Did you know that the original “baby wearing” women are from Guatemala?
For thousands of years, Maya women in Guatemala have used their traditional rebozos (think of it as a woven throw blanket,) to comfortably carry their babies on their back, chest or hips. This baby wearing tradition came from the reality of mothers needing a way to work and hold their baby at the same time, there needed to be a hands-free carrying solution. These incredible women began weaving rebozos with a foot-loom, and sometimes a backstrap-loom, to create a blanket featuring gorgeous patterns and textiles all made out of sturdy, cotton thread. This beautiful product was named a rebozo and originally was used as a mama and baby “ring sling.”
The Multi-Purpose Rebozo
A fascinating aspect of a Maya woman’s rebozo is that it is used for multiple purposes. Because they have a very sustainable and eco-friendly mindset, many of their resources are naturally re-used. After traditional baby carrying use, this simple foot-loomed rebozo ring sling can become a tablecloth for the family or used to keep the sun or rain off of these women’s heads.
It can be used to keep them warm and it becomes a carrying cloth to bundle breads, groceries or goods to be sold at the market; its life is extended by becoming a window cover or a room partition, and when a mom is finally done with it, she takes it to the market to be sold to buy more thread to make a new rebozo. A new life is then given to that old rebozo by an artisan or artist who will repurpose it into a woman’s bag, a clutch, a whimsical doll or even into a pair of summer sandals!
The Mikoleon Artisan Ring Sling
This incredible cycle was one of the main inspirations behind us creating our own Artisan Ring Slings. Each of our rebozos are made by a Guatemalan artisan who personally foot-looms the fabric of the rebozo. We at Mikoleon respect the bond between a parent and a child. This is why we’ve taken so much care into working with our artisans to design and craft the perfect Artisan Ring Sling for you and your babe.
To simplify the tieing process and increase safety when carrying a baby with your rebozo, we’ve added our touch of two metal rings sewn into the rebozo. The rings help with looping the fabric into a secure knot to hold your babe in place. Because our rebozos are made with cotton, the fibers hold tight together, ensuring a safe fabric pouch that can handle the weight of a baby. Just as the Maya women use their rebozos forever, your Artisan Ring Sling will safely age and get softer (and actually more durable) with use.
Another delightful part of our Ring Slings are that the foot-loomed fabrics feature the intricate Jaspe (Ikat) technique. Mayan artisans are world class Ikat master dyers and Guatemala’s Ikat techniques are amongst the best in the world! Therefore, your Mikoleon Artisan Ring Sling is a high-quality and authentic Maya traditional product that can be passed down for generations.
Tools to Get Started
We are launching our Artisan Ring Slings in our Miko Baby Collection and can’t wait for you to try one! Check out our Ring Sling video tutorials to help you get started!
You can also refer to the step-by-step instructions here to assist you while you practice looping your Ring Sling pre-baby and eventually with your baby. Please spend some time to learn the following simple and necessary instructions to best prepare you for some safe parent + baby Ring Sling time. You’ll be a Ring Sling expert before you know it!
For more information about our Artisan Ring Slings, visit our FAQ’s page here.