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  Jeffrey Vallance

    A Scatological Eschatology

 ‘HOLY SHIT!’                 ︎

ix. THE MANY USES OF DUNG


Traditionally, in many cultures, the dung and urine of animals have various uses. Donkey dung is recommended as an external application for the eradication of freckles and to stop hemorrhage. A drink of warm ass urine will cure mania. (In Tijuana, tourists can obtain “Donkey Dung” brand cigarettes.) A poultice of mouse dung is excellent for curing dandruff and hemorrhoids. (Also, Saint Phiacre can be invoked for anorectal diseases.) Goat dung is valuable for soothing inflammation of the joints and also as an antitoxin for snake bites. Chicken shit is a wondrous antidote against the effects of poisonous mushrooms and for treating dysentery. The white, crusty part of hen manure can be used on herpes sores. Pigeon shit removes stigmata or skin blemishes. Cat turds rubbed on the scalp are thought to be a remedy for dandruff. Rat droppings, when taken orally, relieve severe constipation. Fresh bull dung can be used as an analgesic to soothe minor burns, or if applied to the face can produce a healthy rosy tint to the cheeks. Cow urine can be used as an effective disinfectant. Hog feces is useful for the removal of warts. Yak dung, when dried and brewed as tea, is unsurpassed for treating hysteria. Lizard droppings, when made into an ointment, smooth facial wrinkles. Crocodile excreta was used in ancient Greek and Roman cosmetics. The lapidary stone coprolite (fossilized excrement) has been used in the creation of fine jewelry. Ambergris, the excrement of the sperm whale, is a highly valuable substance used in the manufacture of perfume.


Elephant dung, when applied externally, is good for relieving headaches and shrinking tumors. In Angola, elephant dung is worn in an amulet to ensure success in the hunt. The Hottentotts of southern Africa have been known to smoke elephant dung as a tobacco. In the Congo, a hunter will rub himself all over with elephant dung to deceive his prey. In many parts of Africa, dung is considered an art material that is used on such items as totem figures and tribal masks: Many museums have in their collections works of African art that include dung as a medium. According to contemporary artist Chris Ofili, elephant dung is venerated in parts of Africa as a symbol of fertility, and the elephant is revered as the king and queen of beasts. Indeed, Ofili’s paintings may be seen as collaborations, if one credits the two elephants at the London Zoo named Liang-Liang and Geetza for their contribution of raw material. In addition Coffee beans consumed by elephants and shat out are skillfully plucked from the warm dung, imparting flavors (influenced by elephantine digestive enzymes) with notes of chocolate, malt, spice, a hint of grass, without the bitter taste of regular coffee. As well, cat poop coffee (Kopi Luwak) is made from the coffee beans that have been digested by an Indonesian cat-like animal called the palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus).



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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.

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