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Anthropological study of menstrual customs, current and past, is fascinating. Surprisingly, not all societies considered menstruation as a 'curse'.
In some parts of Ghana, for example, women who are having their periods would sit under beautiful, ceremonial umbrellas and their families would give them gifts and pay her homage, reports Alma Gottlieb, the author of Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation.(1)
According to the Cherokee, menstrual blood was considered a source of feminine strength if a tribe was going into battle, because they thought it could destroy enemies.(2)
Roman men used their wives' period blood as a guarantee of their fidelity, by using the blood in love charms.(3)
In Ancient Egypt, menstruation was considered sorcery, and menstrual blood was incorporated into spell casting and medical treatments. They literally drank it, because anything deeply mysterious and kind of gross (we don't agree with the journalist here) must naturally be magical.(4)
Below are the sources to these claims. I enjoyed reading them to learn menstruation was not always considered dirty, gross, sinful or bad.
Photo credit: Saray Gray- Unsplash.com