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Thread: roadside birth

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    soon to be somewhere exotic

    Default roadside birth

    When I was backpacking through Africa in 1994 I saw some strange and wonderful things. One thing that stuck in my mind was when we were in Uganda.

    A group of us were going to go on a monkey hike (as in a hike to go and see monkeys - not act like monkeys and go hiking!), so we had to meet our guide in a small village about 20 mins walk from where we were camped. There was about 6 of us wandering along the road. Coming the other way was a family walking by the side of the road. The man was out in front, a few of the kids behind him and then about 15 steps behind was a visibly pregnant woman, who kept on slowing down and almost bending over in pain.

    We continued walking towards them, and as we came up to them we tried to get eye contact with the man, to see if we could do anything to help. He refused to look us in the eye, so we didn't press the point.

    We passed the family, the woman looking in quite a bit of pain but still walking (also think she may have had a parcel on her head - think packhorse), we kept on walking up the hill to meet our guide.

    We had to walk back down the hill, in the direction of the family to get to the opening in the jungle that we needed to go thru. Along the way we saw a pool of blood by the side of the road and ribbon grass with blood on it. About 200m up the road there was the family, we could see the woman had blood all over the back of her dress and was carrying a newborn, still covered in blood.

    I know that the ribbon grass was used to cut the cord as one of my great-grandmother's workers used the same thing to cut my mother's cord when she was born in the middle of a field in ZuluLand South Africa in the 1920s. Also there would have been no placenta (or cord) left behind as it is usually cooked up and fed to the mother to help with her recovery after the birth. I say usually because if the baby is born with a cowl (the placenta over the face) then it is usually dried and used as a talisman for psychic ability and protection.

    On a side note - I'd really love to know what happened to my mother's talisman as I know my great-grandmother dried the placenta that was over my mother's face/head.

  2. #2
    bruky Guest


    Thank god for modern medicine hey!!

    That would have been amazing to see...thanks for posting that O

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Mid North Coast NSW


    Wow!! That is amazing!!! :shock:

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