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sábado, 27 de dezembro de 2014

The Sushruta Samhita and Plastic Surgery in Ancient India, 6th century B.C.

Plastic surgery seems to be an invention of the modern age. The desire to attain physical beauty is no doubt one of the factors that has contributed to the popularity of this procedure. Apart from cosmetic reasons, plastic surgery is also carried out for reconstructive purposes. Yet, plastic surgery has been around longer than most people realize. One of the earliest instances of plastic surgery can be found in the Sushruta Samhita, an important medical text from India.
 
 

The Sushruta Samhita and Plastic Surgery in Ancient India
The Sushruta Samhita is commonly dated to the 6th century B.C., and is attributed to the physician Sushruta (meaning ‘very famous’ in Sanskrit). The Sushruta Samhita’s most well-known contribution to plastic surgery is the reconstruction of the nose, known also as rhinoplasty. The process is described as such:

The portion of the nose to be covered should be first measured with a leaf. Then a piece of skin of the required size should be dissected from the living skin of the cheek, and turned back to cover the nose, keeping a small pedicle attached to the cheek. The part of the nose to which the skin is to be attached should be made raw by cutting the nasal stump with a knife. The physician then should place the skin on the nose and stitch the two parts swiftly, keeping the skin properly elevated by inserting two tubes of eranda (the castor-oil plant) in the position of the nostrils, so that the new nose gets proper shape. The skin thus properly adjusted, it should then be sprinkled with a powder of licorice, red sandal-wood and barberry plant. Finally, it should be covered with cotton, and clean sesame oil should be constantly applied. When the skin has united and granulated, if the nose is too short or too long, the middle of the flap should be divided and an endeavor made to enlarge or shorten it.

A statue dedicated to Sushruta at the Patanjali Yogpeeth institute in Haridwar

A statue dedicated to Sushruta at the Patanjali Yogpeeth institute in HaridwarA statue dedicated to Sushruta at the Patanjali Yogpeeth institute in Haridwar. Wikimedia, CC

Other contributions of the Sushruta Samhita towards the practice of plastic surgery include the use of cheek flaps to reconstruct absent ear lobes, the use of wine as anesthesia, and the use of leeches to keep wounds free of blood clots.

It may also be pointed out that the Sushruta Samhita is also one of the foundational texts of the Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India. Therefore, the Sushruta Samhita contains more than just the description of plastic surgery procedures. The Sushruta Samhita, in its existing form, is said to consist of 184 chapters containing descriptions of 1,120 illnesses, as well as several hundred types of drugs made from animals, plants and minerals. Furthermore, the Sushruta Samhita also contains 300 surgical procedures divided into 8 categories, and 121 different types of surgical instruments.

In addition, Sushruta taught that in order to be a good doctor, one should possess medical knowledge in both its theoretical and practical forms. To this end, he devised various experimental modules (these can also be found in the Sushruta Samhita) for his students to practice the different surgical procedures contained in his medical text. For instance, ‘incision’ and ‘excision’ were to be practiced on vegetables and leather bags filled with mud of different densities, ‘probing’ on moth-eaten wood or bamboo, and ‘puncturing’ on the veins of dead animals and lotus stalks.

The Edwin Smith Papyrus - the world's oldest surviving surgical document

The Edwin Smith Papyrus - the world's oldest surviving surgical documentThe Edwin Smith Papyrus - the world's oldest surviving surgical document - details practical treatments to illnesses and injury, but does not mention plastic or reconstructive surgery like the Sushruta Samhita. Written in hieratic script in ancient Egypt around 1,600 B.C. Public Domain

During the 8th century A.D., the Sushruta Samhita was translated into Arabic by a person known as Ibn Abillsaibial. This Arabic translation, known as the Kitab Shah Shun al-Hindi or the Kitab i-Susurud, eventually made its way to Europe by the end of the medieval period. In Renaissance Italy, the Branca family of Sicily, and the Bolognese doctor, Gasparo Tagliacozzi, were familiar with the surgical techniques found in the Sushruta Samhita. Nevertheless, European mastery of plastic surgery, and surgery in general, only came several centuries later. Meanwhile, in India the Suhruta Samhita has made Indian physicians highly skilled in surgical practice. In 1794, an account was published in the Gentleman’s Magazine of London describing the use of plastic surgery used to reconstruct the nose of a Maratha cart-driver mutilated by the soldiers of Tippu Sultan. The procedure was similar to that taught by Sushruta, though instead of grafting skin from the cheek, skin from the forehead was grafted instead. In a way, this shows that medical knowledge in India was not a dead subject, and that innovations could be made to further refine surgical techniques from the 6th century B.C. Thus, Sushruta’s procedure for rhinoplasty was introduced to the West in this manner.

Featured image: Detail, The Susruta-Samhita (A Treatise on Ayurvedic Medicine) Public Domain
- fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti http://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-ancient-technology/sushruta-samhita-and-plastic-surgery-ancient-india-020148#sthash.MsYtIv3D.dpuf

The Sushruta Samhita and Plastic Surgery in Ancient India, 6th century B.C.

Plastic surgery seems to be an invention of the modern age. The desire to attain physical beauty is no doubt one of the factors that has contributed to the popularity of this procedure. Apart from cosmetic reasons, plastic surgery is also carried out for reconstructive purposes. Yet, plastic surgery has been around longer than most people realize. One of the earliest instances of plastic surgery can be found in the Sushruta Samhita, an important medical text from India.
The Sushruta Samhita is commonly dated to the 6th century B.C., and is attributed to the physician Sushruta (meaning ‘very famous’ in Sanskrit). The Sushruta Samhita’s most well-known contribution to plastic surgery is the reconstruction of the nose, known also as rhinoplasty. The process is described as such:
The portion of the nose to be covered should be first measured with a leaf. Then a piece of skin of the required size should be dissected from the living skin of the cheek, and turned back to cover the nose, keeping a small pedicle attached to the cheek. The part of the nose to which the skin is to be attached should be made raw by cutting the nasal stump with a knife. The physician then should place the skin on the nose and stitch the two parts swiftly, keeping the skin properly elevated by inserting two tubes of eranda (the castor-oil plant) in the position of the nostrils, so that the new nose gets proper shape. The skin thus properly adjusted, it should then be sprinkled with a powder of licorice, red sandal-wood and barberry plant. Finally, it should be covered with cotton, and clean sesame oil should be constantly applied. When the skin has united and granulated, if the nose is too short or too long, the middle of the flap should be divided and an endeavor made to enlarge or shorten it.
A statue dedicated to Sushruta at the Patanjali Yogpeeth institute in Haridwar
A statue dedicated to Sushruta at the Patanjali Yogpeeth institute in Haridwar. Wikimedia, CC
Other contributions of the Sushruta Samhita towards the practice of plastic surgery include the use of cheek flaps to reconstruct absent ear lobes, the use of wine as anesthesia, and the use of leeches to keep wounds free of blood clots.
It may also be pointed out that the Sushruta Samhita is also one of the foundational texts of the Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India. Therefore, the Sushruta Samhita contains more than just the description of plastic surgery procedures. The Sushruta Samhita, in its existing form, is said to consist of 184 chapters containing descriptions of 1,120 illnesses, as well as several hundred types of drugs made from animals, plants and minerals. Furthermore, the Sushruta Samhita also contains 300 surgical procedures divided into 8 categories, and 121 different types of surgical instruments.
In addition, Sushruta taught that in order to be a good doctor, one should possess medical knowledge in both its theoretical and practical forms. To this end, he devised various experimental modules (these can also be found in the Sushruta Samhita) for his students to practice the different surgical procedures contained in his medical text. For instance, ‘incision’ and ‘excision’ were to be practiced on vegetables and leather bags filled with mud of different densities, ‘probing’ on moth-eaten wood or bamboo, and ‘puncturing’ on the veins of dead animals and lotus stalks.
The Edwin Smith Papyrus - the world's oldest surviving surgical document
The Edwin Smith Papyrus - the world's oldest surviving surgical document - details practical treatments to illnesses and injury, but does not mention plastic or reconstructive surgery like the Sushruta Samhita. Written in hieratic script in ancient Egypt around 1,600 B.C. Public Domain
During the 8th century A.D., the Sushruta Samhita was translated into Arabic by a person known as Ibn Abillsaibial. This Arabic translation, known as the Kitab Shah Shun al-Hindi or the Kitab i-Susurud, eventually made its way to Europe by the end of the medieval period. In Renaissance Italy, the Branca family of Sicily, and the Bolognese doctor, Gasparo Tagliacozzi, were familiar with the surgical techniques found in the Sushruta Samhita. Nevertheless, European mastery of plastic surgery, and surgery in general, only came several centuries later. Meanwhile, in India the Suhruta Samhita has made Indian physicians highly skilled in surgical practice. In 1794, an account was published in the Gentleman’s Magazine of London describing the use of plastic surgery used to reconstruct the nose of a Maratha cart-driver mutilated by the soldiers of Tippu Sultan. The procedure was similar to that taught by Sushruta, though instead of grafting skin from the cheek, skin from the forehead was grafted instead. In a way, this shows that medical knowledge in India was not a dead subject, and that innovations could be made to further refine surgical techniques from the 6th century B.C. Thus, Sushruta’s procedure for rhinoplasty was introduced to the West in this manner.
Featured image: Detail, The Susruta-Samhita (A Treatise on Ayurvedic Medicine) Public Domain
- See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-ancient-technology/sushruta-samhita-and-plastic-surgery-ancient-india-020148#sthash.MsYtIv3D.dpuf

Canadians in the Shadow of Matisse


KLEINBURG, Ontario — With a much-lauded show of cutouts at MoMA and a group exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, Henri Matisse seems to be experiencing (yet another) moment in the North American art scene. Canada’s McMichael Gallery has joined the fray with its exhibition Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse, the first to bring together the works of Canadian painters John Lyman and J.W. Morrice with those of Matisse. 



Installation view, ‘Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse’ at the McMichael Collection (photo by Veronika Roux-Vlachova)




Organized by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the show has been “reinterpreted and enlarged” (so says the release) in its current iteration at the McMichael by chief curator Katerina Atanassova, who added 49 works, mostly by Morrice. It’s a visual travelogue that jumps from France to North Africa and the Caribbean, including some beautiful works (particularly Matisse drawings) along the way. But it’s also overstuffed and desperately needs more context and a better sense of connection in order to illuminate the works (165 total; 13 by Matisse) in a fuller and more satisfying way. 



James Wilson Morrice, “Olympia” (c 1912), oil on canvas, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, purchase 1957 (photo courtesy NGC) (click to enlarge)

To approach the exhibition, it helps to have a sense of history. American-born Lyman met Morrice at Paris’s Académie Julian in 1908. Lyman later enrolled at the Academie Matisse in 1909 but returned to Montreal some months later because of illness; that time — roughly two school terms, fall to spring — constitutes Lyman’s entire time spent around the French artist, though his experience in Paris was clearly important to his creative development. Throughout his life, Lyman eagerly referenced European styles, and in his role as president of the Contemporary Arts Society in Montreal in the 1940s, he organized exhibitions of work by Kandinsky and Modigliani (to lukewarm reception — mid-20th-century Canada just wasn’t ready for that stuff). Morrice was born into a wealthy Montreal family in 1865 and lived, in many respects, a charmed life. He met Matisse and served alongside him on the jury for the Salon D’Automne in Paris in 1908. The two later shared a studio for a few brief months in Tangiers. The effect was less a bleeding of styles than an adventurous embrace, as Morrice moved to try on Whistler-style reality, Impressionism, Fauvism, and van Gogh–esque Symbolism.

What’s notable about the works of Morrice and Lyman is that they kill any preconceived notions of what Canadian art is “supposed” to look like by not focusing on mountains, lakes, or scenes of the Canadian wilderness — a trait that would come to differentiate them sharply from the famous Group of Seven, whose work centered almost entirely on nature. There is no predictable subject matter here and a distinctly formal, European style of painting.


Henri Matisse, “Nude on a Yellow Sofa” (1926), oil on canvas, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, purchase 1958 (photo courtesy NGC)

Yet the exhibition is missing a large number of works that might more meaningfully connect the Canadian artists with the French master, whose gorgeous “Nude on a Yellow Sofa” (1926) would have been better served had its space been better shared. The exquisite Matisse painting is hung on a dark wall, with his “Anemones and Peach Blossoms” (1944) beside it and a hefty quote from the artist (about models) squeezed in-between. It’s visually overwhelming. Hanging nearby are a series of female portraits by Morrice (including “Nude with a Feather” from 1911, which recalls Klimt but without his eye for sensuality) — they’re nice but stylistically jarring against the Matisse. Lyman’s “Still Life With Fruit” (1946), which betrays strong hints of Matisse’s influence in terms of shape, color, and perspective, and which hang elsewhere in the show, would have been a better choice to share wall space with “Nude on a Yellow Sofa.”


Henri Matisse, “Etude Mains” (1944), pencil on paper, 40 x 51 cm, private collection, Toronto (click to enlarge)

Considering creative connection is the primary theme of the exhibition, it’s disappointing how frequently it’s missed. A small section behind the yellow-sofa nude features (in addition to a tacky blue settee/flowered fabric set-up) a collection of exquisite, rarely seen Matisse drawings. After marveling at “Study of Hands” (1944), you begin to appreciate just how vital a thing connection is in art. The drawing inspires through both its magnificent simplicity and its relationship to the other Matisse works in the show, which, though few in number, continually remind the viewer how the artist linked outer variables like time and place with inner ones like personal experience and observation. A great many other choices in the exhibition, however, chiefly of work by Morrice and Lyman, highlight an odd disjuncture between painter and subject, painter and place, and painter and painter. Morrice may have shared a studio with Matisse, but there’s little here that implies a connection beyond the physical and the temporal.

In fact, the most obvious evidence of the Morrice/Matisse relationship is unfortunately represented only by wall text: a plaque explains the respective artists’ “Windows Onto Tangier” paintings, the same view done by each artist during their stay in North Africa. It’s a pity the McMichael was unable to get a hold of either — although one wonders how they would fare, hung on the turmeric-colored walls in this section (“The Subtlety of North African Light”), with its Arab-tinged Satie music tinkling in the background, map of North Africa, and litany of works pointing to a troubling, Orientalist-tinged notion of “the foreign.” The curator doesn’t seem much aware of or concerned with the racist overtones of the works on display, or their presentation here, both of which unknowingly illuminate the kind of white privilege still so disappointingly present in museums and galleries.


Installation view, ‘Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse’ (photo by Veronika Roux-Vlachova)

That subtext is evinced most clearly in the final room, called “The Endless Summer” and featuring idyllic Caribbean scenes of locals going about their work, at the beach, on a bench, hauling a boat. A number of Morrice works hang along a blue wall, while around the corner there’s a row of dimly lit Lyman works. The historical underpinnings of these frustratingly stereotypical paintings have been ignored: nowhere are we told that Morrice fled to Cuba at the start of World War One, nor that the Caribbean is where he began his descent into alcoholism (he died in 1924, at age 58). None of the subjects in the portraits have names; they’re a collection of brown faces and bodies that would be at home on a 1950s postcard. By keeping the focus on the superficial — pretty holiday pictures of a tropical climate — we’re allowed to simply enjoy them as such, with no contextualization of these places or people, or the relationships the artists may have had with them.


Installation view, ‘Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse’ (photo by Veronika Roux-Vlachova)

Quotes from Morrice, Lyman, and Matisse dotted throughout the exhibition try to provide that missing context, but in the end they do little to illuminate works nearby, much less their affinity with each other and the broader world in which they were created. If there are larger ties here — ones that go past unique light or bright colors — we don’t sense them, let alone how any of this may have contributed to the development of painting in Canada. Lovely pictures of faraway places aren’t enough to satisfy the appetite for a more meaningful show of history.

Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse continues at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada) through January 4.

 fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti http://hyperallergic.com/171530/canadians-in-the-shadow-of-matisse/

BEIJING (AFP).- A Chinese city has banned schools from holding Christmas events, state media reported on Thursday, highlighting official suspicions about the increasingly popular festival because of its foreign origins.

China's Christian population, currently estimated at around 60 million, is rapidly growing and Christmas is increasingly marked in the country ruled by the officially atheist Communist Party.


China's Christian population, currently estimated at around 60 million, is rapidly growing and Christmas is increasingly marked in the country ruled by the officially atheist Communist Party.

But the government education bureau in Wenzhou, an eastern Chinese coastal city sometimes called "China's Jerusalem" because of its large Christian population, banned schools from holding "Christmas-related" events, the Global Times reported.

Local officials "hope schools can pay more attention to Chinese traditional festivals instead of Western traditions", said the tabloid, which has close ties to the Communist Party.

Interest in Christmas has grown in China as an occasion for shopping, with marketers using everything from saxophones and Smurfs to steam trains to get consumers to open their wallets.

But authorities in Wenzhou this year launched a demolition campaign aimed at local churches, with more than 400 forced to remove visible crosses and some completely destroyed.

The ban came as a university in central China required students to watch a documentary about Chinese sage Confucius instead of celebrating Christmas.

"Be good sons and daughters of your country, stand against kitsch Western holidays," a banner on the campus of Northwest University in the ancient city of Xi'an said, according to photographs posted online.

"Resist the expansion of Western culture," read another.

A university spokesman told the state-run Guangming Daily that the school appealed to the students to pay more attention to Chinese traditional culture, and not to "idolise foreign festivals".

The newspaper added: "Each year Christmas brings debate, with one side saying that the festival can bring a lot of new fun things, and another side saying that we should not fawn over foreign things and overlook Chinese traditional festivals."

China's Communist party periodically issues broadsides against "Western cultural infiltration" amid growing consumption of foreign movies, music and other goods.

The microblog of the ruling party mouthpiece, the People's daily, displayed pictures of around 10 university students in the central province of Hunan holding an anti-Christmas street protest.

"Resist Christmas," read banners held up by the students, who wore traditional Chinese outfits. "Chinese people should not celebrate foreign festivals." 



© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
But the government education bureau in Wenzhou, an eastern Chinese coastal city sometimes called "China's Jerusalem" because of its large Christian population, banned schools from holding "Christmas-related" events, the Global Times reported.

Local officials "hope schools can pay more attention to Chinese traditional festivals instead of Western traditions", said the tabloid, which has close ties to the Communist Party.

Interest in Christmas has grown in China as an occasion for shopping, with marketers using everything from saxophones and Smurfs to steam trains to get consumers to open their wallets.

But authorities in Wenzhou this year launched a demolition campaign aimed at local churches, with more than 400 forced to remove visible crosses and some completely destroyed.

The ban came as a university in central China required students to watch a documentary about Chinese sage Confucius instead of celebrating Christmas.

"Be good sons and daughters of your country, stand against kitsch Western holidays," a banner on the campus of Northwest University in the ancient city of Xi'an said, according to photographs posted online.

"Resist the expansion of Western culture," read another.

A university spokesman told the state-run Guangming Daily that the school appealed to the students to pay more attention to Chinese traditional culture, and not to "idolise foreign festivals".

The newspaper added: "Each year Christmas brings debate, with one side saying that the festival can bring a lot of new fun things, and another side saying that we should not fawn over foreign things and overlook Chinese traditional festivals."

China's Communist party periodically issues broadsides against "Western cultural infiltration" amid growing consumption of foreign movies, music and other goods.

The microblog of the ruling party mouthpiece, the People's daily, displayed pictures of around 10 university students in the central province of Hunan holding an anti-Christmas street protest.

"Resist Christmas," read banners held up by the students, who wore traditional Chinese outfits. "Chinese people should not celebrate foreign festivals."


fonte @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti http://artdaily.com/index_iphone.asp?int_new=75311&int_sec=2#.VJ7Tod_AE
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Archaeologists use ancient teeth to find evidence that humans drank milk 5,000 years ago

Experts carry out lab tests in three countries to confirm that Europeans drank milk 5,000 years ago


Human mandible with extensive dental calculus deposits dated to the Roman period from York (1st-4th century) © Camilla SpellerAn international team of archaeologists and scientists say proteins found in the dental plaque of peasants from Roman and medieval Yorkshire provide “direct evidence” of milk consumption from as early as the Bronze Age.

Europeans could have drunk milk as long as 5,000 years ago, with cattle, sheep and goat whey found on dentures supporting isotopic results from the pottery and cooking utensils of early farming communities.



Jessica Hendy, first author on the paper, looks on as Sophy Carlton prepares a sample© Colleen MorganResearchers from York, Oxford, Edinburgh and London joined experts from Germany, the US, Denmark and Australia to examine the teeth of people in Yorkshire between 1000 and 1550 AD, drawing some of the strongest conclusions to date about milk, which is usually difficult to detect due to its swift disappearance from archaeological remains.

“Most of the molecular evidence for milk consumption has previously come from residues on ceramics,” says Dr Camilla Speller, from the University of York’s BioArCh research facility.

“While pot residues can tell you that people are using dairy products, it can't tell you which individuals in the group are actually consuming the milk.

“This study is very exciting because for the first time we can link milk consumption to specific skeletons and figure out who has access to this important nutritional resource."

The team used mass spectrometry-based techniques to sequence the ancient protein, beta-lactoglobulin, from the remains.

“It seemed too good to be true,” admits Jessica Hendy, a lead author on the research working in York.

“Beta-lactoglobulin is the dominant whey protein - the one used by bodybuilders to build muscle mass - and therefore the ideal marker for milk consumption.

“We kept finding sequences of beta-lactoglobulin and at first we thought it could be modern contamination.

“But we repeated the analysis several times, at three different laboratories in three different countries – each time finding the same results.”

Strong genetic mutations, noted only in certain populations, including northern Europe, allow the intenstinal enzyme which digests lactose milk sugar during infancy, lactace, to be produced throughout a lifetime.

In most other people of the world, the lactose cannot be properly digested and can cause diarrhea or other symptoms of lactose intolerance, aggravated by the gases produced by fermentation of the gut bacteria.

“The study has far-reaching implications for understanding the relationship between human diet and evolution,” says Dr Christina Warinner, from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma.

“Dairy products are a very recent, post-Neolithic dietary innovation, and most of the world’s population is unable to digest lactose, often developing the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

“The discovery of milk proteins in human dental calculus will allow scientists to unite these lines of evidence and compare the genetic traits and cultural behaviors of specific individuals who lived thousands of years ago.”

Among the more expected findings, the team found no evidence of milk protein in the remains of 19th century individuals from West Africa, where dairying was uncommon – although “widespread” evidence of milk consumption was shown at European sites across the past 5,000 years.

The report says cows and sheep drank milk during the Bronze Age, although goats only did so in northern Italy.


Read the full paper at Scientific Reports.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.



Milk proteins were detected in the dental calculus of British medieval peasants in Yorkshire (1000-1550 CE)© Camilla Speller

Graduate student Jessica Hendy, of the University of York, prepares dental calculus samples for analysis at the Laboratories for Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research at the University of Oklahoma© Christina Warinner

Isolating ancient milk proteins from the dental calculus© Christina Warinner

Extraction of ancient milk proteins from human dental calculus© Christina Warinner
 
fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/archaeology/art511374-archaeologists-use-ancient-teeth-to-find-evidence-that%20humans-drank-milk-five-thousand-years-ago

Donkey milk: Ancient elixir of life experiences modern-day resurgence



Donkey milk was hailed by the ancients as an elixir of long life, a cure-all for a variety of ailments, and a powerful tonic capable of rejuvenating the skin. Cleopatra, Queen of Ancient Egypt, reportedly bathed in donkey milk every day to preserve her beauty and youthful looks, while ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote of its incredible medicinal properties. Now it seems that interest in donkey milk is experiencing a renewed interest after Pope Francis reported thriving on it as a baby, and remarkable results are being reported in people with psoriasis, eczema, and asthma.


Donkey milk: Ancient elixir of life

Donkey milk preserves beauty and youth?

Legend has it that Cleopatra (60 – 39 BC), the last active Pharaoh of Egypt, insisted on a daily bath in the milk of a donkey (ass) to preserve the beauty and youth of her skin and that 700 asses were need to provide the quantity needed. It was believed that donkey milk renders the skin more delicate, preserves its whiteness, and erases facial wrinkles.

According to ancient historian Pliny the Elder, Poppaea Sabina (30 – 65 AD), the wife of Roman Emperor Nero, was also an advocate of ass milk and would have whole troops of donkeys accompany her on journeys so that she too could bathe in the milk. Napoleon’s sister, Pauline Bonaparte (1780–1825 AD), was also reported to have used ass milk for her skin’s health care.

'Cleopatra’s Milk Bath', contemporary mosaic

'Cleopatra’s Milk Bath', contemporary mosaic'Cleopatra’s Milk Bath', contemporary mosaic by Irel.
Donkey milk as a cure-all

Greek physician Hippocrates (460 – 370 BC) was the first to write of the medicinal virtues of donkey milk, and prescribed it as a cure a diverse range of ailments, including liver problems, infectious diseases, fevers, nose bleeds, poisoning, joint pains, and wounds.

Roman historian Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD) also wrote extensively about its health benefits. In his encyclopedic work Naturalis Historia, volume 28, dealing with remedies derived from animals, Pliny added fatigue, eye stains, weakened teeth, face wrinkles, ulcerations, asthma and certain gynecological troubles to the list of afflictions it could treat:

Asses' milk, in cases where gypsum, white-lead, sulphur, or quick-silver, have been taken internally. This last is good too for constipation attendant upon fever, and is remarkably useful as a gargle for ulcerations of the throat. It is taken, also, internally, by patients suffering from atrophy, for the purpose of recruiting their exhausted strength; as also in cases of fever unattended with head-ache. The ancients held it as one of their grand secrets, to administer to children, before taking food, a semisextarius of asses' milk.

Over the centuries, donkey’s milk continued to be recognized for its medicinal properties. In the 1800s, donkeys were used at a hospital for assisted children in Paris to aid in the recovery of children with congenital or contagious diseases. The Popular Science Monthly, Volume 22, writes:

The infants were at first fed with goat's milk, but it was soon found that ass's milk was better for them; and they are now all fed with milk which they draw directly from the teat of the animal. One, two, and sometimes three children are presented to the ass at the same time, being held at the teat in the arms of the nurse, and the operation is performed with wonderful ease. Numbers speak most eloquently of the success of the method. During six months, eighty-six children afflicted with congenital and contagious diseases were fed at the nursery. The first six were fed, by stress of particular circumstances, with cow's milk from the bottle; only one of them recovered. Forty-two were nursed at the teat of the goat; eight recovered, thirty-four died. Thirty-eight were nursed at the teat of the ass; twenty-eight recovered, ten died. In the face of such results there can be hardly any hesitation in declaring that in hospitals, at least, the best method of feeding new-born children, who cannot, for any reason, be confided to a nurse, is to put them to suck directly from the teat of an ass.

Nurse holding a baby to suckle directly from a donkey at the hospital for assisted children in Paris

Nurse holding a baby to suckle directly from a donkey at the hospital for assisted children in ParisNurse holding a baby to suckle directly from a donkey at the hospital for assisted children in Paris, 1882-1883. (Wikimedia Commons)
Properties of Donkey milk

According to The Telegraph, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation acknowledges that donkey milk has “particular nutritional benefits”, with a protein profile that may make it more suitable for those allergic to cow’s milk.

Donkey milk is the closest known milk to human breast milk with high lactose ratios and low fat content. It is also rich in vitamins, contains anti-bacterial agents, reported to be 200 times more active than in cow’s milk, and anti-allergens, which are believed to be responsible for alleviating psoriasis, eczema, asthma, and bronchitis, according to a new report in the MailOnline.

“Like humans, donkeys have a single stomach,” writes the MailOnline. “Yet we mostly drink the milk of multi-stomached animals such as cows and goats, which use a lot of bacteria to digest their food through a complicated fermentation process.”

Donkey milk is still used throughout the world for its many health benefits

Donkey milk is still used throughout the world for its many health benefitsDonkey milk is still used throughout the world for its many health benefits. Source: BigStockPhoto

With all these benefits, one may wonder why it is not more readily available. The answer lies in its production. A female donkey produces an average of 0.3 litres of milk a day (maximum 1 litre) for only half of the year, while cows are forced to deliver 30 times as much throughout the year. Furthermore, a donkey “won’t produce milk unless it’s stimulated by the presence of its foal, and milking has to be done manually,” writes the MailOnline.

As a result, the milk sells for an extremely high price, €24 (approx. $30) a litre in Cyprus, and in other European countries the price is even double. Nevertheless, donkey milk remains fairly popular in South America, where it can be readily found at street markets.

AP reports that fresh donkey milk is sold on the streets of Chile.

“Ricardo Alegria is a different sort of milk man,” writes AP. “For a quarter century or more, he and his brother Marco have led donkeys through the streets of Chile's capital, milking them on the spot for customers.” Ricardo Alegria said the milk taken as a “vitamin jolt” for babies with stomach problems, but that adults often drink it too.

While many may be put off by the price of this precious milk, a donkey seller from Golden Donkeys Farm in the village of Skarinou, Cyprus, told MailOnline that 60ml a day is “all you need to protect your body”.

Featured image: Donkey foal drinking milk from its mother. Source: BigStockPhoto


By April Holloway
- fonte: @edisonmariottio #edisonmariotti : http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general/donkey-milk-ancient-elixir-life-experiences-modern-day-resurgence-002502#sthash.icQnxauz.dpuf

The Most Anticipated Museum Shows of 2015


With six shows alone opening in February, get ready for a very full agenda of exhibitions in 2015. Artsy’s Institutions team has picked the very best from museums around the world, with shows that feature everything from Old Master paintings to avant-garde post-war art to the very cutting-edge of new media art and beyond. Appearing among these are a Triennial, a Biennale, several retrospective surveys, and the triumphant return of The Whitney Museum of American Art.





Marlene Dumas

Naomi, 1995

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam



Marlene Dumas

The Image as Burden, 1993

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


Taking its title—and a point of departure—from one of her paintings from 1993, Marlene Dumas’ solo exhibition at Tate Modern presents a survey of her enigmatic, expressive paintings. “The Image as Burden” previously appeared at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum; born in South Africa, Dumas moved to the Netherlands in 1976 and has lived there since. Often provocative, touching on themes of sexuality, politics, segregation, love, and death, Dumas’ paintings capture figures (sometimes with the faces of recognizable pop culture personas) drawn from her own imagination; though rendered without direct models, Dumas’ works remain fully in touch with reality, revealing her subjects’ truer selves below the surface.






On Kawara—Silence” at the Guggenheim Museum, Feb. 6–May 3




On Kawara

OCT.13, 1970 / MAY 7, 1980 / NOV.22, 1990 / APR.16, 2000, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000

Simon Lee Gallery


The first complete overview of On Kawara’s career—beginning in 1964—“Silence” assembles in one show the many genres and media that define Kawara’s diverse work. Inspired by time and humanity’s rather arbitrary ways of measuring it, Kawara created ongoing works that range from his best-known “date paintings,” postcards, maps, and lists of names, to newspaper clippings, inventories, and calendars. A series of drawings and paintings from the mid-’60s will also be on view, and a continuous reading of his One Million Years (a ledger of seemingly endless numbers) will accompany the exhibition, performed on the museum’s ground floor.






Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic” at the Brooklyn Museum, Feb. 20–May 24




Kehinde Wiley

Place Soweto (National Assembly) II, 2014

Galerie Daniel Templon


Kehinde Wiley has finessed a highly recognizable style of painting over the years, composing portraits of contemporary African-American subjects that borrow motifs from traditional European portraiture while also incorporating elements of their own culture into the frame. His paintings open an oft-suppressed dialogue regarding history, power, wealth, and contemporary urban environments. “A New Republic” will highlight 60 paintings and sculptures from Wiley’s 14-year career; included in this selection are a number of works from his “World Stage” series (initiated in 2006), for which Wiley traveled the world, painting models in Dakar, Senegal, Haiti, Israel, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, and more.






J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free” at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Feb. 24–May 24




Joseph Mallord William Turner

Venice, Shipping in the Bacino, with the Entrance to the Grand Canal, 1840

Tate



Joseph Mallord William Turner

Stormy Sea Breaking on a Shore, 1840-45

Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection


Master British painter J.M.W. Turner gets his first major exhibition on the West Coast at The Getty this year, focused on the later years of his career. Over 60 oil paintings and watercolors created by Turner between the years of 1835 to his death in 1851 come together in “Painting Set Free,” including some of his most important works. Turner’s late works are representative of his constantly evolving style and technique—the show features several square canvases, for example—but simultaneously reveal him to be a modern artist who never fully abandoned his roots, using new ways of capturing familiar themes, whether religion, mythology, or history. At the time of their production, the paintings were met by his contemporaries with confusion, as they were so different from their own; critics of his late works attributed their otherness or incomprehensibility to his old age. “Painting Set Free” comes to the U.S. from London, where it’s currently on view at Tate Britain (through Jan 25, 2015).



“2015 Triennial: Surround Audience” at the New Museum, Feb. 25–May 24

New York’s only recurring museum exhibition to feature international, emerging artists, the New Museum Triennial serves as a platform for young artists to launch new innovations in contemporary art and shape its future. Now in its third edition, the 2015 Triennial will usher 51 artists and collectives (representing over 25 countries) into the museum’s first, second, third, and fourth floor galleries, and is organized by Museum as Hub and Digital Projects curator Lauren Cornell and artist Ryan Trecartin (previously a participant in the 2009 Triennial). The extensive exhibition, titled “Surround Audience,” will explore the effects of technology, particularly social media, on society and our personal psychology—taking cues from Trecartin’s own work. Video, sound, an internet talk show, and dance and poetry performances will be presented alongside sculpture, painting, and installation, as the Triennial paves the way for the next generation of art.






“Velázquez” at the Grand Palais, Mar. 25–July 13




Diego Velázquez

Juan Pareja, 1649

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Spanish Golden Age master Diego Velázquez will be subject of an exhibition at Paris’ magnificent Grand Palais in Spring-Summer 2015, where his work will be shown alongside a selection of his contemporaries, in order to explore the art of the time, as well as both his influence on other artists and theirs on him. A court painter, Velázquez created many portraits throughout his career, but also delved into landscapes and historical tableaux; the exhibition at the Grand Palais will observe the artist’s transition in style and subject matter, from his early works onward, observing his movement from naturalism to heavily baroque Caravaggism and his ease with seemingly all subjects. This exhibition is an absolute must for any student of art history!



“What’s happening?” at the Statens Museum for Kunst, Mar. 26–Aug. 2

The 1960s and ’70s were a time of questioning, experimentation, and challenging the status quo, and the art world felt the ripple effect of these movements in the work being produced at the time. “What’s Happening?,” at Denmark’s Statens Museum for Kunst, revisits these revolutionary works and juxtaposes them with the boundary-pushing oeuvres of today, in two side-by-side segments within the exhibition. “Avantgarde, feminisme og sammenstød” (which translates roughly to “avant-garde, feminism, and clash”) showcases radical work from the ’60s and ’70s (in particular that of Danish pioneer Bjørn Nørgaard and the movements surrounding his work, such as Fluxus and the Ex-school), investigating contemporary pop culture and the sexual and women’s liberation movements, which influenced and refreshed the art of the time. “1960s and 1970s Art in 2015” features contemporary works from these same avant-garde artists, including Per Kirkeby, Jørgen Leth, Bjørn Nørgaard, Lene Adler Petersen, Jytte Rex, and Marina Abramović, in addition to some older works by these artists, reconstructed for 2015.



“The Oasis of Matisse” at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Mar. 28–Aug. 16




Henri Matisse

Nu bleu I (Blue Nude I), 1952

Fondation Beyeler


The Stedelijk Museum will welcome the first survey in more than 60 years of Matisse’s illustrious career to be presented in the Netherlands. The museum’s permanent collection will be complemented by an array of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, culminating in a gallery of Matisse’s brilliant cut-outs (wildly popular at the Tate Modern and MoMA), the stand-out of which is pulled from the museum’s own collection. An impressive large-scale cut-out anchoring the exhibition as a whole, La perruche et la sirène (1952-1953), is perfect in its use of form and color and is one of the Dutch museum’s most popular works. Also in the final gallery, works in fabric and stained-glass will hang beside the cut-outs, for a broader look at Matisse’s harmonious handling of color. “The Oasis of Matisse” will be enhanced by a public program that includes a screening of the film The Icon Matisse and a discussion surrounding the restoration of the cut-outs, among other events.






“Poussin et Dieu” at the Musée du Louvre, Apr. 2–June 29




Nicolas Poussin

Et in Arcadia Ego, ca. 1655

Musée du Louvre



Nicolas Poussin

The Rape of the Sabine Women, 1637-1638

Musée du Louvre, Paris


The religious painting of Nicolas Poussin, regarded as the founder of French Classicism and one of the most important French painters of the 17th century, will take center stage at the Musée du Louvre in Summer 2015 on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of his death. A painter, poet, and philosopher, Poussin built an oeuvre laden with classical themes and form, inspired by the ancient poetry of Ovid and Virgil; however, his religious works went overlooked or even criticized (notably, his 1628 papal commission The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus), despite their prevalence. “Poussin et Dieu” examines this mix of the “sacred and profane” in the painter’s practice, observing even secular, historical, or mythological works through the context of religion.






“Inaugural Exhibition” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, opening May 1


After moving out of its old Marcel Breuer home on the Upper East Side and into its new Renzo Piano building in the Meatpacking District, the Whitney will make its grand re-entrance into the art world in May with the largest exhibition of its permanent collection to date. In progress since 2012, this comprehensive exhibition of modern American art required an assessment of the 21,000 works that form the museum’s permanent collection, amassed over the course of nearly 85 years.. Every gallery in the museum—including one 18,000-square-foot space that will be the largest column-free museum gallery in New York—plus outdoor exhibition space will be filled, together totalling over 60,000 square feet. The new building, tucked between the High Line and the Hudson River offers terraces facing the elevated park and a whole slew of new features to heighten the museum’s educational program, including classrooms, theaters, and study centers. The Whitney and its inaugural show will be a must-make stop on a stroll through the Meatpacking District this summer.






Venice Biennale, May 9–Nov. 22

Curated by Okwui Enwezor, the 56th exhibition of the Venice Biennale takes as its central theme the relationship between artists, art, and the current state of affairs in the world, and the present’s rapport with the past. Titled “All the World’s Futures,” the Biennale will present a range of artists and media, its theme processed through a series of what Enwezor calls “intersecting filters”—“Liveness: On Epic Duration,” “Garden of Disorder,” and “Capital: A Live Reading”—to allow for such diversity of work. Enwezor takes inspiration from Paul Klee’s iconic Angelus Novus (1920) and philosopher Walter Benjamin’s interpretation of the monoprint as being “the angel of history,” observing its ability to resonate with moments of crisis in the past, present, and future. The Biennale will dissect our current ever-shifting, self-re-adjusting reality, using the exhibition as a stage on which to play out historical and “counter-historical” narratives.

fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti https://artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-the-most-anticipated-museum-shows-of-2015



Kate Haveles