UPDATE 8.14.08– this still makes my stomach churn at the thought, but i had to consult wikipedia to find out if this Matthew McConaughey dude was just relying on Hollywood heresey.
So here’s the Cultural Practices and Beliefs section of Wikipedia’s post on the placenta:
The placenta often plays an important role in various human cultures, with many societies conducting rituals regarding its disposal. In the Western world, the placenta is most often incinerated.
Some cultures bury the placenta for various reasons. The M?ori of New Zealand traditionally bury the placenta from a newborn child to emphasize the relationship between humans and the earth.Navajo bury the placenta and umbilical cord at a specially-chosen site, particularly if the baby dies during birth. In Cambodia and Costa Rica, burial of the placenta is believed to protect and ensure the health of the baby and the mother. If a mother dies in childbirth, the Aymara of Bolivia bury the placenta in a secret place so that the mother’s spirit will not return to claim her baby’s life. Similarly, the
The placenta is believed by some communities to have power over the lives of the baby or its parents. The Kwakiutl of British Columbia bury girls’ placentas to give the girl skill in digging clams, and expose boys’ placentas to ravens to encourage future prophetic visions. In Turkey, the proper disposal of the placenta and umbilical cord is believed to promote devoutness in the child later in life. In Ukraine, Transylvania, and Japan, interaction with a disposed placenta is thought to influence the parents’ future fertility. The ancient Egyptians believed that the placenta was imbued with magical powers.
Several cultures believe the placenta to be or have been alive, often a relative of the baby. NepaleseOrang Asli regard it as the baby’s older sibling. The Ibo of Nigeria consider the placenta the deceased twin of the baby, and conduct full funeral rites for it. Native Hawaiians believe that the placenta is a part of the baby, and traditionally plant it with a tree which can then grow alongside the child. think of the placenta as a friend of the baby’s; Malaysian
In some cultures, the placenta is eaten, a practice known as placentophagy.
All last week, I was grossed out by the headlines that were all over my yahoo page about Matthew McConaughey saving his baby’s placenta to plant in an orchard. Am I the only one COMPLETELY grossed out by that?
…by the way…his wife’s name is Camila Alves. It’s really HER placenta but I guess since she’s not a celeb it now becomes Matt’s placenta (sexist media grubbin’ son of a beeyatch)…
It has something to do with some aborigine tradition he witnessed in Australia. No disrespect to them. I totally get how this would not seem gross if this is how I grew up…
…but it’s not…hence I think this is soooooooo gross!
Just another man needing to find some odd way to feel apart of childbirth by grasping at the afterbirth.
Ok, enough said. It’s making me nauscious. You really don’t even have to comment because I don’t want to be reminded to think about it.