Destiny and Development: A Mayan Midwife and Town

Hardcover | April 7, 2011

byBarbara Rogoff

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Born with the destiny of becoming a Mayan sacred midwife, Chona Perez has carried on centuries-old traditional Indigenous American birth and healing practices over her 85 years. At the same time, Chona developed new approaches to the care of pregnancy, newborns, and mothers based on her ownexperience and ideas. In this way, Chona has contributed to both the cultural continuities and cultural changes of her town over the decades. In Destiny and Development, Barbara Rogoff illuminates how individuals worldwide build on cultural heritage from prior generations and at the same time create new ways of living. Throughout Chona's lifetime, her Guatemalan town has continued to use longstanding Mayan cultural practices, such asincluding children in a range of community activities and encouraging them to learn by observing and contributing. But the town has also transformed dramatically since the days of Chona's own childhood. For instance, although Chona's upbringing included no formal schooling, some of hergrandchildren have gone on to attend university and earn scholarly degrees. The lives of Chona and her town provide extraordinary examples of how cultural practices are preserved even as they are adapted and modified. Destiny and Development is an engaging narrative of one remarkable person's life and the life of her community that blends psychology, anthropology, and history to reveal the integral role that culture plays in human development. With extensive photographs and accounts of Mayan family life, medicalpractices, birth, child development, and learning, Rogoff adeptly shows that we can better understand the role of culture in our lives by examining how people participate in cultural practices. This landmark book brings theory alive with fascinating ethnographic findings that advance ourunderstanding of childhood, culture, and change.

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Born with the destiny of becoming a Mayan sacred midwife, Chona Perez has carried on centuries-old traditional Indigenous American birth and healing practices over her 85 years. At the same time, Chona developed new approaches to the care of pregnancy, newborns, and mothers based on her ownexperience and ideas. In this way, Chona has...

Barbara Rogoff is UCSC Foundation Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has been a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a Kellogg Fellow, and Editor of Human Development. Her books Apprenticeship in Thinking (OUP, 1990), Learning Together (OU...

other books by Barbara Rogoff

The Cultural Nature of Human Development
The Cultural Nature of Human Development

Hardcover|Jan 15 2003

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:April 7, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195319907

ISBN - 13:9780195319903

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Table of Contents

1. Beginnings: Stability and change2. Living culture, across generations3. Meeting Chona and San Pedro4. Paper with a mouth, recounting the destiny and development of an Iyoom and her community5. Born to a spiritual calling, across generations: Cultural heritage and resistance6. Childhood and where babies come from7. A becoming young woman8. Changing memories in changing practices9. Entry and prominence in a sacred profession10. Ripples across generations and nations in Mayan pregnancy and childbirth11. Ripples across generations and nations in birth destinies and postnatal care12. Ways of learning across times and placesTraditions and transformationsReferencesEndnotes