Slings and baby carriers can hardly be called "newfangled," since they have been used in many cultures around the world for thousands of years. Whether we perceive them as new or—to the contrary, as ancient—we generally consider them as bad for the health of the baby; and likely to “spoil” infants by excessive holding.
Recent research confirms that carrying human infants develops their intelligence and their capacity for trust, affection, intimacy, and love and happiness. Intriguingly, research also shows that the countries that are the least violent are the countries where babies are constantly carried by the mother or caregiver.
Beloved Burden shows that – from both an historic and a worldwide perspective—not carrying babies is the exception.
The book begins by describing how infants are carried in different parts of the world. It presents a historical overview of the use of baby carriers, from ancient times to the present; and considers the economic implications of mothers having to carry their babies while working in or out of the home. Subsequent chapters cover topics such as related animal behavior; crying behavior and carrying; carrying premature babies; and the significance of color, shape, designs and materials and designs used by different communities for their baby carriers.
The second part of the book describes how babies are carried in different parts of the world: Central Asia, China, Greenland, Indonesia and Kalimantan, Lapland, Netherlands, New Guinea, North America, Peru, and the Peruvian Amazon, Siberia, Sub-Saharan Africa, West Africa – accompanied by numerous color illustrations.
About the Author
Itie van Hout is Curator Textiles Section of the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: KIT Publishers (march 2011)