"Cooking the body" in a changing world: Post-partumpractices in the Mixteca
AuthorResau, Laura S.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFor women in the Lower Mixtec region of Oaxaca, Mexico, the post partum period is traditionally a vulnerable time, when, for forty days, women feel that their bodies are "open" to coldness entering and causing immediate or future illness. Women take protective measures to remove coldness from their "raw" bodies and restore heat by following special diets, dressing warmly, and "cooking the body"---taking hot herbal water baths (banos de cocimiento) or steam baths (banos de temazcal). Based on the narrated experiences of eighteen women in the Mixteca, this thesis explores how several generations of women experience shifts in post partum practices and ideas as their society changes. Women believed that post partum vulnerability varied from woman to woman, depending on where she lived, her habits and customs, and her generation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College