How Cultures Around The World Honor The Wisdom Of The Womb Space
The following information was provided by Birth to Earth.
In some regions of South America the placenta is burned after birth to neutralize it and planted in the ground to protect it from evil spirits. Oceania New Zealand Maori gift the Placenta or Whenua as a gift to Papa Tua Nuku or Mother Earth. In Maori, the word for land and placenta are the same – whenua, and illustrates the connection between them and it is usually planted with a tree on family land.
In Hawaii the placenta is brought home and washed, then buried following a religious ritual with a tree planted on it. It is believed this binds the child to his or her homeland. The “iewe” (placenta) of the newborn child is sacred and must be handled in a sacred manner in order to provide for the physical health of the child.
In Samoa the placenta must be totally burned or buried so it will not be found by evil spirits. Burying or burning it at home also ensures the child will remain close to home as it moves through life. If buried under a fruit tree, the placenta provides nutrition for the tree that in turn will provide years of nutrition for the child.
In Korea the placenta is often burned and the ashes kept. During periods of illness the ashen powder is given in a liquid to help heal the child. Among the Hmong culture, the word for placenta can be translated as “jacket,” as it’s considered an infant’s first and finest clothing. The Hmong bury the placenta outside as they believe that after death, the soul must journey back through the past until it reaches the burial place of the placenta and await rebirth.
In some cultures such as Vietnam and China the placenta is viewed as a life-giving force. Therefore, it is dried and added to certain placenta recipes in order to increase a person’s energy and vitality. In Indonesia, the placenta is seen as the baby’s twin or elder sibling and is perceived as the baby’s guardian throughout life. It is the father’s responsibility to clean, wrap, and bury the placenta on the day of the birth.
The Ibo of Nigeria and Ghana treat the placenta as the dead twin of the live child and give it full burial rites. In many African cultures, “zan boku” means “the place where the placenta is buried.” and bury the placenta under a tree.
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Despite the fact that Chinese Medicine has been utilizing ingestion of the placenta for 2000 years…
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