Among all classes of Inca people, children were very much wanted. When a woman gave birth to a child whether she was a farmer’s wife, a noble-woman or even an empress, she was helped by a midwife. Women preferred the help of a midwife who had had twins, because twins were considered a sign of a god’s favor.

During the delivery the husband remained at home. He in no way assisted the midwife, but he fasted and prayed. The moment the baby was born, the mother bathed it and herself. An Inca woman was not pampered. In a short while she was up and about, doing her household chores.

When the baby was four days old it was placed on a low cradleboard. The cradleboard stood on the floor, supported on four short legs. Two hoops were fixed to the cradleboard, and then she placed her baby upon it, tied the baby to the board with a strip of cloth and threw another shawl over the hoops of the cradle. Thus the baby was kept warm without being in danger of suffocating.

The baby, strapped to its cradleboard, went everywhere with its mother. When the baby cried she nursed it. A noblewoman also nursed her baby, but she had a servant to carry the baby for her when he wants to visit a neighbor.

A child was named a year or two after its birth. The naming day was celebrated by the baby’s family and relatives. Relatives brought gifts, and the child’s oldest uncle cut its hair and nails and offered them to the sun with a prayer that the child should be healthy and enjoy a long life. Dancing and refreshments followed.
The name chosen was a “baby name,” and he child shed it when it when he/she reached maturity.

A boy might then be named for his father or his grandfathers or for certain qualities his parents admired. There were no fixed rules for Child naming. He might be called Sinhi, which means strong or Tito which means Generous or Kosi which means happy or he might be named Puma, Hawk or Jaguar. Girls were named Star, Gold, and even Coca. The common people were satisfied with a single name, but the nobility and the royal family liked double names. Some had three names.


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