Baby’s first garment(无领婴儿上衣)

Baby’s first garment

Headword

배냇저고리 ( 无领婴儿上衣 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Chulsaenguirye

Writer KoBooja(高富子)

The first garment that a baby wears after birth.

Baenaetjeogori is a loose upper garment made either before or after a child is born. Generally, however, it was made after the birth in the belief that doing so beforehand might arouse jealousy among evil spirits and cause serious problems during childbirth. Two or three of these garments were made at the same time, usually by the baby’s mother, paternal and maternal grandmothers, or great grandmother. It was believed that the best garment for the newly born baby was that made by a woman who had already given birth to a boy, was leading a happy married life with her husband, and widely revered for her virtue and good deeds.

The favored material was white cotton. Mothers shunned colored garments in the belief that it might cause jealousy among the evil spirits, or make the baby become greedy for clothing. Often it was made from the upper garment of a senior male member of the family who had enjoyed a long life and accomplished great things. Mothers hoped their babies would receive the luck and fortune the senior family member had enjoyed and learn the importance of frugality from the experience of wearing a garment made from used material.

The breast ties of the baenaetjeogori were made of cotton cords, almost without exception. The long cotton cords were called “life cords” and were associated with the wearer’s longevity. This belief shows that the most earnest wish of mothers was that their babies live a long and healthy life. The breast ties were made by twisting seven or nine strands of cotton thread together, the outer tie made long enough to go around the waist. The sleeves were also made long enough to completely cover the baby’s hands to prevent his or her nails from scratching the face. The garment was in the form of a loose robe designed to give the baby extra warmth and had no collar for fear of irritating the baby’s tender skin.

For some people, the baenaetjeogori was a garment of fortune. Some mothers carefully kept it after the baby had grown up, without washing it, then stitched inside the back panel of the outer garment worn by the grown-up child as he sat for an examination, entered a lawsuit, or went into battle. The entire family treated the garment with care, even after the baby had outgrown it. They believed that if it was thrown away carelessly or used for household chores, the baby who had worn it would become a degenerate, ignoble person. Similarly, they neither borrowed nor lent out a baenaetjeogori, because they feared it would be used by others to repel evil or carry away the original wearer’s fortune.

For Korean families in the past, the baenaetjeogori was not just an ordinary piece of clothing worn by all newly born babies but also a symbolic object reflecting the earnest wishes of the parents and other family members that the child leads a healthy, prosperous life.

Baby’s first garment

Baby’s first garment
Headword

배냇저고리 ( 无领婴儿上衣 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Chulsaenguirye

Writer KoBooja(高富子)

The first garment that a baby wears after birth.

Baenaetjeogori is a loose upper garment made either before or after a child is born. Generally, however, it was made after the birth in the belief that doing so beforehand might arouse jealousy among evil spirits and cause serious problems during childbirth. Two or three of these garments were made at the same time, usually by the baby’s mother, paternal and maternal grandmothers, or great grandmother. It was believed that the best garment for the newly born baby was that made by a woman who had already given birth to a boy, was leading a happy married life with her husband, and widely revered for her virtue and good deeds.

The favored material was white cotton. Mothers shunned colored garments in the belief that it might cause jealousy among the evil spirits, or make the baby become greedy for clothing. Often it was made from the upper garment of a senior male member of the family who had enjoyed a long life and accomplished great things. Mothers hoped their babies would receive the luck and fortune the senior family member had enjoyed and learn the importance of frugality from the experience of wearing a garment made from used material.

The breast ties of the baenaetjeogori were made of cotton cords, almost without exception. The long cotton cords were called “life cords” and were associated with the wearer’s longevity. This belief shows that the most earnest wish of mothers was that their babies live a long and healthy life. The breast ties were made by twisting seven or nine strands of cotton thread together, the outer tie made long enough to go around the waist. The sleeves were also made long enough to completely cover the baby’s hands to prevent his or her nails from scratching the face. The garment was in the form of a loose robe designed to give the baby extra warmth and had no collar for fear of irritating the baby’s tender skin.

For some people, the baenaetjeogori was a garment of fortune. Some mothers carefully kept it after the baby had grown up, without washing it, then stitched inside the back panel of the outer garment worn by the grown-up child as he sat for an examination, entered a lawsuit, or went into battle. The entire family treated the garment with care, even after the baby had outgrown it. They believed that if it was thrown away carelessly or used for household chores, the baby who had worn it would become a degenerate, ignoble person. Similarly, they neither borrowed nor lent out a baenaetjeogori, because they feared it would be used by others to repel evil or carry away the original wearer’s fortune.

For Korean families in the past, the baenaetjeogori was not just an ordinary piece of clothing worn by all newly born babies but also a symbolic object reflecting the earnest wishes of the parents and other family members that the child leads a healthy, prosperous life.