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Blood Magic
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Editors' Note

PART I
INTRODUCTION

1. A Critical Appraisal of Theories of
Menstrual Symbolism
Thomas Buckley and Alma Gottlieb

PART II
MENSTRUAL IMAGES, MEANINGS, AND
VALUES
2. Menstrual Cosmology among the Beng of
Ivory Coast
Alma Gottlieb
3. Mortal Flow: Menstruation in Turkish
Village Society
Carol Delaney
4. Menstruation among the Rungus of Borneo:
An Unmarked Category
Laura W. R. Appell

PART III
THE SOCIOLOGY OF MENSTRUAL
MEANINGS
5. Menstrual Politics: Women and Pigs in
Rural Portugal
Denise L. Lawrence
6. Menstrual Symbolism in South Wales 137
Vieda Skultans
7. Premenstrual Syndrome: Discipline, Work,
and Anger in Late Industrial Societies
Emily Martin

PART IV
EXPLORATORY DIRECTIONS: MENSES,
CULTURE, AND TIME
8. Menstruation and the Power of Yurok
Women
Thomas Buckley
9. Heavenly Bodies: Menses, Moon, and
Rituals of License among the Temne of
Sierra Leone
Frederick Lamp
10. Menstrual Synchrony and the Australian
Rainbow Snake
Chris Knight

Notes
References
Contributors
Index

About the Author

Thomas Buckley is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He Specializes in North American Indian ethnology and history, with particular interests in religion and language. Alma Gottlieb is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her area of interest is Africa, with emphasis on gender, religion, and family structure.

Reviews

"The first book on the anthropology of menstruation to be published by a major university press." -- Becky Vorpagel Journal of American Folklore "A major innovation is the deliberate and consistent focus on women's views and their participation in social responses to bodily processes." -- Terence Hays Journal of the History of Sexuality "Reclaiming the female body, retrieving it piece by piece from the grip of patriarchal culture and medical practice, has been a central feminist goal for each of the last two decades. Menstruation ... is now front and center on the feminist agenda as a topic that needs to be rethought ... Blood Magic ... [is] among a larger set of books that are seeking simultaneously to dismantle the traditional formulations and to replace them with a woman-centered set of understandings ... [the book]... not only clear[s] and point[s] the way for a new woman-centered scholarship on menstruation but demonstrate[s] its significance to the feminist agenda." -- Anna Meigs Signs "The first major collection on anthropological interpretations of menstruation... The editors contribute a lengthy, useful introduction to this biological phenomenon and the interpretations given to it by different peoples; moreover, they provide discussions for each section ... A well-edited and useful contribution to the continually growing literature on the cultural constructions of gender." -- L. Beck Choice, "Outstanding Title!" "Menstrual taboos have long been a favorite subject of ethnographic inquiry, but in the past their study has suffered from both an ethnocentric and male-centered bias. Burdened by their own set of 'menstrual taboos,' ethnographers have too often assumed they knew what those of another culture meant. Blood Magic, a collection of essays by nine fieldworkers in anthropology and related disciplines, marks a welcome departure from earlier studies in a number of ways. It derives its perspective from women's studies in recognizing the need to focus on women's experiences as well as those of men, and in recognizing the importance of female fieldworkers to do this. This is the first book-length collection of essays to grow out of recent cultural anthropological research on menstruation. Never before has the study of menstruation been so well informed by a combination of fieldwork and theoretical approaches to the study of gender and the symbolism of the body. This is the first book-length collection of essays to grow out of recent cultural anthropological research on menstruation. Never before has the study of menstruation been so well informed by a combination of fieldwork and theoretical approaches to the study of gender and the symbolism of the body ... This is a well-constructed and well-researched collection, grounded in received anthropological theory, yet looking far beyond it." -- Jennifer Livesay Folklore Forum

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