review Ï Women's Work: The First 20000 Years: Women Cloth and Society in Early Times ë PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Elizabeth Wayland Barber ß 5 Read & Download

review Ï Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times ë PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free À New discoveries about the textile arts reveal women's unexpectedly influential role in ancient societiesTwenty thousand years agoNew discoveries about the textile arts reveal women's unexpectedly influential role in ancient societiesTwenty thousand years ago women were making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibers In fact right up to the Industrial Revolution the fiber arts were. This is basically the Guns Germs and Steel of textiles fabrics and the women who weave with them My entry point in this book was Gregory Clark's excellent Big History book A Farewell to Alms where he discussed how in large part the first phase of the Industrial Revolution was almost entirely driven by productivity improvements in the textile industry Weaving being then as now a primarily female dominated industry I was interested to learn about the sociological effects of that revolution and though this book wasn't what I was expecting at all covering only from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age there's still lots that should be right up the alley of anyone looking for something in the intersection of archaeology textiles and the feminization of laborThere are probably many different economic rationales for why some professions have been considered women's work for tens of thousands of years but the most basic one is pretty straightforward if some relatively simple task is compatible with having to take care of children it will probably be women who are doing it Barber uotes a researcher who lists the following characteristic of such jobs they do not reuire rapt concentration and are relatively dull and repetitive; they are easily interruptible I see a rueful smile on every care giver's face and easily resumed once interrupted; they do not place the child in potential danger; and they do not reuire the participant to range very far from home There's a lot to ponder in that description It's interesting that even in the 21st century it seems like knitting is still almost exclusively a female hobby even when the woman in uestion doesn't have kids Barber doesn't go into why that is but she does discuss the uestion of why given that women dominated the ranks of knitters most labor saving technology like the spinning jenny was invented by men Barber's explanation is that women were so busy trying to keep up with demand that didn't have the time to sit around and play with technology That sounds plausible although it seems like even in ancient times enough clothing was being made for luxury use that at least one woman would have the time to think There's got to be a better wayRegardless of how weaving came to be considered women's work it's obvious that most of the women who did the work took pride in it and developed traditions around it Barber discusses how the basic style of string skirt that survives today in Eastern European peasant garb has been almost unchanged for nearly 20000 years which is pretty mindblowing Fascinatingly it appears that certain advanced weaving concepts like the heddle were so conceptually difficult that they were only actually invented once thus allowing archaeologists to roughly date when various tribes split off from each other by whether they possessed the advanced concepts or not In between defining important terms like carding twill or worsted Barber follows weavers from the earliest records of the Paleolithic through the Neolithic and the agricultural revolution to Bronze Age societies like the Minoans Middle Kingdom Egyptians and Myceneans and finally to the Iron Age and classical Greek civilization There's lots of good discussion behind things like the storytelling through fabric tradition that includes the famous Bayeux Tapestry or why different types of looms were adopted in some places but not others or how class structure did or did not affect weaving a surprising number of powerful ueens wove just like commoners albeit with higher uality fabrics leavened with citations from all over the place such as the Odyssey Greek mythology and peasant folklore like the stories in Grimm'sI was disappointed that she ended two thousand years before the vast changes of the Industrial Revolution even aside from the economic impact of the women in the textile industry then surely the cultural impact of tricoteuses such as Madame Defarge in Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities would have been worth a mention and even today women in the garment trade are a vital part of the development of countries like Bangladesh Probably the additional scope would have resulted in a book several times the size but even with its limits this is a very well researched and interesting look at the history of weaving and its role in the world from a primarily female perspective Barber is funny too; here's her relating a story from Xenophon about Socrates' friend Aristarchos buying a bunch of wool to keep his female houseguests busyAs a result resources were found and wool was bought The women ate their noon meal while they worked and uit working only at suppertime; and they were cheerful instead of gloomy Presently Aristarchos returned to tell Socrates how splendidly everything was working out But he adds the ladies are displeased at one thing namely that he himself is idle The story ends with Socrates suggesting that Aristarchos tell them that he is like the apparently idle sheepdog who gets better treatment than the sheep because his protection is what allows them all to prosperWe do not hear how that fable went over with the women but we know how it would be received today

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An enormous economic force belonging primarily to womenDespite the great toil reuired in making cloth and clothing most books on ancient history and economics have no information on them Much of this gap results from the extreme perishability of what women produced bu. I don't care who you are 20000 years is a long timeWhat this book tells us is simple Women clothed the human race because it was something they could do while raising the next generation There are cultures where this is still the caseIt was a tradeoff and a good one But the sheer skill reuired to create first thread then weaving it into cloth is very hard to grasp Unless of course you're learning to spin yarn like I amI'm going to step out on a limb Women have evolved with spinning and weaving serveing an integrial need in the brain We've been bred for this for well 20k years So when I hear a woman say she loves to spin because it is relaxing soothing is my phrase I get it We live in a stressed out society One where we are separated from creation in it's most basic forms We are crammed into molds that fit our work not who we are as humans De humanizing happens in all aspect of our livesThe pull of spinning is no longer a mystery to me There is a part of me that WANTS to spin when I'm waiting for something I'm not looking for something to occupy my mind like Spider or Face Book I'm not tempted to spend endless hours on the internet I can spin wool into yarn anywhere and any time It's like fidgeting or smoking without the cancer

Free read Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times

Women's Work The First 20 000 Years Women Cloth and Society in Early TimesT it seems clear that until now descriptions of prehistoric and early historic cultures have omitted virtually half the pictureElizabeth Wayland Barber has drawn from data gathered by the most sophisticated new archaeological methods methods she herself helped to fashi. Whether your interest lies in the history of textiles or in the history of woman's role in society Elizabeth Barber has it covered from 20000 BCE to the Egyptians Greeks and Romans The book developed out of her previous publication Pincetown University 1991 'Prehistoric Textiles' which itself was the result of 17 years of research Ms Barber draws on every possible source archaeological finds; modern forensic research; ancient texts and drawings; ancient sculptures; as well as recent folk costumes and not just from Europe but from across the globe She considers the materials available the demands upon a woman's time her changing place in society as agriculture developed and city states grew She examines the potential output of the two main types of loom and their geographical distribution I found there wasn't an aspect of early textile production that she didn't cover and all in easily accessible language I strongly recommend this book for anyone wanting to know of a woman's life in days gone by