breast milk 101

Saint Bernard prayed to Mary, asking her to prove she was a mother. She obliged by squirting milk in his eye


She also took pity on the souls in Purgatory and with help from Her Baby, she showered them too

Virgen purgatorio 200

There are other uses for breast milk. The artists at Dezeen have solidified its casein content into a form of plastic and created jewellery and ornaments.

milk ornament milk jewellery

Christians have long been believed in the power of relics salvaged from various parts of dead saints including Mary. Her breast milk was supposedly collected in vials. Then again, Jesus’s foreskin and baby teeth are also allegedly owned by various churches, as are numerous pieces of the cross he was crucified upon.

In 390 C.E., two monks found not just one, but two heads of John the Baptist. Many relic manufacturers concentrated on Virgin Mary memorabilia. They produced her hair, her bones, her girdle, her grave-clothes, and her virginal milk. One church claimed to own Mary Magdalene’s forehead and even one of her breasts. A church in France that supposedly owned one of Mary’s arms was visited by a bone collector who actually tried to chew off one of Mary’s fingers in order to add it to his collection! Even Monty Python couldn’t have written better material than this.


read about Saint Orlan here

But milk is not the only excretion from the human body which is made into jewellery.

In Japan, human waste is specially treated with high temperatures to turn sludge into a rock-hard material. This is used as gravel for making roads and jewelry is made from it. I am not sure if there are any beads of this stuff, but cufflinks are available.

And of course there’s always Art. Manzoni and Wim Delvoye have both produced art from shit, with Delvoye’s Cloaca Machines being exhibited all over the world and Manzoni’s Artist’s Shit selling for 124,000 euros per can.


Published in: on July 20, 2009 at 12:11 pm  Comments (31)  

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31 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Mary seems to have had a strange idea as to where Bernard’s eye was – – –

  2. She just has a problem with aiming…..

  3. I know that I would never buy anybody else’s shit for whatever reason or however famous they were. The fact that churches feel the need to have some sort of momento or relic from days gone by, is also strange. I place my faith in God and not in a breast or John the baptist’s head. I understand some peoples need for this sort of thing (I am not judging) but I just don’t understand it!!

  4. I have seen plenty of artists Shit selling for millions.

  5. Yes I have noticed that much new art is shit! Seemed to have missed the excrement cufflinks last visit to Tokyo, will keep my eyes open next time – many opporutunities to buy school girls panties though!

  6. Breastmilk as a collectible? And I was just giving it away for free? Yet another reason my children are spoiled.

  7. Oh good grief. Suddenly comes to mind the souvenirs that you can buy in Alaska: cute moosequitoes which are made with pipe cleaners and a dried shellacked piece of moose turd for the body. I think there are other things made from this substance but my mind glosses over the details.

    All this proves is that people will buy anything. And apparently my belief that many people in the world have a lot more money than they need so they can use it buying things like canned Artist’s Shit when I don’t even have enough money so that we can go out and have a nice dinner for our 24th wedding anniversary. Geez.

  8. Just don’t accidentally drink it. Phoefffff!

  9. I used breastmilk for my coffee once.. we were in reasonably remote place, in NZ and stores weren’t open.. but shirt was! It doesn’t taste as good as cream.. unless you’ve cultivated a taste for it.

    • I think we’ve all done that at least once haven’t we?

  10. You are confirming a lot of my suspicions young Nursey ….. about a lot of things …….

  11. Whoa..way to recycle! Who knew?

  12. I don’t think I’d like to be in Japan on a hot and humid day.

  13. Fucking Mary… she always was an awfie show-off bitch.

  14. Holy Shit!

  15. i had much better aim than Mary. the houseflies were terrorized… yeah. i got kinda bored when i was home with the babies…

    • oh that is such a daisyfae thing to do. What a pity neither of us are still lactating – think of the games we could play in Greece next year

  16. Had they thought of collecting Mary’s it would have been priceless holy shit.

  17. At a recent reading, a woman in the audience offered David Sedaris a cup of her breast milk. He drank it! It’s true!

  18. There are two Takashi Miike movies that prominently feature lactation, Gozu and Visitor Q. It’s the most normal thing that happens in these films.

  19. will there be a line of Nurse Myra breast milk jewelry?

    • Ha! Not bloody likely 😉

  20. HA, and Manzoni’s dad said his son would never be shit.

  21. It’s unfortunate that the holy relic business has fallen off in recent centuries. I could have made quite a tidy living as a traveling friar, selling pig’s ankle bones and the like. I’m quite the storyteller, after all.

    I did have a friend once give me a shaving brush, the handle of which he claimed was made from human bone and that he claimed was given to him by Anton LeVay. Mind you, that friend is a few bats short of a belfry but at least he’s entertaining.

    • Anton LaVey scares the bejesus outta me

  22. rofl Ginny!

    nm – I’m heading over to etsy right now… bet I find something!

  23. In India Saint Bernard would be asked to wash soiled linen as punishment for asking foolish questions.
    Borat distributed cheese made out his wife’s breast milk.
    But i think if there’s a concept of Breast Milk Bar- there would be many takers to drink it directly from the source !

  24. Some people will buy anything. According to the church, Mary was assumed into heaven without death, so whoever bought the grave clothes should be ripe for a bridge in Brooklyn.

  25. I was under the house t’other day, laying some cat6 cable, and i found an ancient four’n’twenty pie wrapper. I’m pretty sure it once belonged to Jesus, in his carpentering days.

    Not quite as sexy as the boob of the Madonna, but still pretty nonshabby.

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