Revised research idea: Aztec midwifery and birth

For my research, I think I would like to research Aztec birth and midwifery. This is a topic that has fascinated me for a long time and something that I think will be interesting as well as being something more in-depth in their culture. I hope to learn about what their traditions were at birth and their reasoning behind their practices. I also hope to learn how the colonization may have changed their practices. I would also like to learn about how European women gave birth and were helped early on where there were not many women in the new world from Europe.

Primary source: this primary source is an image from the Codex Mendoza. It depicts birth rituals, in particular, the bathing and the naming ceremonies.

Secondary sources:   This is a good overview of Aztec midwifery by the National Geographic. This is a nice article on how Aztec children were birthed and treated. This looks like it will offer a great insight into th relationship between birthing and children to the gods. This article offers a look at rituals, the roles of people, and complications during birth.

2 thoughts on “Revised research idea: Aztec midwifery and birth

  1. N Praml

    This is a really interesting topic that I think will make a great slideshow, especially since you are focusing on the experiences of women. Their voices are often silenced in historical records, so your research topic — focusing on women as well as birth-related traditions — seems like it will effectively highlight the significance of Aztec culture pre-contact.
    Something that this topic makes me think about is the medical knowledge that existed in both the Old and New Worlds concerning birth and pregnancy. If you are interested, it might be fascinating to analyze the medical beliefs and practices that were popular in both Aztec and European cultures.

  2. Katie Holt

    Excellent topic, and you’ve found some very good sources to get you started. You might look for some work by historians to compliment (perhaps replace) the NG article.

    If you can read Spanish, this looks very relevant:!/search?bookMark=ePnHCXMwNV3BTsMwDM1haIOJX0A-cinK1iSj3NAE4gN2r5zUEZMGm9buwtfznLan5GBHih3Zz1ZsP5gF4lZZlOS9rRrrNqs5AMLbsUuzgtN4hWPa3JsTZEHX8e_trScu1YU9nTMBrpUeyPRTUCgQKfFAwESkM9eVQvfvf4Ok_oX2x-8bGAY5v1EH2VBpX6AcGbH_QPF41bqZuwyVyuO0rs3h8-Ow_6qmqQPVBViiSgzrxbVroguSt5yCBOej-Bg1cKtjE7P3iXN0O78TUKagGL2zmdl2Xb02z-Oxs2lvoTDNwvOv4JLA2q7RIrCgE5KeJtLi-9rL2GCinQVU_wMWR2QK


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