Преку неверојатниот проект “Wild Born Project”, фотографката Алегра Али покажува како изгледа бременоста, раѓањето и мајчинството во автономните заедници во светот.
Ако мислите дека породувањето е неверојатно тешко, само замислете колку е тежок тој процес на отворен простор, на температури под нулата. Токму така се породуваат жените од народот Ненет (во арктичкиот дел на Сибир), а благодарение на етнографката и фотографката Алегри – можеме да видиме како изгледа тој процес.
Таа поминала повеќе од 20 години патувајќи околу светот и запознавајќи жители на најразлични места, а особено се фокусирала на бременоста и породувањето.
During the first five weeks I stayed with the Nenets, the family attempted to migrate six times, but due to unstable weather conditions we were forced to stay in our camp. The family plan was to begin their winter migration before Lena’s expected delivery day, which was at that time a couple of weeks away. On the day that the family was ready to start migrating, in the early hours of the day something happened that stopped us from moving. Lena began to experience contractions. This changed everything and was the beginning of a dramatic set of events, which I have not anticipated. I discovered that it is common for Nenets women to choose whether to give birth at a hospital, or birth in their chums (Nenets tipi style home). I spent a week in the city in anticipation to reunite with Lena, I was not allowed to visit Lena at the hospital according to the regulations. Once we reunited days later we and began our long trip back to the tundra, and we were able to finally migrate with the new born baby boy. Many women plan when to give birth which could depend on a lot of factors. I discovered that Nenets women target the “favorable” seasons of autumn and winter when planning to have children. Nenets women live in the harsh conditions of the Arctic circle. The fact that Nenets migrate between 2 to 4 times a month and travel on sledges all year round even in winter when temperatures drops to minus 60 degrees (-76 Fahrenheit), demonstrates that planning the birth is actually an important decision for the Nenets women. Lena explained that as a result of their nomadic lifestyle, she and her husband Lyonya discussed and agreed on a preferred time of the year/ season for them to plan her pregnancy. “For us the best season to give birth is during autumn and winter for few reasons: In spring we are very busy with work, and in summer Lyonya is doing night shifts with the herd. Also it is harder to migrate during summer and spring for pregnancy as the ground is filled with vegetation and water creeks which makes the drive very bumpy”. I’ve discovered that the Lena played an important part in their decision making. In winter she says, “Lyonya is more home to support and assist.
Али своите патувања ги започнала уште во тинејџерските години, со голема поддршка од своите родители. Најпрво се упатила кон Нова Гвинеја, каде што живеела четири месеци со племиња длабоко во џунглата.
We were finally ready to embark on our winter migration across the frozen Siberian tundra. For weeks the Nenets family I stayed with was working hard preparing for this migration. Gathering the herd closer and closer to the camp, lassoing the bulls, preparing their winter sledges, gathering food, wood, meet, and repairing winter costumes. For the Nenets ‘to move is to live’, meaning it is literally what keeps their herd alive and essentially themselves. Relocating their herd 2 to 4 times a month across the Yamal Peninsula just as their ancestors did for thousands of years. During the 5 weeks I stayed with the Nenets, this was the family’s sixth attempt to migrate, but in the early hours of the migration day something happened that stoped us from moving once again. Lena which was 9 months pregnant at the time began to experience her first contractions. This changed everything and was the beginning of a dramatic set of events, which I have not anticipated. Photo by @alegraally for the @wildbornproject #womenattheendoftheland @kimfrankwriter #wildbornfilm #womenexplorer #bookproject #nenets #siberia #tundra #arcticpeople #expedition #wadedavis
Во 2011 година, го започнала проектот “Wild Born Project” , кој се темели на нејзината долгогодишна работа и вклучува фотографии, етнографија и приказни од страна на доморотките. Низ своите патувања сфатила колку важна улога во племенските заедници имаат приказните кои се пренесуваат од генерација на генерација – испреплетени низ аедницата, идентитетот и гордоста.
Lena’s new born baby is sleeping inside his cradle, covered with several layers of fur blankets which were stitched by hand by Lena. The Nenets traditional cradle is made with four hooks on both sides of the cradle so it could be hanging on the Chum’s (Nenets tipi like home) poles and swing. There are three belts that attach the baby to the cradle to make sure he will not fall over.. The cradle is designed in a special way so mothers can carry easily, place on their lap and breastfeed. While migrating the baby sleeps inside his cradle while the mother holds it on her laps so she could breastfeed by simply bending the cradle closer to her chest while traveling on the sledge. Photo by @alegraally for the @wildbornproject #womenattheendofthelandbook #kimfrankwriter #bookproject #wildbornfilm #nenetsculture #siberia
Нејзиниот проект ги слави жените и културолошката разновидност, а последните пет години Али е фокусирана на ритуалите кои се поврзани со женственоста, подготвувањето за раѓање и традициите по породувањето. Откако го започнала овој проект, работела со 10 племиња во светот.
Himba mothers carrying their babies in a traditional baby carriers, looking over the Kunene river. There are distinctive baby boy and girl carriers. If a woman only has boys and wishes for a girl she will borrow a baby girl carrier from another woman. According to belief the ancestors will hear her heart wish and deliver a baby girl. Photo by @alegraally for the @wildbornproject #wildbornfilm #himba #namibia
Mothering the mother, or midwifery reminds me of the term “Seva”. Seva is a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service” or work performed without any thought of reward or repayment. In ancient India seva was believed to help one’s spiritual growth and at the same time contribute to the improvement of a community. This is the art of giving with no need to receive, where the act itself is a gift to everyone involved. #beautifulpregnancy The red color is a mixture of ochre, butterfat and herbs. This mixture is regularly rubbed into the skin for protection of the skin, keeping the skin clean and smell good. Traditionally it’s being regarded as an attractive adornment. In the photo Katjtindi a nine month Himba woman who invited me to join in her birthing journey. #gratitude #humble Photo by @alegraally for the @wildbornproject #wildbornfilm #pregnancy #pregnantbelly #naturalchildbirth #spiritualmidwifery #midwifery #midwivesforpeace #midwife #birth #compassion #himba #african #womanempowerment #calmbirth #homebirth #doula #doulalife #beautifulpregnancy #motherhood #womanhood #sisterhood #tribedemama #indigenous #babybump #pregnantandbeautiful
Singapan Valley in Palawan is a place that intrigued me for years. Rarely visited by outsiders, I knew that I will have to make that journey into their ancient forests and meet these incredible women. Diwata (was eight months pregnant at that time) lives in a community which perform a ceremony every seven years to ‘cleanse the world’ and restore the cosmic balance. Good health is dependent on a balance between the body and its ‘life force’ (kuruduwa). The loss of kuruduwa creates a disturbance, which make the body vulnerable to illness. Through trans and dreams, Shamans are able to enter the invisible world and extract impurities from the body. They are also experts in the use of medicinal plants. Taut Batu tribe, Palawan. Photo by @alegraally for the @wildbornproject #wildbornfilm #shamanism #medicinalplant #indigenouspeople #spirituality #sacred #lifeforce #palawan #philippines #belief #ancientwisdom #traditions #cosmicbalance #pregnant #postpartum #doula #midwife #womanhood #motherhood
The word midwife comes from the old English term “with woman”, which reflects the midwife’s role of nurturing and supporting a woman during pregnancy. The French term for midwife is “sage femme”, or wise woman, enabling a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered experience during pregnancy and birth. Throughout history and across all cultures there has been a tradition of women who operate under the broad principle of mothering the mother. The Wild Born Project offers an opportunity to learn about the traditional ways, innate knowledge and ancient wisdom of pregnancy, childbirth and midwifery practices amongst indigenous women from around the world. We explore the roles of midwives in tribal communities and how their traditional and ecological knowledge affects the course of pregnancy and childbirth and how it is passed on through generations? Is there anything within cultural heritage of the indigenous women that can inspire women in the west and enhance their positive experience of pregnancy and childbirth ? How midwives enact ecological knowledge and how their environment, plants and herbs are utilized, can we learn from them..? In this video Mbahupapi, an experienced midwife rubs Katjtindi’s belly to relax her stomach muscles, a few hours before birth. Video by @alegraally @wildbornproject #wildbornfilm #wildbornproject #childbirth #birth #pregnancy #pregnant #midwife #midwifery #midwives #doula #naturalbirth #newborn #mother #motherhood #sisterhood #woman #birthwithoutfear #empowered #empoweredwomen #baby #babies #film #filmmaking #documentary #documentaryfilm #womenempowerment