Child Birth in Ancient TamilNadu!

It is tried here to focus the attention of the Scholars on the method of Child Birth in Ancient TamilNadu. The earliest source material for knowing method is the Sangam Literature (5th CE BC to 5th CE AD) which have no direct bearings about it!
But it refers to the bathing of Mother after the delivery of a Child!

#MaduraiKaanchi (ll: 600-603) & #Natrinai mention the purificatory bath of the Mother after having delivered a Child!

#Natrinai (370: 3-4) also refers to the custom of a bath of Ghee by it delivered Mother!
🔹The Teeth of Tiger was tied around the neck of the Child - #Kurunthogai (161: 3-4)

🔹A Rattle like ornament was also worn to the Child - #Purananuru (198: 1-5)
The Literature of the Medieval period 12th CE AD #Kalingattuparani (verse 239) refer to the Custom of Wearing Five Weapons around the Waist of the Child, viz. Conch, Wheel, Sword, Mace and Bow!

The above Weapons were symbolically made either in Gold, or in Silver or in Copper!
These are the traditional weapons of Lord Vishnu, the protector of the Universe. By wearing these Weapons, they believed that the Child would be protected by the protector Lord Vishnu!
The Children were fed by Mother’s milk. In some of the #Terracotta Figurines of the 9th and 13th Centuries AD, Child is depicted as sucking the breast of its Mother!

The sculptural representations are also available in South #TamilNadu delineating the same scene! #Aravakurichi
Scenes depicting the Child birth are seen in the #Darasuram temple!

A panel Sculpture on the wall of the Western prakara pavilion shows the actual position of a mother when she is in the course of delivering a baby!
The lady is carved as standing stretching her hands en the shoulders of her attendants standing on her sides. This panel sculptures could be datable to the 12th CE AD!

The legends say that Mother would worship these sculptures in order to get blessed more milk in her breasts!
In a painting of #Vijayanagar period, found on the ceiling of the temple at #Tirupparuttikkunram a suburb of #Kanchipuram, a pregnant lady is shown waiting for her delivery. The painting is dated to 16th Century AD!
The Ramayana story, picturesquely drawn on the ceilings of the Mandapa at Srirangam and Alagarkoyil, depict the birth scenes of Lords Rama. Lakshmana Bharata and Satrukna!

Kausalya, Sumitra & Kaikeyi are painted in the position of delivering a Child each in a standing position!
Only their upper parts of the body are shown while the lower part from the chest is covered by a curtain held by attendants. These paintings are assignable to the 17th Century of #Nayak period!
An 18th Century painting of child birth is also available in the palace at #Ramalingavilasam in #Ramanathapuram. Here the Ramayanam and Bhagavatam scenes are beautifully painted. They depict the birth scenes of Rama and his brothers and Lord Krishna!
Here again the divine mothers are shown in standing position while giving birth to children. They are also covered upto chest portion by curtains!

The story of the births of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrukna are interestingly narrated in painting at #Ramalingavilasam!
The children after their birth were subjected to undergo the following ceremonies:

First, the Children were put in their cradles. Secondly, the ear boring ceremony to them was held. Thirdly, they were fed by their Mothers breasts!
Fourthly, these children were given butter. Fifthly, Ramaswamy was fed milk through conch!

Hence we get clear evidences of standing position of deliveries by the women from the 12th to 18th Centuries AD!
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