Menstruating women are regarded not as dirty, but as EVIL AND DANGEROUS. To other people, the loss of blood is a lose of life. As menstrual blood emerged from the same passage as did the baby, but seemed in some way to prevent pregnancy, it is felt to be a danger to growing things.
A menstruating women therefore could damage crops, cause animals to abort, turn wine into vinegar and turn milk sour by her presence. In parts of Europe today, it is believed that if a menstruating woman makes jam it will not keep; if she touches wine; beer or milk it will go bad, and if she rides a pregnant mare it will miscarry.
In most societies, it is therefore feel imperative that a woman at the time of the menstrual period must do this;
1. Withdraw from the life of the community.
2. Stay secluded and hidden from view in the house.
While menstruating, she could not touch food or cook, nor should her shadow fall on another woman, particularly if she is pregnant.
Washing the hair is believed to lead to an increased menstrual loss, and to the development of a cold.
These strange prohibitions are found in Australian Aboriginal tribes and among the highly intelligent but superstitious Hindu cultures.
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