Examining cultures as diverse as long-house dwellers in North Borneo, African farmers, Welsh housewives, and postindustrial American workers, this volume dramatically redefines the anthropological study of menstrual customs. It challenges the widespread image of a universal "menstrual taboo" as well as the common assumption of universal female subordination which underlies it. Contributing important new material and perspectives to our understanding of comparative gender politics and symbolism, it is of particular importance to those interested in anthropology, women's studies, religion, and comparative health systems.
"Sets the stage for an ethnography of menstruation beliefs and will, I predict, be viewed as the opening work of a whole ethnographic tradition . . . will be widely cited."—Anna Meigs, Macalester College
"Provides a concise and complete critique of the literature and thinking on menstrual practices and introduces new analyses and concepts with regard to previously unknown material."—Ann L. Wright, University of Arizona