Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Moldovei – IX / 2009


The rite known in Moldavia as the midwife’s sleeves consists in a gift that unfolds on three different levels. The most important of them is the cloth meant to be sewn as sleeves on the midwife’s shirt. They reconfigure the arms of gold, a motif found in literary folklore worldwide. The midwife’s arms are defiled by the birth blood and they need to be reconstructed in a higher form. Apart from purification, this rite is meant to influence the child’s good future and to magically ensure a good lactation for the mother.