22 Apr Traditional Diapers and Moss Bags
As a woman raised in a Native community, I grew up learning about the natural ways of doing things. One of those ways was using moss as a diaper for babies. I remember my late grandmothers telling stories of how they would pick fresh moss and create a moss bag to wrap their babies in. The moss would be placed inside the bag, and it served as a natural diaper that kept their babies healthy and free from rashes.
I didn’t realize how unique this method of diapering was until I was older and living outside of my community. I remember one day working at the library, and a white lady came in asking for a book about moss. She said it was written by a Native doctor who researched the health benefits of moss for skin and overall well-being. She was so excited about the book and wondered why every library didn’t have a section dedicated to Native healing and natural ways of knowing.
I was intrigued by her passion for the book, and it reminded me of the stories my grandmothers told me about moss as a diaper. I told her that I didn’t personally use moss as a diaper, but my grandmothers had, and it had kept my father and uncles healthy. She was fascinated by the idea and wanted to try it for herself.
I was happy to help her find the book, and she was grateful when I brought it to her. We chatted for a bit longer, and she asked me more about my experience growing up in a Native community. It was clear that she had a genuine interest in learning about our culture and way of life.
Reflecting on that conversation, it struck me how often Native practices are overlooked or dismissed in mainstream society. But for us, these natural ways of doing things are a part of our everyday lives, and they hold great value and importance. It was refreshing to see someone from outside our community appreciate and want to learn more about our traditions.
The experience also reminded me of the importance of preserving and sharing our culture with others. By doing so, we can help break down stereotypes and foster a greater understanding and appreciation for Native ways of life.
And as you probably wonder the name of the book is : braiding the sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer