By Judy Grahn
"Blood, Bread, and Roses" reclaims women's myths and tales, chronicling the ways that women's activities and the educating of fable have interacted over the millenia. Grahn argues that tradition has been a weaving among the genders, a sharing of knowledge derived from menstruation. Her wealthy interpretations of old menstrual rites provide us a brand new and hopeful tale of culture's beginnings according to the mixing of physique, brain, and spirit present in women's traditions. "Blood, Bread, and Roses" bargains we all a manner again to knowing the genuine that means of women's menstraul power.Foreword by way of Charlene Spretnak"[Grahn's] exciting day trip via folklore, fantasy, faith, anthropology and historical past bespeaks a feminist conviction that male beginning tales has to be balanced through a reputation of women's important function in shaping civilization." -Publishers Weekly
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Extra resources for Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World
The written instructions to Hernandez made the purpose of his visit clear: ‘to gather facts from all physicians, surgeons, Spanish and native herbalists, and other inquisitive persons with such abilities who can possibly know something, and, in general, obtain an account of all medical herbs, trees, plants, and seeds that exist in a given place’—the place was originally within a radius of fifteen miles of Mexico City, but in the event his travels took him farther afield (Risse 1987:31, 43). According to one recent authority, Hernandez’s task was monumental—the medicinal flora of Mexico at the time has been estimated at 5,000 plants (Risse 1984:35).
There Europeans encountered a world of flora (and fauna and indigenous peoples) that was utterly puzzling (Elliott 1972; Ryan 1981; Greenblatt 1991; Sauer 1976: 815). In the first half century of exploration few learned men crossed the ocean to report on the plant world; their understanding and perceptions were drawn largely from accounts offered to them by explorers, administrators, ships’ captains and sailors (Talbot 1976:834–5, 838). In vain early botanists searched through the classical literature hoping to match the received descriptions with the written word (Sauer 1976:823).
In much the same way as hallucinogenic plants were differentiated by use in cultural rites previously described in this chapter, they had specific uses in medicine. Datura and ayahuasca, for example, produced very different hallucinatory experiences and contributed to different kinds of healing programmes: the former as a diagnostic tool for prescribing remedies and the latter for identifying ill-doers (Dobkin de Rios 1984b: 38–42). It is also true that shamans made use of whatever hallucinogenic plants were at hand, a shaman in the Brazilian rain forest having access to different plants than his/her counterpart in northern Canada.
Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World by Judy Grahn