This photo of a Maori newborn still attached to placenta with an umblical cord layed out in the shape of “Love” has become viral and aroused a lot of discussion about birth rituals.
The black-and-white picture of a baby Harper Hoaney Spice was taken in January, 2, an hour after birth. Harper’s mother, Jolyn Spice descends from Ngai Tahu, a tribe In South New Zealand. This photo is taken to show the sacred connection between placenta and earth in Maori culture. Emma Jean Nolan, an obsterician and a photograpgher, explains in her Facebook page, that there is one word for placenta and earth in Maori language.
This is what she writes:
“Welcome, baby Harper! The placenta of this Maori child will be returned to earth. The word “whehua” means both “earth” and “placenta”. Whehua, the placenta, returns to whehua, the earth. Thus, the umblical chord symbolizes the bond between the newborn and Mother Earth. After the ritual, every Maori stays connected with nature for the rest of his life”.
Nolan mentions, that she was anxious to take this photo, as few beople have ever seen a baby attached to placenta. As a professional obsterician, she knows that unlike Australian aborigens, Western people don’t practice placenta burying.
“Nowadays, even few aborigens do it”, Emma says, “Nevertheless, the reaction to this post shows, that there are many Australian emigrants, who want to come to their homeland in order to bury their children’s placentas in the native soil”
Emma Jean Nolan is a wonderful woman who has found her way to show the beauty of motherhood. Her photos of young mothers and newborn babies are very touching and adorable.