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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 8 reviews
on July 1, 2012
This book, put out by the National Geographic Society, has some great photos of various rituals women participate in across different cultures, ranging from birthing to marriage to mourning at funerals. The range of emotions captured is vast and vivid and the photos themselves make it a worthwhile read. In fact, comparing to the photos, I thought the text part of the book was weak. Not even so much the content but more its organization, lack thereof. It made for a choppy read and I felt it didn't really relate to the photos as well it could have
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on December 12, 2006
I wanted this book for years because it was right up my alley-- I'd loved both the "Material World" books and "Hungry Planet" and anything full of photos that relates to cultural anthropology. I bought it used from an Amazon seller, and definitely enjoyed it. However, I have to say, I ended up glad I didn't pay $23 for it (the Amazon list price for a new copy). It's smaller than the other culture/photo books I own, and less meaty in terms of content. A lot of the photo portraits have quotes superimposed on them that detract from the images, to me. For example, there is a portrait of a Japanese bride sitting in a small room, being viewed by the villagers through a window, with the quote, "A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space. -- Gloria Steinem." So unlike Annie Leibovitz's "Women," in which the photos are presented without comment, in this book many of the photos are literally stamped with someone else's views on the politics of gender. Coming from National Geographic, that surprised me. It also made me wonder how thoughtfully the quotes were chosen when they actually include the anonymous quote, "Chance made us sisters, hearts made us friends." That's the sort of thing you stamp on a magnet in Girl Scouts.

On the upside, though, there are many unique images in this book-- lots of photos that create insights into other cultures, which you would otherwise never see. To me, the book is worth owning just for those gorgeous and interesting photos. If you're looking for depth of content about "rituals of womanhood," however, you may want to look elsewhere. The text glosses over the subject, covering rituals that sound fascinating in two or three sentences, then moving on. Basically it's a long general essay. There's more depth to "Women in the Material World" by d'Aluisio, and less judgment in "Women" by Leibovitz. But if you're a fan of this type of book, this one makes for good general reading.
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on January 9, 2011
This book is precious, I lost my mother 7 years ago, the book made me cry (good cry).

I gave it as a present to my Father's wife, she has a grown daughter from previous marriage.

I am going to re buy the title for myself to keep and cherish. Thank You. Beautiful concept and beautiful book.

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on January 15, 2006
I bought this book as a gift for my new daughter-in-law so I didn't read the whole book before sending if off for Christmas. But, I did look through it and thought it was beautifully arranged and very thoughtfully conceived. It certainly reflected the many ways women are connected throughout this world.
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on July 24, 2007
This is more of a pretty anthropological book than an essay on the power or inner meaning of world rituals of womanhood.
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on April 27, 2008
what a wonderful book for women of all ages...crosses all ethnic lines. I bought one for my graneddaughter as well...this was really one of the better dealings I have had with an independent dealer...I was very pleased with their fast response and over and above service. I look forward to doing business with them again.
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