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Understanding Infantilism (.org)

Diapers of Other Cultures

I was exchanging E-mail with an infantilist in Japan and I realized how little I knew about this aspect of other cultures. What was the traditional Japanese diaper like? For that matter, what was the traditional European diaper like? In cultures where buckets of sand were used instead, did infantilists have beach fetishes?

Included here are the responces from when I asked the alt.sex.fetish.diapers community about diapers from other times.

Thanks to John ("Daddy J"), Baby4mommy, and Jude for their research and submissions.

Arctic - Inupiat Indians

"By the 1960s, the soft caribou skin and moss undergarments used by earlier Inupiat mothers to clothe their children had been replaced by cloth diapers; and as a baby grew older, it was given "training pants" - cast off clothing open at the crotch. Accidents and near misses were treated very lightly although they might bring a gentle rebuke. Even chronic bed-wetters were not punished, except among more acculturated families where the offender was made to stay in bed longer than usual. "


From http://rubens.anu.edu.au/student.projects/offerings/bangladesh.2.html#kantha, now offline.

"Kanthas are traditionally worked by village women on old cloth, mainly soft discarded dhotis and saris. Layers of clothes are held together by running stitches. The number of layers used depends on the purpose for which the kantha is being made. The top and bottom layers are always of light color or white so that the effect of embroidery is prominent. Kanthas meant as quilts are called Lep-kantha, those designed as counterpanes are called sujanikantha. Kanthas are also used as covers for boxes and mirrors, as pillowcases, as stoles and shawl, as diapers and receiving clothes for babies. "

Bengal, 2nd. reference

From http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/LibInfo/SourcesBySubject/SouthAsia/Manjari.html (now ofline): "Bengal kantha makers reflect their traditions in choosing their designs. The Hindu kantha makers would tend to choose from religious motifs, like gods and goddesses, the "alpanas" representing lotus flower, conch shells, various birds and beast like peacock, parrots, elephants, lion, tiger, whereas the Muslim women are usually restricted to geometrical designs and plants and flowers. Within that restriction, they are able to create wonderful artifacts in "jainamaz kantha," "dastarkhan," or "gilaf embroidery." In Bengal, kanthas were originally used as baby's diapers, or wrappers. At present day, due to the high cost of hand crafted materials, kantha making for the baby's diaper is not cost effective at all."


"In parts of China they use a bucket or sack of sand as a diaper. They simply bury the child up to their waist and the sand absorbs the urine. If a large enough container is used it doesn't have to be changed as frequently and of course there is no laundry problem. Some parents also like the fact that this immobilizes the baby so that the the child stays where it was put. I understand that this practice is being discouraged by the Chinese government and now only occurs in rural areas."

China - Hunanese

From http://www.goshen.net/calebproject/peopleh.htm, now offline.

"With so many people spread over a large area, there are many contrasts. The older generation favors Mao-style clothing while the younger generation, especially students, favor Western-style clothes. The children often dress in bright colors with open bottom pants being used instead of diapers."


The Japanese cloth diaper is very different from the European style - although the disposables are almost identical. The cloth diaper is almost never white but rather consists of brightly colored patterns. The diaper consists of two long strips of cloth. The ends of the diaper are sewn together so you have a "continuous loop" of cloth kind of like a fan belt from your car. On advantage of the loop is that the diaper can be hung easily on a rod to dry (no clothes pins - no diaper pins either as I will explain) One loop of cloth is place vertically on the floor. The other is place horizontally across (but inside the loop) the first to form a capital letter "T" The baby's tushie is place on their intersection of cloth and the ends are brought up around the waist and between the legs. I have only observed this a few times and cannot really explain how the ends are folded except to say that these loops of material are long enough that there is enough fabric to for an extra absorbant pad. Not using pins makes this diaper a bit loose for the active baby so the plastic panty serves to hold the diaper in place as well as to help contains the baby's wettums and poo-poo's. Their plastic panties also had double elastic leg gathers and pretty drawstrings at the waist and legs.

North America - Deneke Indians

From http://www.learnnet.nt.ca/docs/denekede/Child.html (now ofline):

"....traditionally, babies were kept in bags which restricted movement to prevent overactive children. Toddlers' snowsuits were made with the wrists and ankles sewn shut to restrict movement. Know that traditionally, moss was gathered by men and women in the fall, enough to last the winter. This was used for diapers. "

North America - Ahousat Indians

From http://lbmf.bc.ca/wildside.html, now offline:

Today the Ahousaht's live at "Marktosis" or Ahousaht Village. "Marktosis" is an Anglicization of maaktusiis 'moving from on side to another'

Shell middens consist of a cultural accumulation of shells. Walk The Wild Side guides will indicate the location of one in particular on your walk. Middens can represent village sites, temporary camps or harvesting and processing areas.

Intertidal sites, often classified as a "petroform" (rock alignment), will also be identified. These are canoe skids expressed as parallel rock alignments in the intertidal zone. Culturally Modified trees will be noted and described. These trees, usually cedar, have been modified by people. Its bark having been stripped or logged for planks for house poles, canoe manufacture etc. Bark was used for a wide variety of utilitarian purposes such as basketry, clothing, shelter, diapers, cordage and so on.

Email BitterGrey[mail] Last Update: 7 August 2008

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