Journal of American Folklore 116 (2003) Chapter 4 is devoted to the debated name "Amazon," often taken to mean that the women cut off one breast. But Weinbaum omits the most logical and likely origin of the name given by an ancient author (Philostratus). Remarkably, she cites classical philologist Mary Bennett's comment on Philostratus' counterexplanation (p. 84), but fails to report what he said. Refuting the false notion that a-mazon meant "without breast," Philostratus clarified that it denoted "not breast-fed," an accurate description of horsewomen whose military lifestyle led them to nourish their babies with mare's milk instead of nursing them. Weinbaum's oversight of this alternative etymology is especially unfortunate, since this significant lifestyle choice by an ancient matriarchy has implications for the author's oftrepeated criticism of the modern patriarchy's devaluation of breastfeeding and her claim that all ancient societies were breast-fed (for example, pp. 8485). Part 3 veers into a separate project. Weinbaum conducted fieldwork on a Mexican tourist island that happens to be called Isla Mujeres ("Island of Women"), fieldwork that revolves around her giving birth aided by a Maya midwife. In detailing time spent in a locale with a coincidental name, Weinbaum seeks to "weave
Journal of American Folklore – American Folklore Society
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