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Menstration in AE
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cleopatra_selene
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:09 pm    Post subject: Menstration in AE Reply with quote

ok..so here it goes..i was just wondering what did women in AE times "use" during their ( Embarassed ) period?

Embarassed this is rather a more embrassing topic...but i was just curious and my friend urged me to ask..there is no harm in curiosity..right?
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they wore linen 'sanitary pads' that could be washed? I've also heard that the Knot of Isis amulet represents such a pad.

I know we discussed this before but I can't remember whether the period was seen as something negative in AE, or an indicator of women's fertility...
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cleopatra_selene
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think that it was rather considered a good thing because it showed fertility..
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only heard of women using rolled/folded up linen as a kind of tampon; never as a sanitary pad. I believe that the knot of Isis is meant to represent a tampon. I know that many difefferent medical treatments called for women to insert different things inside themselves (like for instance, a bulb of an onion *ouch!*) or to fumigate themselves, Surprised so the thought of linen tampons isn't too much of a ridiculous thought. I think sanitary pads could've been thought of as unclean...I'm not sure, though.

Women were indeed, regarded as unclean during their periods, and I think priestesses wouldn't have been allowed to work in the temples during this time.
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cleopatra_selene
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Women were indeed, regarded as unclean during their periods, and I think priestesses wouldn't have been allowed to work in the temples during this time.


interesting..i find a common idea in hinduism too! Brahmin daughters are also not allowed to enter the praying room, temples, and other holy places during their period...including the kitchen because that is where the food is made for the entire family so the food would be "contaminated" if the girl who had her period came into the kitchen..
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eye_of_horus
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:
I've only heard of women using rolled/folded up linen as a kind of tampon; never as a sanitary pad. I think sanitary pads could've been thought of as unclean...I'm not sure, though.

Women were indeed, regarded as unclean during their periods, and I think priestesses wouldn't have been allowed to work in the temples during this time.


Just to clear this up abit,
yes the Egyptian women did use folded pieces of linen as sanitary towels that were laundered and reused. Usually the terms 'purification' and 'cleansing' were used to describe menstruation, and men tried to avoid contact with women at this time - it was seen as ritually unclean.

When you think about this, it reminds us of some cultures in today's society that disregard women during their menstrual cycle putting them in isolation for a few days and avoiding contact w/other people. This can be seen clearly in most rural societies of Nepal.

But that's kind of besides the point.
Egyptians were very concerned with fertility that some sort of tests were developed to see if one was pregnant or if their baby would live/dead. I guess having your menstruation cycle was a big deal back then, but it doesn't explain how females were still looked upon with disgrace when they had a period. Probably just the act of reusing the same linen lowered a women's status in society Idea
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Aset
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some information: Menstruation, Menstrual Hygiene and Woman's Health in Ancient Egypt by Petra Habiger Arrow HERE
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cleopatra_selene
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks aset..its pretty detailed!
Quote:
Probably just the act of reusing the same linen lowered a women's status in society


contrary to that..i heard somewhere else that menustration was rather accepted and "celebrated" in AE times
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eye_of_horus
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe it was different from city to city. I mean it was mostly men that tried to avoid females during the time of a female's period
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cleopatra_selene
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i guess it can still be held true..i think some muslim countries also follow this whole idea of avoiding women who have their period
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eye_of_horus wrote:
Just to clear this up abit,
yes the Egyptian women did use folded pieces of linen as sanitary towels that were laundered and reused. Usually the terms 'purification' and 'cleansing' were used to describe menstruation, and men tried to avoid contact with women at this time - it was seen as ritually unclean.

Maybe the use of tampons versus sanitary towels was a matter of social class. I can't personally see a female member of the royal family wanting to be considered unclean by their subjects at particular times. What I'm saying is that maybe the more common folk used reused laundered sanitary towels, whereas those that could afford to used linen tampons.

eye_of_horus wrote:
When you think about this, it reminds us of some cultures in today's society that disregard women during their menstrual cycle putting them in isolation for a few days and avoiding contact w/other people. This can be seen clearly in most rural societies of Nepal.

I agree, many cultures past and present would consider women unclean during menstruation. I don't really think it reflects badly on the ancient Egyptians if they too thought that. I think it has something to do with them just regarding blood to be unclean in general. Idea

eye_of_horus wrote:
But that's kind of besides the point.
Egyptians were very concerned with fertility that some sort of tests were developed to see if one was pregnant or if their baby would live/dead.

Here's an example of a 'test' to see if a woman would have children:

Ancient Egyptian medicine by John F. Nunn wrote:
[To determine] who will [bear children] and who will not [bear children], you should then cause the bulb of an onion to spend the night in her flesh (iuf) until dawn. If the odour appears in her mouth, she will bear [children]. If [it does not], she will never [bear children].

...The word iuf (lit. flesh) is often used to mean vagina.

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eye_of_horus
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Daughter_Of_SETI for the example of one of the tests, but w hat does it mean by "causing an onion to spend the night in her flesh (iuf) until dawn. If the odour appears in her mouth..." They would put an onion bulb in a women's vagina overnight, then the next morning if she smells, it means she will have children and if she doesnt, then she wont? I'm confused. Confused
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cleopatra_selene
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the results are (im guessing) not exactly accurate since its onions and ive never heard of onions trying to determine pregnancy..however, child bearing was important in AE and i guess everyone has their methods of finding out if a woman can produce children
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's pretty true cleopatra_selene.
The different methods of testing whether one can reproduce or not reminds me of wht people did during the Medieval Ages
Their method was to have sex before marriage to see whether a female could reproduce, if she couldn't reproduce then there would be no marriage, and the male would would go find some other female (this was usually common with the Serfs, i believe.) Idea
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eye_of_horus wrote:
They would put an onion bulb in a women's vagina overnight, then the next morning if she smells, it means she will have children and if she doesnt, then she wont? I'm confused.

Yeah, you've read it correct. Very Happy It's from the Berlin Papyrus, I believe.

I doubt it's known for sure whether this type of test would actually work or not; there likely aren't many women that would want to try it now. Laughing Many of their medical practices did work, though. Wink
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