Matricultural Eyes course: Find the Women!

My new course offers photo essays, information, audio talks, book excerpts, links to resources, and monthly zoom livecasts. I offer two live visual talks per month (same content, just accomodating different timezones and schedules) and then a recording of the second session. (Occasionally, we have open discussions on whatever topics attendees want to talk about). Other than the monthly livecasts, there is no set schedule; you participate according to your own time and inclinations. Discussion also happens on our course e-group Veleda. You can subscribe here.

Upcoming livecasts include: Women in Ancient Sahara (Feb); Syria / Lebanon; Zimbabwe; Iran; Colombia/ Venezuela; and from a global perspective: Conception and Birth; Ancestor Ceremonies. I'll schedule a discussion session on matricultures / matriarchies / mother-law cultures at some point, and a new visual talk from the Patriarchies series as well.

What this course is about: Seeing women, seeing with the eyes of women. What the world looks like from the standpoint of motherlines, human networks centered on the lifegivers, the ones who hold it all up; and the ones they refused to tell us about, the movers and shakers, rebels, the bold women. All have been sidelined, structurally ignored, or worse, silenced.

It's important to map out worlds of Indigenous Knowledge, drawing on orature and other ways of knowing, the emerging cultural recoveries and resurgences, and what they have to teach us. Ancestral legacies, the relations between peoples, to the Land, and among all beings in the web of life. The cultural webs that either sustain and inspire us, or that capture us.

And that goes to the study of systemic domination: patriarchy, conquest, slavery, class systems, colonization, and parasitical resource extraction. We are looking for the nectar, the knowledge that is like medicine; but we do not avert our gaze from the bitter truths we need to know in order to restore justice and balance.

Recovering knowledge of matricultural treasures is inspiring: the ancient figurines and painted ceramics; the weavings and basket patterns; the Round Dances, ceremony, and regalia; symbols and the cosmology, the natural philosophy behind them. The awareness of animacy, as Robin Wall Kimmerer reconceptualizes the objectifying term "animism" as it crystallized into rigidity in old anthropological theory.)

We'll be looking at medicine women, seeresses, and wisewomen, including the Wu of China, the Makewana of Malawi. We're going to delve into women in the extremely ancient (as in 12,000-2000 bce) rock art of the Sahara, a much-ignored but crucial area of world history. (See image below.)

This course is based on my ongoing research, and so part of it is what comes over the transom: new archaeological finds, historical discoveries (or recuperations), revelations from genome studies, and how those illuminate and interact with another repository of Deep History, historical linguistics.

But the heart of the course are riches from the international cultural record: sculptures, paintings, petroglyphs, weavings; photos of medicine women, female movers and shakers, and those who rebel against oppression. We range through historic and literary texts, but also look for oral traditions that come directly from the common people, especially those centering on women.

So join us in the deep dive...

Thanks donors to the Suppressed Histories Archives

You can contribute anytime, with several ways to donate, see links and info here. We now have 501(c)3 non-profit status, so your contributions are tax-deductible.

The Archives is a labor of love, in our mission to restore awareness of women's history and heritages in every part of the world. To Find the Women, in orature, archaeology, iconography, in the written and photographic record. To track egalitarian and cooperative ways of life; how systems of domination develop and spread; and to learn from movements of resistance, liberation, and cultural resurgence.

In 2022 we will be greatly expanding our open access pages, videos, articles, and photo essays on the Suppressed Histories website. This begins with a major site reconfiguration, including 100 new navigation pages that will help you explore, by subject or by country. We will be integrating over 10,000 pages (really!) from 12 years of photo essays from the Suppressed Histories FB page. Each of those pages will need to be titled, edited, and tagged for searchability.

We need templates, optimized for mobile and tablet, so we can load in all this content. We need funds for tech help to recover / archive the last two years of SHA-FB posts. We need software for the dedicated SHA computer; and storage media for site backup, and for the rapidly growing video and audio archives. We would like to compensate our Archives and Education Director for the scores of navigation banners she has designed so far (collations of cultural treasures and women's history images) In 2022 she will be creating more, and linking in pages relating to the subject (Drummers; Elders; Clan Mothers; Freethinkers; Martial Artists; Ceramic Painting; Colonization; Racialized Caste; Women's Speech—among many others)

In future, we plan to host digital exhibitions on Icons of Ancestral Mothers, and on the Witch Hunts, with video components.

So to Find the Women, fund the women! Your support is appreciated.

AouanrhetL copy

Look for the Ancient Sahara visual livecast in February! shown here, the Lady of Aouanrhet, Tassil-n-Ajjer, southeastern Algeria.

May we turn the tide in 2022!


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