Burying the umbilicus: Traditional medicine on the West Coast of MexicoFourth World Journal
Volume 13 Issue 1 (Summer 2014)
Abstract: After giving birth, indigenous women in rural West Mexico traditionally bury the umbilical cord underneath a tree on their land. This ritual symbolizes the planting of roots for their child in the land and in the community, thus reaffirming the child's cultural connections. It is this people/land connection that passes from one generation to the next, demonstrating the essence of human culture. It is easy to see this relationship in the word itself. Culture (cult, meaning worship and ure meaning earth) links the land and its life-giving benefits to the health and well-being of the family and reinforces daily activities and rhythms of nature in women's lives. It is in a peoples' traditional medicine that we see the fullest expression of culture. The Mexico of the 21st century is a place of many cultures created and recreated in response to changing human and environmental forces, yet it retains the profound cultural connection between the peoples and the land exemplified in traditional medicines and healing practices. In its complex cultural geography Mexico is richly rewarded with a diversity of traditional medicines used to treat illness and restore health by urban and rural families alike.
To cite this article: Korn, Leslie. Burying the umbilicus: Traditional medicine on the West Coast of Mexico [online]. Fourth World Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, Summer 2014: 5-31. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=450909088083047;res=IELIND> ISSN: 1090-5251. [cited 27 Aug 15].