Women in the menstruation huts: Variations in preserving purification customs among Ethiopian immigrants

Inhal Cicurel, Rachel Sharaby

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article presents a unique case of activism among women immigrants from Ethiopia to Israel, in their attempt to preserve the custom of the menstruation huts (margam gojos) in their new social reality. In Ethiopia, Jewish women retire to a special remote hut in the village named margam gojo, meaning "curse hut," during menstruation. Immigration to Israel brought changes to many aspects of life, including religious ones. Cicurel and Sharaby present the various ways in which women of kes-soch (Ethiopian religious leader) families have responded to the Israeli demand that they relinquish their Ethiopian purification customs, from giving up their customs and adopting Jewish ones to building an Israeli version of the margam in their personal backyards. The different practices of the custom in Ethiopia and in Israel indicate a syncretic integration between the Ethiopian culture and Israeli society, which affords a solution to the immigrant's new identity and enables the kessoch's wife to empower herself and her status in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-84
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Feminist Studies in Religion
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Women in the menstruation huts: Variations in preserving purification customs among Ethiopian immigrants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this