‘Wild Born’ project is set to research and document the socio-cultural, ecological and economic aspects, which embroider the traditions and practices of natural childbirth amongst tribal women around the world. Through field ethnography, photography and film the expeditions aims to provide a collection of oral traditions, educational reservoir, and outstanding photography.
Throughout our human history we continually evolved and developed many ways of understanding, behaving and practicing the process of childbirth. These essential practices vary from place to place. We might assume that there are “best practices” around pregnancy and childbirth, but “best practice” for one culture may be very odd practice to another.
In Papua New Guinea, Kosua women give birth in caves, hidden in the lush jungle. They cover newborn babies in banana leaves and bury umbilical cords in the soil. In Russia, pregnant Nenet women build their own living spaces – or ‘chums’ as they are called – insulating them with reindeer skins to ensure that their babies will be warm and dry when the time comes despite freezing temperatures outside. Some Hadza women of Tanzania still give birth inside baobab trees. Solid, permanent and impressively large baobabs provide the women with sanctuary from the predators, which share their world. It is clear, around the world practices surrounding pregnancy and childbirth differ, each culture adjusting to its own environment and challenges.