This paper is about the intersection of power, history, and gender in rural northern Sudan, and its tacit expression in meaningful practice. Based on ethnographic work conducted in the village of Hofriyat since the mid1970s,1 my argument pivots around the implications of an intrinsically fragile and valuable substance-blood. Suggestive contrasts exist between public, cross-sex assertions about blood and those more specific to women. I will argue that such contrasts derive from womens and mens different positions in local thought and practice, and reflect their respective efforts to maintain social integrity in a harsh and often unforgiving world.