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Publication Date: 
March, 1993
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Water has always been a powerful symbol for human beings. Water is critical to life. First, the human fetus grows in the amniotic fluid. Second, the scientific context of the 1990s suggests a new vision of Homo sapiens as a primate that, although genetically related to the chimpanzees, has adapted to a particular environment through a land-sea interface. In this paper the origins of the power of water symbolism is explored, particularly in the context of the birth process.


1. It is obvious that in this context, man refers to the female and male individuals belonging to the species Homo sapiens. Chimpanzee refers to the female and male individuals belonging to the species Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus.

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Michel Odent, M.D.

Michel Odent, M.D., lives in London, England, where he is involved in creating the Primal Health Research Centre, which studies correlations between the primal period and health in later life. The BBC documentary, Birth Reborn, featured Odent's maternity unit. He is the author of numerous medical and scientific articles. Address correspondence to the author at 59 Roderick Road, London, England NW3 2NP.