, or the "Sacred calendar", is believed to foretell a childʻs future, as some days are more auspicious than others. The calendar is important in Maya society for interpreting and shaping childrenʻs futures. However, Mayans also believe that midwives are able to foretell the life of a child based on the interpretations they can make from the markings on the umbilical cord and the amniotic sac. They believe that based on the markings from the first born, the sex, number and interval of future births can also be foretold. The most important markings are that of a future shaman (worms or flies clutched in the fist of a newborn), midwife (white mantle over the head, which comes from the amniotic membrane) and a baby that will endanger the survival of future siblings (born with a double whorl in its crown).

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