This infographic was created as a community effort through CCBW Reviews and Base Love; designed by Alicia Lawrence.
Infographic with title hashtag Take Back the Rebozo and subtitle A Primer Sourced from CCBW Reviews and Base Love. Title area has an image of a stack of folded and colorful rebozos with a transparent dark grey banner that starts in lower left corner and rises to upper right corner. The titles are in a white sharpie-style font within the banner.
The remaining text is presented in an FAQ style with each question and answer in an orange box. Each box is a lighter shade of orange than the previous one. A dark grey footer is at the bottom with white text.
A Primer Sourced from CCBW Reviews and Base Love
“What is a rebozo?”
A rebozo is a hand woven shawl specific to certain Mesoamerican countries. The colors, weaves, and patterns are specific to regions. A rebozo can accompany a person from birth (being carried in one) to death (being buried with one) and everything in between. Rebozos are much more than beautiful cloths to carry babies in, but this aspect of the rebozo has mostly been maintained by indigenous women.
A rebozo is not. . .
A carry, pass, knot, shorty wrap, or a verb. The persistent use of the word “rebozo” in these contexts is erasure of what a rebozo truly is. Misusing the word dilutes the history and significance of a very important Mesoamerican cultural touchstone.
“Why is it being used out of context?”
Columbusing and cultural appropriation. Erika Hoffmann of Didymos was gifted a rebozo by friends who vacationed in Mexico. She wore her babies in it, and basically became a babywearing celebrity and juggernaut for something indigenous women had been practicing continuously. The “rebozo” carry and pass were not actually named for the traditional carrier, but for Hoffmann’s Didymos “Rebozos”.
“I still don’t understand.”
The best way to honor the traditional rebozo, and the indigenous women who kept the practice alive, is to distinguish it from all the things that its name has wrongly been applied to. Not doing so perpetuates the columbusing and cultural appropriation that originated with Didymos. Also, this relationship of distinguishing the carrier from a carry already exists in the form of the Kanga and Torso Carry. This change is not as massive as it may seem.
“But what do I now call the pass/carry?”
No one person can answer that with authority. “Traditional Sling/Hip/Back” pass/carry is gaining steam, though. “Traditional” is a nod to all indigenous cultures around the world that carry in this fashion, and to just use “Sling/Hip/Back” would be erasure.
“What does #TakeBackTheRebozo mean?”
#TakeBackTheRebozo is a celebration of traditional babywearing. Babywearers with Mesoamerican ancestral roots are embracing this hashtag to honor a tradition they are reclaiming and/or continuing. The hashtag was born out of these conversations on how best to honor the traditional rebozo in the modern Euro-centric babywearing community.
Please join CCBW Reviews on Facebook for further conversations on this topic, including how this change affects the U.S. babywearing lexicon.
For more information about the call for Didymos to cease production of the Ind*o line and its derivatives, see The Racist and Appropriative Nature of Didymos’ Indios