Monday, January 11, 2010

Mummies and Mommies

Women in Egypt were expected to run the household and have children. That was it. Compared to other countries, though, they had lots of freedom. Peasant women weren't considered to be worth as much as cattle. Most ordinary women couldn't write, either. But women could own property, carry out business deals, etc. They could have jobs too. They could be dancers, musicians, acrobats, weavers, gardeners, and mourners. There were even a few doctors. The noblewomen could become courtiers or priestesses. Most girls, though, got married. Girls were supposed to marry whoever their parents said. They usually didn't, though. Girls were supposed to stay home until they got married. The rich girls went to school.

The Egyptian women took pride in their appearances. They considered eye-makeup necessary. It was practical to use, too. It kept dust and stuff like that out of their eyes. They plucked their eyebrows. Yuck. That would hurt, especially if you plucked too many hairs out. They used a mixture of henna on their nails, hands and feet to give them a red tint. They also bathed in water purified with natron, the salt used to preserve mummies. Double yuck!

And while we're on the subject, how about a little on mummies? It does tie in with this: women can be mummies. (Yes, I know that's an old, annoying, and very dumb joke. But I never particularly cared, either.) Some of this stuff will make those of you with weak stomachs throw up. I won't mention them. (And while we're on the subject, why are there so many words for vomiting. It's enough to make you upchuck! Okay we don't have to get into it.) Being mummified was at first very expensive, but eventually it became cheap enough for even the poorest to hope for. There were some very gruesome parts of the embalming process, which included removing certain organs. Triple yuck! I-think I need to-sit down. (Oh wait I am. That's still gross though.) Let's not dwell on the subject shall we. Here are some uses for mummies. (Former uses anyway. I mean, I don't think that they use mummies as ornaments today.)
1. Medicine
2. Fuel
3. (Yes, ornaments.)
4. Painting
5. Paper Making

So many mummies were being dug up that they were worthless, so uses were found... (Nowadays it would be unthinkable to burn a mummy. Especially if she's still alive. Ha ha. And I know I've used that mummy line already.)

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