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Customs around pregnancy and childbirth

Lucia Kelly
Time period: 1967-1973
Number of interviews: 18
Period of interviews: 1967 - 1973

Language: Papiamentu


8 interviews Ministry of Culture and Education of Aruba (1967-1973)

10 interviews Research Section of the National Archives of Aruba


Information obtained through oral history was used to research customs around pregnancy and childbirth. The customs mentioned do not necessarily apply to the entire Aruban population at the beginning of the 20th century.

Interviews conducted by the Aruba Ministry of Culture and Education between 1967 and 1973 were used. Own interviews with several women in Aruba about the customs as described were also used.





In all villages where institutionalized medical care is poorly developed, people use the knowledge accumulated generations after generations regarding the care of the sick and the care of pregnant women. Through the research I came to realize the valuable work done by a large group of women in the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century that we could not forget. They helped generations of women bring their children into the world, realizing very well that along the biological side there is also the psychological side and from which we can learn. In recognition of their work, I would like to mention their names. For this I consulted the birth certificates starting in 1831 and ending in 1930. It was in 1831 that the government established the Civil Register in Aruba.


Lucia Kelly, February 2005

G.F. ‘Ito’ Tromp Collection

Number of interviews: 41
Transcripts: yes
Period of interviews: 1960-1970

Links to transcriptions


Entrevistanan Etnografico y Grabacionnan Musical y Cultural (1967-1975)

– Index Cards
– Lista di hendenan entrevista

Entrevista cu: Dijkhoff, Casildo Castulio (n. 7 maart 1895)
Entrevista cu: Fuentes geb. Koolman, Nicolasa (n. 1898)
Entrevista cu: Ridderstap, Catharina (Mayeye; n. 31 oktober 1875)
Tur entrevista cu transcripcion:

Interview transcription uploads
Interview tape (open tape reel) digitization: pending funding and audiovisual digitization equipment


On Aruba in the 1960s and 1970s, Mr. Hubert Lio Booi and Mr. Ito Tromp collected the oral history of the Aruban people, mainly of the Mestizo (indigenous) Aruban people. Their collection is kept in the National Library of Aruba under the name G.F. ‘Ito’ Tromp Collection.

Booi and Tromp have collected much valuable information about Aruban traditional culture.


Ito Tromp

Officers and non-commissioned officers of the Aruba Militia and the Aruba Volunteer Corps

Time period: 1940-1946
Number of interviews: 7
Accessibility: Public
Transcripts: Yes (Papiamento) - Dutch subtitles



Realisation project:

Fundacion Amigonan Di Archivo © (2009)


Timeframe: 1940-1946
Location: Aruba
Number of interviews: 7


Thematic collection: Erfgoed van de Oorlog



The interviews can be seen:



Can also be seen via Archivo Nacional Aruba:


Already on 14 May 1940, the Dutch army had to surrender. The Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany and the free Netherlands Antilles were now in a state of war. The Antillean defence was poorly organised at the time. There was a handful of Dutch marines and troops of the Vrijwilliger Korps Aruba (V.K.A.), weapons and other war material were in short supply. In haste, conscription was introduced on Aruba: the Schutterij. Its primary task was to protect Aruba against enemy attacks, but it also served as a counterweight against a possible friendly foreign army that would take over the country’s defence tasks. The gunners were youngsters who had received no military training. The leadership was in the hands of Dutch marines and officers of the Royal Dutch-Indies Army (K.N.I.L.) Only later did the militia get its own officers and non-commissioned officers.


Not much is known about the war experiences of the Aruban military. To gain more insight into the lives of the military, interviews were conducted with officers and non-commissioned officers of the Aruba Militia at the time and with former soldiers of the Volunteer Corps Aruba (VKA). Because after the German torpedo attacks in February 1942, no major incidents took place on Aruba anymore, the continuation of the Aruban war history is dismissed by many today as unimportant. But from the perspective of the soldiers at the time, as is evident from the interviews, the threat of a new attack was experienced as very real at the time.