Sunday, October 12, 2008
Navajo and New Mexico
We are in New Mexico for the weekend and, among other things, we visited with my husband's childhood friend, John, who lives in Santa Fe and is now a public health doctor who has been working for years for the Indian Health Service. His stints have included time with the Navajo, though he now serves a Pueblo population that we are going to see today. John, my husband and I were discussing how different these Native American groups are. As the stereotypes go, the Navajo is stoic and reserved, while the Pueblo is more open and friendly. But what was interesting to me is that he said Navajo women giving birth are practically silent; that it goes against their culture to give a voice to pain. If I've said it once I've said it a million times: Birth is a reflection of the culture where it happens. Fascinating to me.