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Title: Emerging from the Chrysalis: Rituals of Women's Initiation
Author: Lincoln, Bruce
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 1991
Paperback; ISBN: 9780195069105
Volumes: 1; Pages: 184
List Price in Paper: $34.95 Our price: $27.99
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Now reissued in an expanded edition, this unique book offers the first full-length treatment of women's initiation rites in five cultures. Asserting the critical importance of such rites in a world dominated by men, Lincoln shows that in these societies women's initiation involves not only a transformation of the self but also of the cosmos. Considering initiation rites among the Tiyyar of South India, the Navajo, the Tiv of West Africa, and the Tukuna of the Northwest Amazon, Lincoln argues that unlike men's rites, women's rites do not impart a change in hierarchical status, but rather a "cosmic" change which offers religious compensation for women's generally low socio-political status. Lincoln concludes with a brilliant reconstruction of ancient Greek initiation rites based on his original interpretation of the Demeter and Persephone myth. With a new chapter and bibliography, Emerging from the Chrysalis will be stimulating reading for those interested in ritual and its cultural impact.