Birth, Childhood And Youth In Etsakoland

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Last update 03-06-2020) 

At Agbede a woman may deliver a child anywhere but in a sleeping-room. She assisted by a woman, who must not herself be pregnant; for her services she receives a small present from the husband when the delivery is complete. The first woman to wash the child after birth continues to do so for the next three months. The mother remains in the same place before she is allowed to go out to fetch firewood and she must not go to the farm for three months.
The placenta is buried under the eaves of the house. The umbilical cord is, according to one account, tied up and hung over the place where the child sleeps; another version says that it is put in an empty pot over the fire and reduced to ashes which are tied in a leaf and hung over the fire. On the seventh day the child is removed from the house, which is swept and rubbed down. At this time it receives a special kind of food served in a shell. After three months the mother gives the child palm-nut which she has previously chewed herself.
At Ikpe, Uzairhue, the child’s end of the cord is dried in the smoke from a fire and hung in a palm-tree which then becomes the child’s own property.

At Agbede male children are circumcised soon after birth if the child is strong enough, but otherwise three months afterwards or even later according to the wishes of the parents According to one report clitoridectomy is performed on a woman, during her first pregnancy.
A son presumably of an amoya marriage lives and works with his father until the latter gives him a wife and allows him to build his own house and make his own farm. Even after this he should continue to present yams to his father annually.

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