Wednesday, 27 February 2019

The Members of The Fam : Our Lady

Geophagia (/ˌdʒiːəˈfeɪdʒ(i)ə/), also known as geophagy (/dʒiˈɒfədʒi/), is the practice of eating earth or soil-like substrates such as clay or chalk. It occurs in non-human animals where it may be a normal or abnormal behaviour, and also in humans, most often in rural or preindustrial societies among children and pregnant women.

Some researchers believe that humans first ate soil in Africa:

“The oldest evidence of geophagy practised by humans comes from the prehistoric site at Kalambo Falls on the border between Zambia and Tanzania (Root-Bernstein & Root-Bernstein, 2000). Here, a calcium-rich white clay was found alongside the bones of Homo habilis (the immediate predecessor of Homo sapiens).”
Peter Abrahams, Geophagy and the Involuntary Ingestion of Soil5:446

Geophagia is NEARLY UNIVERSAL around the world in tribal and traditional rural societies (although apparently it has not been documented in Japan or Korea).

In the ancient world, several writers noted the phenomenon of geophagia. Pliny is said to have noted the ingestion of soil on Lemnos, an island of Greece, and the use of the soils from this island was noted until the 14th century. 57 

The textbook of Hippocrates (460–377 BCE) mentions geophagia, and the famous medical textbook titled De Medicina edited by A. Cornelius Celsus (14–37 CE) seems to link anaemia to geophagia.

Early explorers in the Americas noted the existence of geophagy amongst Native Americans, including Gabriel Soares de Sousa, who in 1587 reported a tribe in Brazil using it in suicide, and Alexander von Humboldt, who said that a tribe called the Otomacs ate large amounts of soil. 

In Africa, David Livingstone wrote about slaves eating soil in Zanzibar, and it is also thought that large numbers of slaves brought with them soil-eating practices when they were shipped to the New World as part of the transatlantic slave trade. 

Slaves who practiced geophagia were nicknamed “clay-eaters” because they were known to consume clay, as well as spices, ash, chalk, grass, plaster, paint, and starch.

In more recent times, according to Dixie’s Forgotten People: the South’s Poor Whites, geophagia was common among poor whites in the Southeastern United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and was often ridiculed in popular literature. The literature also states, “Many men believed that eating clay increased sexual prowess, and some females claimed that eating clay helped pregnant women to have an easy delivery.”

Geophagia among Southerners may have been caused by the high prevalence of hookworm disease, of which the desire to consume soil is a symptom.

Geophagia has become less prevalent as rural Americans assimilate into urban culture.

 However, cooked, baked, and processed dirt and clay are sold in health food stores and rural flea markets in the American South.

He Loves Her So DAMN Much.

(and So Do I.)

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