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Developing DestiniesA Mayan Midwife and Town$
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Barbara Rogoff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195319903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319903.001.0001

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A becoming young woman

A becoming young woman

Chapter:
(p.124) 7 A becoming young woman
Source:
Developing Destinies
Author(s):

Barbara Rogoff (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319903.003.0073

Renowned for her beauty, Chona had many suitors, including one who later became Vice President of Guatemala (Monteforte Toledo). Her many Mayan suitors tried to convince her to marry them, in the traditional courtship that occurred as the girl walked balancing her clay jug of water on her head from the lakeshore up to her home. When she was fifteen, Chona's father chose one suitor so the family would not be bothered with all the suitors.; many other young women made their own choice by eloping. Chona and her husband grew fond of each other eventually, and they had ten children, six of whom died in childhood, mostly from measles, a disease brought by the Spanish that decimated the Mayan population in repeated epidemics. In Chona's youth it was common for nearly half of children to die in early childhood; now infant mortality is much less common.

Keywords:   courtship, monteforte toledo, elopement, marriage, infant mortality, epidemics, guatemala

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