An overview of folklore, religion and popular intuition surrounding childbirth, pregnant women, and young infants: abortion by aswang, blood-drinking Lilith, curses from witches, skeletal-faced spirits, and demonic births. content advisory: infant mortality [more inside]
"2013. In my Medieval Literature class at the University of Pittsburgh, we’re talking about Margery Kempe, a 14th century English woman who wanted very, very much to be a saint, one of the few roles an ambitious woman of her time could aspire to achieve. She talked a monk into writing down her dictated autobiography, a sort of proto-memoir/self-hagiography that – along with a lengthy explanation of how she convinced God to make her a virgin again after having 14 children – includes visions of interacting with the Christ child. There’s one in which she explains to Mary, the mother of God, how to diaper the baby." [more inside]
The Crying Game. The Japanese proverb Naku ko wa sodatsu says that "A crying child thrives." During the annual Konaki Sumo ("Crying Sumo") festival held at certain temples in Japan, babies are held facing each other and encouraged to cry by priests and sumo wrestlers. The one who bawls first, or loudest, is the winner, thought to be blessed by the gods with good health.