A new born baby is a God’s precious gift which he has treasured and then sent to us. Not only father, mother and family members are happy when a baby is born, but each and everyone associated with the parents are very happy and are very eager to see a new born baby. But have you ever heard of a tradition that whenever a baby is born, his/her own father and mother spits on him/her, just for making him a better human being. Isn’t strange? But yes, such kind of custom and tradition of spitting on a new born baby is still prevailing in some parts of India and also outside India.
The Wolof people of Mauritania and adjoining countries there used to believe that spiting saliva on a baby and then rubbing that saliva all over the body can retain the words, people there always spit on new born babies to add a blessing in their life. When a baby is given birth, it is said that first the mother will spit on new born baby face, and afterwards father will spit in his/her ear and then they rub the saliva all over its head. Some people also believe that spitting will protect the new born baby from all kind of spirits and evil eyes.
This was about the people of Mauritania but the Igbo tribe in Nigeria goes one step beyond. When a new baby is born, it is sent to his/her family’s ancestral house. Then a relative there, who is supposed to be a good speaker, he/she chews some alligator pepper, which is a West African spice dribbles it on a finger, and then it is put up in the baby’s mouth. They suppose that when baby grows up, he will become a good speaker and will imbibe all the qualities of a good speaker or a narrator, which will improve their way of living further.