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Tell us about a tradition surrounding births in one of your worldsl


The exact history of this tradition is obscure. But it is suspected by scholars that midwives were incorporated into the ritual in order to decrease the amount of mothers dying due to birthing complications. If the mother dies during childbirth, her body and spirit transform into a cihuateteo: a vampiric entity that preys on young children at night.


A midwife-or midwives in the case of nobles-assists the mother with childbirth by proving her expertise and guidance. Midwives are also responsible for carrying out many of the important rituals associated with childbirth. As soon as the baby is born, the midwife cuts the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is later ritualistically placed in the hearth if the baby is a girl or on the battlefield if it's a boy. Gifts are presented to the baby depending on their gender and corresponding future. Boys are given arrows and shields to symbolize their future as warriors. Girls are given spindles and weaving instruments to symbolize their future as weavers and caretakers of the household. The baby is bathed while the midwife provides a long speech about the misery that is life. Next, on the early morning of a day with favorable omens, the child is bathed and given a calendar name based on the day of their first bathing and a personal name derived from objects and locations.   After the name ceremony is completed, four water rites are performed, bystanders shout the baby's name, and a feast is held.

Components and tools

  • Knife to cut the umbilical cord
  • Gifts to present to the newborn


  • Midwife or midwives to provide advise to the mother


The 4 water rites are observed after the baby has been named. The baby's calendar name is based on the day they were born. However, it is not uncommon for parents to alter the dates in order to give their child a more favorable birthdate.

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