Bundle: ANTHRO3625 (The Female Life Cycle in Cross Cultural Perspectives) Lecture Notes
Bundle: ANTHRO3625 (The Female Life Cycle in Cross Cultural Perspectives) Lecture Notes ANTHRO3625
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Date Created: 08/11/16
February 10, 2015 Disorders Associated with Menstruation Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) o Is this a product of cultural expectations or a biological reality? Definition: the cyclic appearance of one or more of a constellation of a symptoms just prior to menstruations occurring to such a degree that lifestyle or work is affected, followed by a period of time entirely free of symptoms Must appear regularly, just before the start of menstruation Interferes with work or lifestyle, must regress after a week or so Irritation/moodiness does not always correlate with menstruation About 40% of menstrual women experience bothersome symptoms in the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle For 25%, these symptoms are annoying, but they don’t interfere with their functionality For 10-15%, these symptoms are severe o Among these, 3-5% report significant impairment of one or more activities in association with their menstrual periods o Hallmark symptom: irritability Most common: abdominal bloating, anxiety/tension, breast tenderness, crying spells, depression, fatigue, lack of energy, unprovoked anger or irritability, difficulty concentrating, changes in thirst or appetite, degrees of edema or swelling of lower extremities Predictability and association with menstruation more important than exact combination of symptoms o What is unknown about this phenomenon? Specific physiological sequence The particular series of changes in neurotransmitters is unknown Neurotransmitters: substances that convey and modulate changes in neurons in the nervous system o Neurotransmitter change: reduction in serotonin o Serotonin: alterations appear to be characteristic of most severe forms of premenstrual syndrome Critical point: you have to chart symptoms accurately and prospectively over several cycles You cannot diagnose a premenstrual syndrome on the basis of a recalled, retrospective history alone Possible errors: faulty memory, bias, etc. Most common manifestations: mood disorders o Stable pattern from menstrual cycle to cycle in a particular woman There is a subgroup of women in which mood changes demonstrate a cyclical pattern with increasing symptoms during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, menses offsets these symptoms Less than half the women who claim to have PMS can be demonstrated to have such a pattern of mood changes 3 basic types of PMS o Mild o Moderate Leona Chen SP15 February 10, 2015 o Severe Distinct diagnostic name and criteria PMDD: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder How do you distinguish PMDD from PMS? Symptoms must be characteristic of PMDD or PMS Symptoms must be limited to luteal phase only Symptoms must be troublesome and interfere with a woman’s life o PMDD: Symptoms must cause actual impairment of functionality Symptoms cannot be explained by some other diagnosis Pre-existing psychiatric disorders may have intensified symptoms during the luteal phase, but does not mean it is caused by menstruation premenstrual exacerbation/magnification of symptoms o Some women blame emotional/psychiatric issues on menstrual cycle o Women may seek other explanations/exoneration for mental illness o Depends on degree of impairment a woman has with symptoms o Types of symptoms don’t matter, but severity does Some may be positive: increased productivity, energy levels, sexual desire, creativity, etc. 10% of women don’t have symptoms at all 50% of women have one or two symptoms that last a day or two and are not particularly bothersome Category 1: Mood Disorders o Irritability, anxiety, etc. Category 2: Physical problems o Bloating, tender breasts, appetite changes o Cognitive disturbances, feeling confused, poor concentration, etc. It is important to get a thorough evaluation because you need to rule out other causes/diagnoses Patients who come in with these complaints must chart at least 2 cycles of prospective symptoms to see if there is a relationship For symptoms to be related to this, they must begin within 2 weeks of onset menstrual flow and be resolved within a day or two of the menses Variation in menstrual cycle is due to the length of the follicular phase oocyte is ripening Once ovulation occurs, there is a two week interval until menses At least half of complainants do not have cyclical symptoms Diaries provide immediate entry into self-help: the act of keeping a diary and charting symptoms gives you agency over identifying and controlling potential health issues There are no laboratory tests or physical findings associated with PMS or PMDD PMDD is recognized as a psychiatric disorder o Rigorous criteria 4 categories Leona Chen SP15 February 10, 2015 Symptoms are temporarily related to the menstrual cycle, beginning during the last week of the luteal phase and remitting after the onset of menses List of symptoms, designated into major + minor systems Major symptoms: you have to have at least one of these to be diagnosed with PMDD o Marked depression o Marked anxiety or tension o Marked affective ability (mood swings) o Persistent and marked anger or irritability, increased interpersonal conflict Minor symptoms: you must have five of the 4+7 o Decreased interest in usual activities o Easy fatigability, marked lack of energy o Subjective sense of difficulty concentrating o Changes in appetite, food craving, or overeating o Insomnia and inability to sleep OR hypersomnia o Feelings of being out of control or overwhelmed o Physical symptoms Breast tenderness, headaches, joint or muscle pain, weight gain, etc. Have to interfere with work, relationships, daily habits, etc. o Disruptive, not simply annoying Cannot be just an exacerbation of an already existing psychiatric disorder Soft diagnosis: syndrome pieced together from a variety of symptoms o Not as specific as other diagnoses of disorders, etc. o Diagnosis of PMS requires documentation of at least a 30% increase in severity of symptoms in the five days prior to the start of menstruation compared with the 5 days following menstruation o 5% of women in US diagnosed with disruptive PMS o 40% of women report some kind of menstrual-related problems 2-10% report some degree of impact on everyday lives (work, relationships, etc.) Exact prevalence is difficult to ascertain Leona Chen SP15 February 19, 2015 Disorders Associated with Menstruation (part 3) Endometriosis (cont.) o If this occurs prior to menarche, there must be a different explanation If this occurs in the lungs by retrograde menstruation, since there is no direct route between the thoracic and pelvic cavities, an alternative theory exists: Coelomic metaplasia o One type of cell turns into another type of cell o Cells in the thoracic cavity become endometrial cells o Does having endometriosis affect your daily life? Most people don’t notice it Two main effects: chronic pain and infertility Peculiar in both cases Chronic pain is a feature of endometriosis, but how/why it occurs is unusual o Not everybody with endometriosis experiences pain, and vice versa Large amounts of macrophages (debris infertility) o 20-40% of infertile women have endometriosis Treatment for pain and treatment for infertility are very different medical regimens o Treatment for pain complete hysterectomy o Treatment for both difficult, because may affect infertility Women will opt for IV fertilization instead Leona Chen SP15 February 17, 2015 Disorders Associated with Menstruation (Part 2) Disorders are difficult to measure quantitatively o Retrospective bias difficult to eliminate o Many women who report problems in relation to their menstrual cycles actually don’t have problems related to menstruation Prospective charts show no real relationship Accurate prospective calculations show no impact on cognitive, social, or mental function There are correlations between mothers/daughters and sisters o Some of these behaviors may be genetic, same may be learned o First classic description of PMS Written by Dr. Frank in 1931 “Group of women to whom I refer complain incredible tension from 7- 10 days preceding menstruation, which in most circumstances continues until the menstrual flow occurs. They compare of unrest, fatigue, etc. They know they are unbearable in their attitudes and actions. Within an hour of menstruation, complete relief occurs.” Romans believed menstrual blood was dirty, polluted would kill insects, bees, crops, etc. 19 and 20 century Europe: menstruation was associated with antisocial behavior th o Early 19 century: domestic service in the household who murdered her employer’s children was acquitted due to insanity because of obstructed menstruation o Woman acquitted of murdering her baby due to insanity because of menstruation o Some researchers have argued that PMS is responsible for increased crime, misdemeanors, accidents, etc. Properly conducted experiments do not find significant relationship between menstruation and cognitive/social/mental behavior and function. If you alter social/psychological expectations, the phenomenon disappears Dalton said that academic performance declines during menstruation Claim was disproved Biggest problems with PMS studies attempt to link behavior with menstrual cycles Assume that menstruation is the only process But any part of the reproductive/life cycle is susceptible to stressors So what can be attributed to changing hormonal levels? o You can eliminate premenstrual symptoms by surgically removing the ovaries or shutting down the ovarian cycle with GnRH Agonists o GnRH Agonists (Stimulant promoting something) Analogs of GnRH, release various amino acids Leona Chen SP15 February 17, 2015 Compounds have different chemical compositions and effects Given by intramuscular injections of subcutaneous injections Cause flare of LH release, then shuts down LH and FSH production decreased estrogen production Shuts down gonadotropin production o Potential clinical applications Treat endometriosis Shrink benign tumors Treat precocious puberty Treat prostate cancer (males) o What happens if you give these to women with PMS? Women who responded to GnRH received GnRH Agonists + physiological doses of estrogen and progesterone to mimic effects of those hormones Almost all women had improvements in their baseline symptom weights for four weeks Better than for the progesterone --: you have to do more Symptoms of sadness/anxiety/bloating/irritability were more common Symptoms of PMS = abnormal response to normal hormonal changes Treatment of SSRIs (antidepressants) may be useful Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors Menstruation in our Culture o Experience of menstruation closely tied with our identity o What does your culture tell you about your identity, your body, and your future relationships? Experiments o Bogus encephalogram o Women who believed their period oud begin in think they are true Psychophysical origin, tied to biology but with a socio-psychological overlay Fluoxetine (Prozac) o (also known as Serafem) o For the treatment of PMS o Fluoxetine hydrochloride is white and green, introduced as an antidepressant Fluoxetine hydrochloride as Prozac is pink and lavender o Serafem targeted towards females, underlying message: You take our drug and we’ll turn you into an angel on Serafem This type of marketing changes symbolic lives and represents new ways to look at the universe as Serafem for PMDD (response to ethical demand) Said to be not quite appropriate because depressed=/- menstruating o Serafem’s branding is not as an antidepressant Functions as a strategy to distinguish illnesses and keep them apart Unlike Prozac becoming Serafem, Zoloft was originally marketed as an antidepressant It was not rebranded, even though its function moved towards PTSD Symbolic compatibility Some people just don’t want PMDD and depression to be the same thing, which is exactly what might happen symbolically if they were treated with the same brand Branding can function as a way to sustain conceptual separation of certain illnesses Mild-Moderate Menstrual Discomfort Leona Chen SP15 February 17, 2015 o Recommended change in lifestyle extra calcium, magnesium, healthier diet, more exercise Physical problems: Spironolactone (mild diuretic + treat abnormal facial hair growth) Oral contraceptive pills (regular hormone levels precisely) Mood problems: SSRIs may help on the days the symptoms are bad First SSRI doesn’t help If these don’t work try continuous high-dose progesterone therapy What other medical circumstances are linked to the menstrual cycle? o Menstrual headache: a phenomenon where the headache is temporarily related to menstruation Most headaches due to: vasodilatation (vascular relaxation), muscle tension, psychological stress Headache is one of the recurring themes in women with PMS May be the only symptom Migraines: peak incidence in teenagers 15-19 Rare after menopause 60% of women with migraine headaches know and associate them with menstruation 7-14% of women with migraine headaches say that they occur exclusively with menstruation 2/3 of women with migraine headaches find that they go away with pregnancy o Somehow related to estrogen and progesterone, releases prostaglandins (that cause menstrual cramps) that signal to the brain Preceded by prodromal syndromes: related to constriction o Vascular headaches: due to abnormal dilatation of blood vessels Vasodilatation is believed to follow nasal constriction, constricts than relaxes abnormally throbbing pain Precipitated by stress, alcohol, or foods that are rich in tripdamine (wine, chocolate, cheese) Viral illness, fever, hypertension o Tension headaches: muscle contraction headaches Pain is usually steady, dull, bilateral (on both sides of the head) Last from a couple hours to a couple days o Secondary headaches: symptom of underlying systemic disease Pain is due to physical pressure or something pulling on various structures ex. Brain tumors (accompanied with other neurological signs like slurred speech, etc.), blood clot, hypertension, drug use, concussions, meningitis o Chronic headache Cyclic, resolves completely vascular explanation, has to do with blood flow Recurrent/chronic headaches get worse you need to see a neurologist, especially if there are other neurological symptoms involved Women with menstrual migraines tend to be tougher to treat than regular migraines o Conventional treatment is with Sumatriptan, Ibuprofen, etc. Leona Chen SP15 February 17, 2015 o Elimination of menstruation with continuous oral contraception pills o Catamemial seizures Some women experience seizure activity during menstruation In ancient times, seizures were thought to be related to the moon (lunar lunatic) Progesterone levels are low at this time effect on neurological health Endometriosis o Pelvic pain, infertility o Broad spectrum of manifestations, prone to recurrence, progression o Difficult to deal with as a clinician and as a patient o What causes it? Large deposits of old blood in the ovaries If you open one of these, it looks like congealed syrup (chocolate cysts) Sampson believed that endometriosis was caused by retrograde menstruation via fallopian tubes Women with congenital abnormality outflow obstruction higher rates of endometriosis Women with early menarche, short menstrual cycles increased incidence of endometriosis compared to other women Most commonly observed in the very bottom of the pelvis, where endometrial blood accumulates for retrograde menstruation How do you evaluate a headache? o What would make you think that there is a serious problem present? Neck stiffness – so profound you cannot touch your chin to your chest Altered mental status Focal neurological abnormalities “The left side of my face is numb.” Visual impairment Leona Chen SP15 February 19, 2015 Cultural Transitions Beyond Menarche Kinaalda (Navajo ritual for menstruating girls) o Kinaalda: “first menstruation” May be translated as house-sitting Based on the creation of the first Hogan (Emergence Rim) Where the holy people first emerged from a series of underworlds Songs of remembrance transform the girl’s Hogan into the new Hogan Girl is dressed in a costume like “Changing Woman” and her image is made over into that of “Changing Woman” o Dressed and given a vigorous massage to form her into a womb of good character o Must perform ritual actions, greeting visitors, uplifting them, etc. o Runs a series of sacred races with other young people from the community Girl whose Kinaalda ceremony it is must always be the winner of the race “Ritual pursuit of the race” 3 times a day for 3 consecutive days o Gthnds corn o 4 night is an all-night celebration with singing that concludes at sunrise with singing of “Dawn songs” or “Washing songs” o Girl runs final race, cuts and distributes cake (baked on second day) o Girl stays in family home for several days the “right” of Kinaalda To bestow girl with capability of bearing children To prepare her for future motherhood as she becomes a woman o Traditionally performed twice Once, at menarche Again, at time of second menstrual period o Ceremonial significance Navajo song ceremonials broken into two major groups Enemy Way Ceremonies (rituals of exorcism, warfare, healing, etc.) o Mythology: twin Navajo culture heroes “Monster-Slayer” and “Born to Water” Blessing Way Ceremonies (harmony, peace, well-being, etc.) o Include Kinaalda, birth of a child, erection of a Hogan (Navajo dwelling), weddings, etc. o Mythology: birth of goddess “Changing Woman,” also known as “White Shell Woman” or “Turquoise Woman” Film: o Myth: a mother gave birth to the Navajo people Gave Kinaalda ceremony to girls so they would be honored and blessed for their womanhood o Navajo have unique way of acknowledging coming-of-age of children When Navajo girls reach menses, they become Kinaalda 4-day ceremony, also called Kinaalda Leona Chen SP15 February 19, 2015 Conducted as a way of guiding their daughters from childhood to adulthood Symbols of circles represent the sun Meticulous attention to detail – the men nurture these sacred rituals and are the guardians of the ceremonial fire and water that birth and nourish life Treaty of 1868 promised Navajo schools on their reservations, but none were built for over a century o Instead, thousands of youth were sent to boarding schools off the reservation loss of contact with culture and traditions Mutual exchange of blessings between girl and her peers For the boys, they have one night of “Blessing Way” songs o Boys have one night of Kinaalda when their voices change Peers bless girl with their presence and help sanction her womanhood; girl blesses her friends in return Girl and mother share their strongest relationship at this time Grinding corn (like many Kinaalda rituals, emphasize physical strength and endurance) Strength of body Corn seen as staple for sustenance corn pollen is a sacred gift that grows from the top of the corn stalk culturally significant o “It will make you strong.” o “You will feel good.” o Learn sense of community, learn their role within that community Next time: Read Chisungu, exams passed back Leona Chen SP15 January 29, 2015 Ethnophysiology of Menstruation Beng people o Four menstrual taboos No married or previously married woman who is menstruating can set foot in the forest for any reason (other than to have a bowel movement) Could not do any kind of work in the fields (which were located in the forest) o Could not chop wood, fetch water, etc. o Both tasks were done every day disrupted daily habits of women o Premenopausal women who did not have daughters to pick up the slack were advised to stock up on wood/water in preparation for menstruation Menstruating women could not touch a corpse A man may not eat any food cooked by a menstruating women if he had ever eaten meat sacrificed to strongest earth in the village o Strongest earth bigger one of the multiple earth shrines associated with territory o More relevant for older men Menstruating women may not touch the logs or live coals of the fire of a non-menstruating woman, nor may the logs/live coals of her own fire be brought into the forest by another farmer for the purpose of cooking a lunch meal outside o Beliefs that menstruation earthly pollution oppression of women What is it about menstrual blood that pollutes the earth? Menstrual blood is special because it carries within it a living being Works like a tree: before bearing fruit, the tree must first bear flowers Menstrual blood is like the flower; it must emerge before the fruit/baby can be born Aside from 4 aforementioned taboos, there were no other rules specifying what could/could not be done during menstruation Could attend funerals, weddings Could attend a childbirth, could cook for a woman in labor Could dance, sing, participate in trials/cases Could spin cotton, bathe her own small children, etc. o Menstruating woman was not isolated from social life Not many prohibitions on sexual activity o However, not common for husband/wife to have intercourse during menstruation no actual policy against/punishment for this though nothing spiritually wrong, just aesthetically unpleasant o They usually sleep together, regardless of menstruation Husband is not forbidden contact from his wife’s menstrual cloth o Menstrual cloth is washed every night and stores it in her room in between menstrual periods Leona Chen SP15 January 29, 2015 Most cultures forbid contact between man and his wife’s menstrual cloth o No prohibition of sexual intercourse during pregnancy So why should a man not eat meat prepared by menstruating woman? Earth is male Fear of earthly pollution Women cannot enter forest while menstruating after marriage at marriage, sacrifice is made in the form of meat to the earth to apologize for the girl having gone into the forest during her menstrual periods before her marriage/initiation and a promise that she will never again do this now that she is married if sacrifice is not performed by pregnancy, she will have a very difficult childbirth Crops will die if a menstruating married woman enters the forest Many substances will pollute the earth o Illicit contact by people who are not priests o Worst pollution that can occur (with the worst consequences and threat) is human sexual intercourse in the field/forest Must distinguish between illegitimate and legitimate social spaces for sex Social and political space for sex must be identified with the planting of a tree by a master of the earth A woman will have a difficult childbirth if she has sex in an inappropriate space A married couple that had slept together repeatedly in the forest for a year 6 close family members died before formal cultural punishment Man and woman jeopardized lives of the entire Beng people Prophecy of general drought They must return to the ground where they copulated and re-enact the intercourse in front of a jeering crowd that can abuse/jeer/burn them Their clothes are taken and given to the king, they receive new clothes in return to wear back to the village Soon after, the rains will return Sex must be washed off in the morning before entering the forest earth during the day (or you will be bitten by a snake and be immune to all remedies) Consequences of this: when the earth is polluted by menstrual blood from a woman walking into the forest, it is believed she will have difficulty giving birth When the earth is polluted by sexual activity, the whole area’s crops will be ruined by drought Leona Chen SP15 January 29, 2015 Aborted fertility Menstrual blood embodies a symbolic principle that makes possible human fertility in the form of babies because of the earth, the baby can survive by eating with the mediation of the rain, which makes the crops grow central aspect is that human and forest fertility are parallel but separate Rain stops after the delivery of the child is impeded o Earth is in control over forest fertility and human fertility o Successful births must be paid for through sacrifices to the earth Why can a woman attend a funeral but not touch a corpse? Not a sex or gender pollution problem Corpse will pollute menstruating woman disease called “Corpse”, can be transmitted via physical contact victim becomes listless, loses appetite and energy, becomes corpse- like, die within a few days Disease is caused by and causes death goes against fertility/life symbolism in menstruation What about the food prohibition/live coals/firewood? Relates to specific way earth is worshipped Men who have eaten the strongest kind of earth meat cannot eat the food cooked by menstruating women o Food cooked by menstruating women combines symbols of human fertility with forest fertility (crops that she is cooking) o Earth meat can only be associated with one domain (domesticated forest animals sacrificed at forest shrine) Said to belong to the earth o Women can consume “taboo” ideas because they do not mix consumption with strongest earth meat Because the fires had contact with village fertility (menstruation), ambers should not have contact with the forest earth and its associated crop fertility o Cold associated with health, life, fertility o Heat associated with sterility, sickness, death An infertile woman has a “hot stomach” Cure requires use of raw treatments using unheated leaves Cures for other ailments require simmered, cooked leaves Villages with many illnesses “hot village” o Sex during menstruation contains two of the same types of fertility, so it’s not problematic Village fertility x village fertility If it’s forest/field fertility x village fertility problematic Women said to cook best when they’re menstruating Must be kept apart conceptually New Guinea (South Pacific): Mae Enga o Male/female relationships and social interactions Leona Chen SP15 January 29, 2015 o Domestic farmers Staple crop: sweet potato, grown efficiently under a cultivated system Socio-political entity: local, exogamous (out-married) clan of around 350 people subclans of patrilineage families Don’t live in villages live in houses, homesteads scattered over territory of the clan Territory of the clan averages from 1-2 square miles Men and women generally live in separate houses Men’s house: primarily a secular meeting/sleeping place, no important ritualized activities associated with it o Males of related patrilineages > 7-8 years of age tend to live together, but may live with friends over time o Wives generally live in the vicinity of the men’s house Women tend to have their own house rather than a communal house and live with their daughters and infant sons (around 70% do that) o Among the Mae Enga, men have a negative outlook on menstruation Division between genders in housing basis of local childrens’ introduction to gender separation When boys are around 5 years old, his father/brothers warn him of undesirability of being around so much women, encouraged to spend more time in man’s house or farming o Young boy is eager to associate with men and within a year, begins to regularly sleep in men’s house o If a boy wants to remain with his mother, he is ridiculed and forced to move in with his father Given more explicit reasons to not stay with women as time progresses Women: flesh laid vertically across bones Mature more quickly, ready for marriage sooner Adolescent girls who have reached menarche are dangerous because they have the potential to pollute boys Men: flesh laid horizontally across bones Adolescent boys should then employ magic to hasten their own growth and protect them from the evils of female maturation Must avoid unnecessary interactions with all women, including mothers and sisters Learns that such pollution implies something more serious than mere uncleanliness men regard menstrual blood as truly dangerous Believe that contact with menstrual blood or menstruating woman will sicken a man and cause persistent vomiting, turn his blood black, corrupt his juices so that the skin darkens and wrinkles, permanently Leona Chen SP15 January 29, 2015 dull his wits, and lead to a slow decline in death Menstrual blood that is introduced into a man’s food quickly kills him young women who have been crossed in love sometimes seek their revenge in this way Menstrual blood dropped on bog-iris plants (ritually salient plants that can create magic to create wealth, success) will destroy them Punishment for pollution is divorce or murder o Menstrual ritual Seclusion, withdrawal Women has her own fire, makes her own food in solitary confinement May collect food at night, can only harvest mature crops (said to be female crops), like sweet potato that only women cultivate Should she touch “male” plates, they will die Young plants will also wilt and fall ill with contact Allowed to feed pigs, but not dogs and cassowaries (large, flightless birds) Must cleanse herself before emerging from seclusion Unmarried women = chaste less dangerous than a married woman Spits on white clay, recites a spell taught to her by her mother, draws a line from her navel to her vulva, an arc under each eye Married woman also receives (through daughter or sister) a package of leaves which he has collected and made wholesome by reciting a particular spell o Bites off the end of the leaves and places in the gable of her house to neutralize harmful effects of blood Newborn babies are considered polluted for 2-3 months because they are polluted Fathers cannot have contact, otherwise will endanger baby Newborn males with bruises, contusions, birthmarks mother severs fingertip to release dangerous female blood o Additional taboos: Can’t walk over hair trims after haircut stunted growth Can’t step across legs of seated man his blood will die Can’t step across his weapons they will lose efficacy Can’t step across food they will spoil and she will poison them o Maternal blood makes baby’s body, paternal spirit gives it life Spirits must remain unopposed Most deaths among Mae Enga are attributed to attacks by ghosts, from which deceased maternal kin are entitled to compensation Sudden death autopsy presence of black marks sorcery, male kin ghosts // marks on left hand side maternal kin ghosts o Most bachelors believe sexual abstinence is best safeguard against deterioration, spiritual corruption Try to postpone marriage, but told that it is their duty to wed and produce heirs Leona Chen SP15 January 29, 2015 Nevertheless, even most conscious young men must come into contact with women Bachelors seek generalized protection from females intermittent performance of rituals, etc. promote growth Sanggai: bachelor rituals for protection against women The more effective the magic, the more attractive the young women become to the men That which is hidden Refers to actual period of seclusion in which clan bachelors undertake purifying rituals bachelors themselves at that time, bog-iris leaves used to create magical potions that give them this protection Specific seclusion houses When a man marries, his responsibilities to attending the bog- iris plant is transferred to someone else, plant is uprooted and transplanted to protect it from original owner’s change in status Bachelors must observe prohibitions – copulation, eating food from the hands of women, eating liver, belly fat, intestines, etc. o Certain grasshoppers o Punishment: wrinkled, greasy skin with lesions, etc. o Also strikes at the welfare of his peers Sanggai rituals are big deals, scheduled weeks in advance o Public ritual, four days of seclusion Extensive ritual bathing to get rid of accumulated female pollution o End occurs when bachelors emerge from seclusion in ritual hunt (public performance) Women are all invited, encouraged to attend Large public dance and feast, singing of many songs Parade around with ornaments, guns, etc. and sleep at men’s houses wherever they are visiting Cannot visit women or accept food from them Change into ordinary dress, cook, and return to ordinary life Face, once more, insidious influence of unclean women How bachelors protect themselves from women before marriage Wedding negotiations dons Sanggai apparel for the last time and wears it until he consummates his union with his bride Pigs are slaughtered, marriage is ratified, groom is told to give bag of meat to an already married man who proves testament of survival, learns magic before engaging in intercourse Leona Chen SP15 February 3, 2015 Ethnophysiology of Menstruation (cont.) Sanggai groups o How do polarities line up in symbolic oppsosition? o Matrilineal/patrilineal oppositions Points out how Mae Inga society is organized into two separate gender spheres and social roles Politics of patriclan organization Fought constantly over resources, debts, theft of pigs, etc. Because of rugged mountainous terrain, there is a high correlation between interclan relations and homicide frequencies Most of fighting occurred in proximity because of geographical boundaries “We marry the people we fight.” Because of the rule of clan exogamy (you have to marry outside of your own clan), man’s female agnates get dispersed at an early age Sisters and daughters have to marry and move out of the clan Other wives move into your clan The only adult woman the man has regular close contact with is his own wife and his brothers’ wives o Women drawn from hostile groups o Amplifies hostility towards female reproduction Mae Inga equation of sexuality and peril Chain of homologs can be traced from opposition of female menstruation and male purity How do politics influence menstrual beliefs? The Island of Menstruating Men o Based on island of Wogeo Wogeon philosophical basics Rekareka: All Pacific Island societies make a distinction between things that are purely secular and things set apart by supernatural associations, things that can be handled freely and things to be approached with caution justified by religious argument o Those who have been in contact with the sacred and those who have been in contact with the ritually unclean o Unrelated to “taboo,” can be considered euphemism o “Reka” bad, tainted, unwholesome, etc. o People in this state of “rekareka” are said to be dangerous to themselves and others Subject to restrictions Cannot touch other peoples’ belongings, cannot touch their food, etc. People must avoid contact with them Forbidden to feed hunting dogs, but can feed pet pigs o If a woman in rekareka infringes these regulations, although she may become slightly ill as a result, the victim will fall to a fatal disease characterized by general tissue swelling Leona Chen SP15 February 3, 2015 Can lead to the death of both herself and the victim o More potent and more dangerous in a man than in a woman o In the interest of public safety, if you are in a state of rekareka, you must retire from village life until you emerge from that state Depending on the circumstances that put you in this unclean situation, you may retreat to the corner of the dwelling, or a hut out in the bush Obliged to take appropriate measures to protect themselves and their companions Preliminary meal of hot vegetable curry total abstinence (no drinking, smoking, eating, no speaking, must keep heads covered, etc.) After an interval, they can have cooked vegetables provided they use a special bone fork and drink coconut milk (provided they suck it through a straw) Can also smoke, as long as they use a cigarette holder, can choose beetle nut if somebody else puts it in their mouth, can touch their skin, but must use a bone scratcher No objection to conversation in a low tone of voice Break these rules premature aging teeth decay, flesh wrinkle, hair falls out o Persons in a state of rekareka are thought to be “chilled, cold” Feels heavy and lethargic, feels in a weakened state and unable to resist “sorcery attack” Even the sick who have a fever are thought to be cold Effects of magic can be neutralized by dousing the medicines with cold water Specialist for reciting ritual formulas: choose ginger to ensure efficacy of spells Heat is essential for living without it, there is impotence and loss of vitality “Warmth of the fire is mother and father. Warmth comes with a full belly.” o Must impose upon themselves special rituals and behaviors o You defeat the cold by toasting yourself by a blazing fire, applying ginger and ginger root, and consuming hot curried foods Dice unripened bananas and taro, boil the pieces until they’re tender, add fruits and leaves, etc. Sometimes patients have to submit to a bleeding, thought to let out the cold Continued emphasis placed on left hand (you work with the right hand) Leona Chen SP15 February 3, 2015 o Period of isolation brought to a close by ritual bathing, then the person under rekareka either makes an offer of food, or waits until relatives do so on his/her behalf Relations between males and females, spirits and mortals o Different responsibilities and obligations o Women only exert authority in domestic spheres, powerless in political realms o May be subordinate to men, but are not pawns/slaves o Husband may beat his spouse at his own peril; if she wants to retaliate, she can touch his food while she is menstruating and inflict upon him a fatal illness o Face each other in balanced opposition o Women criticized for ruining perfection of male solidarity o Quarreling between brothers is unknown before marriage because women put immoral thoughts into their heads o Women make fun of self-importance of men
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