I’ve Got the Carrier, Bring on the Babies

So, while I was studying Kaqchikel Maya, a couple of years ago in Guatemala, I was amazed and attracted to the traditional way Maya women carried their babies around. I was hooked. Hooked on the variation in textile and hooked on the simplicity of the practice.

I had previously decided that before I had kids, I needed to find better alternatives to the awkward American practice of transporting a baby to the side in a heavy plastic car seat like trying to carry a five gallon bucket of water. I longed for something simpler and more intimate. Something less consumeristic and something more aesthetic. I found that something in Guatemala, in the ye old Maya practice.

In Guatemala they call these things cargadores de bebes which literally means carriers of babies and sounds pretty cool in Spanish. I think they haven’t quite caught on in the English speaking world for lack of a catchy name.  Baby carrier, baby sling, baby wrap all fall a little short.

The things themselves, however, I could see really catching on with Gen Y as we’ve experienced excessive consumerism  and  are looking for alternatives. A number of those alternatives seem to lie in the simpler ways things were done in the past, ways we are now rediscovering and re-embracing. Here’s my contribution. A simple way to hold your baby close, take him or her everywhere, and avoid the bulk of lugging around strollers or the plastic car seat out of the car.

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